HONG KONG ECONOMY

Hong Kong’s dry goods sellers upbeat about sales at upcoming Lunar New Year fair

Traders optimistic after stalls auctioned off for less than expected, following record bid of HK$820,000 for a spot a day earlier

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2016, 9:05pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2016, 10:27pm

Dry goods sellers expressed optimism that products related to political satire and to the year of the rooster would sell well at the Lunar New Year fair in January after they snapped up stalls for less than they expected yesterday.

A day earlier, a fast food stall for the annual event in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, was auctioned off for a record HK$820,000.

The highest bid yesterday morning, to the relief of traders, was HK$72,000 for a stall next to the park’s main exit. The most expensive stall at the two-day sale last year went for HK$120,000.

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The second highest bid yesterday came from the Civic Party, which paid HK$71,500. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China got its usual stall at the entrance in Hing Fat Street, Tin Hau, for 10 per cent less compared with last year, while League of Social Democrats’ member Avery Ng Man-yuen paid HK$22,700, less than half of HK$49, 000 last year.

“Our products will ... mock the chief executive election, which we believe will be the centre of attention at that time,” Ng said.

A total of 144 dry goods stalls were auctioned off, with 284 more to follow today.

Some students got permission from their school Wah Yan College, Hong Kong to bid for a stall for the students’ association. It will sell student-designed products with their school logo and those related to the year of rooster in the Chinese zodiac. “We will sell a notebook that includes popular Cantonese slang from our parents’ generation and from people our age,” student Cheng Chi-lam, 16, said, adding that it was a way to bridge the generational gap.

Wo Hing Loong Food Company, which sells festive food for the occasion, won the bids for two of eight thematic stalls – the biggest ones at the centre of the park – for HK$115,000, lower than the HK$150,000 budgeted. Its marketing manager Issac Lau Chi-chung is confident about sales, saying: “Spending ability in this period is usually quite stable.”

Lunar New Year stalls will be open from January 22 to 28 next year in Victoria Park and 14 other locations in the city.