Monday, September 25, 2017

Xmas promotions push year-end sales

’TIS the season to be shopping, as Yangon’s malls set out their Christmas decorations and cut their prices to attract year-end bargain hunters.

The Junction 8 store is readying for aChristmas shopping onslaught. Photo: Hein Latt AungThe Junction 8 store is readying for aChristmas shopping onslaught. Photo: Hein Latt Aung

The snow here may not be deep or crisp or even, um, even, but that will not discourage the carol singers or mute the merry jingle of cash registers.

All the city’s major shopping centres – Gamone Pwint, Dagon Centre, Sein Gay Har, Yankin Centre, Junction 8 and Junction Zawana – are decked out in Yuletide finery and marking prices down by up to 50 percent.

Myanmar celebrates traditional festivals at the rate of about one a month, with major celebrations at Thingyan in April and Thadingyut in October. But this year, merchants seem to making a special effort to promote Christmas/New Year’s as a feast of shopping.

“We plan to offer a sales promotion up to 50pc from December 23 through 31,” said U Kyaw Win Than, manager of the Yankin Centre.

A spokesperson from the centre also said they expected more customers than last year because of extra promotions activities like games and a funfair.

“It’s hard to put a percentage figure on sales estimates, but we’re sure there will be an increase in the number of customers compared with last Christmas,” the spokesperson said.

Part of the sales promotion is a boost in spending on decorations, with the emphasis on reds and greens, trees, bells, banners and posters. And quizzes, games and entertainments aimed at children are designed to make Christmas shopping a family occasion.

Junction 8 and Junction Zawana have made a particular effort on their exterior decorations this year.

“We had internal decorations last year, but this year, we’re decorating the outside like a castle. We know it will cost much more, but we think it would be fun for the customers,” said Daw Phyu Phyu Soe, department head of the two centres.

She said the centres used to arrange year-end sales promotions, celebrity stage presentations and model shows in the centre’s public areas.

“We’re focusing on year-end sales as well as free stage shows in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw up to December 31. At Nay Pyi Taw, we will put on a beauty contest in the centre,” she said.

U Yee Aung, manager of Sein Gay Har Super Centre on Pyay Road, said the centre had prepared more colourful decorations this year.

“We’ve got more than 100 shops that are prepared to offer promotions of up to 50pc. We’ve made Christmas more distinctive and joyful this year with internal and external decorations – and we’re spending up to 30pc more than last year,” he said.

Sein Gay Har promotional activities started from December 1, and between December 15-31, the centre will offer special promotions to customers who spend more than K100,000.

Ma Sandar, marketing manager of Gamone Pwint department store, said she hoped to increase sales demand by up to half.

“We have four branches, at Mayangone, Sanchaung, Latha and Botahtaung, and all are offering discounts of up to 50pc from December 20 to January 4. This year we’re attracting customers with new decorations, entertainment programs and funfairs for Christmas and the new year, so we hope sales will increase by up to 50pc at all outlets,” she said, adding that the stores were spending 30-50pc more on decorations than last year.

Yangon’s City Mart supermarket plans sale promotions by giving free gift vouchers from Christmas till New Year.