No discounts? No problem! New year drives liquor sales

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/13 20:57:46

With the approach of the Chinese lunar new year, which falls on Friday, baijiu or white spirits - a must-buy for most Chinese  - are even more popular than last year.

Experts said that the increasing demand, which has developed despite higher prices and fewer promotions, is mainly due to a shift in Chinese people's consumption patterns.

"This year, liquor products are selling better compared with last year's Spring Festival holidays even though the discounts offered by liquor producers have decreased," Liu Gang, a retailer based in Beijing's Chaoyang district, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Last year, consumers could take advantage of promotions such as "buy one, get one free" or "70 percent off" discounts. But this year, they might only get a price cut of 20 yuan ($3.06) per bottle, Liu said. 

Liquor prices were even hiked ahead of this year's holiday season. Kweichow Moutai, a famous brand based in Southwest China's Guizhou Province, marked up the retail price of its flagship product, the 500-milliliter bottle of Flying Fairy which contains as much as 53 percent alcohol by volume, to 1,499 yuan at the beginning of 2018 from 1,299 yuan in 2017.

Wuliangye, another major domestic distiller, raised the retail price of its 500-ml bottle of Wuliangye which contains as much as 52 percent alcohol by volume  from 969 yuan to 1,099 yuan in December.

Despite higher prices and fewer discounts or special offers, high-end drinks like Moutai and Wuliangye remain best-sellers, and they're even out of stock in some places, Liu noted.

Online sales are brisk as well. Moutai accounted for 24.64 percent of the total liquor sales on online platforms like T-mall and Inc, making it the most popular liquor among Chinese. It was followed by Wuliangye, accounting for 9.08 percent, the Beijing News reported on Tuesday, citing a report from big data firm Think in Data.

Consumers are willing to spend more for high-quality products, which shows the changing shopping patterns and attitudes of Chinese people, Zhang Weijian, a Guangzhou-based liquor market analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday.


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