Chinese New Year decorations cost more this year
KOTA KINABALU (Jan 9): The cost of Chinese New Year decorations has increased dramatically due to power rationing in China and the fourfold increase in shipping costs, prompting local traders to import goods in limited quantities.
Some even stocked up much earlier to anticipate the surge in prices to ensure consumers can purchase Chinese New Year decor items at prices similar to the previous year.
TCT Group Director Dato ‘Tan Kar Leong, whose company operates 99 One Stop Superstore outlets in Sabah, said the company started importing Chinese New Year decorations last year, such as lanterns. , and was thus able to maintain last year’s prices for these items.
Meanwhile, the cost has increased significantly for goods imported at a later date.
âThe majority of our in-store Chinese New Year decorations are sold at old prices; only a small portion of them revised upwards from 5 to 10 percent.
“We hope to minimize the price increase as much as possible so that consumers can enjoy a Happy Chinese New Year.”
Tan lamented that goods imported from China are affected by the sharp increase in raw materials and logistics costs.
Therefore, he said the company took steps to import large volumes of Chinese New Year decorations early last year to keep prices down.
“This year’s decorations were imported in two batches – the first at roughly the same price as the previous year while the second batch at a cost of 10% higher.”
He explained that the reason for this was the sharp increase in sea freight charges from China to Sabah, from $ 1,000 previously to $ 4,000 for a 40-foot container.
At the same time, he said that manufacturing factories in some parts of China were only allowed to work two to three days a week due to the rationing of electricity in the country, which resulted in a drop in production and more expensive products.
To another question, Tan said that 66 of the 99 One Stop Superstore stores sell Chinese New Year decorations, including stores in Tawau and Sandakan.
Just three weeks before the Chinese New Year, consumers start shopping for decorative items to decorate their homes.
Tan is optimistic about the sales of decorations this year, as many companies have decided not to purchase these items at all or to import in limited quantities due to the higher costs.
For example, he said 90 percent of last year’s Christmas decorations were sold, which exceeded the company’s initial projection of 70 to 80 percent.
Therefore, he believed that the trend would continue for Chinese New Year decorations as well.
He added that the decorations are sold cheaply at One Stop Superstore outlets and members can take advantage of additional discounts as well.