Thursday, November 19, 2009

Retailers gear up for gift basket season

Competition in the gift basket market will intensify in the forthcoming festive season with retailers offering high discounts as consumer spending improves, operators say.

Major supermarkets, including The Mall Group's Home Fresh Mart and Central Food Retail's Tops Supermarket, have launched heavily discounted promotions to boost sales.

The Mall Group plans to spend 50 million baht on its "Gourmet Market & Home Fresh Mart Blissful Hampers 2010" from Nov 15 to Jan 5. It will offer up to a 31% discount.

Tops Supermarket will spend 60 million baht on its "Give the Joy of Life With The Five Elements Gift Baskets", which offers a maximum 30% discount. The promotion runs from now till Jan 15 2010.

The value of the gift basket market dropped by 20% to 850 million baht last year as the recession and political turmoil crimped consumer spending. But demand this year is forecast to grow by 20% to 1.1 billion baht, matching sales in 2007-08.

Chamnarn Maythapreechakul, senior chief marketing officer at The Mall Group, and Chiranan Phupat, vice-president of marketing and merchandising at Central Food Retail, both said consumer confidence had returned to normal in October after plummeting in April due to political unrest. "We saw crowds of shoppers at our shops since early November," Mr Chamnarn said.

"They were not only regular Thai shoppers but also tourists. The spending on electrical appliances, products for teenagers and living items also improved."

Improved purchasing power has been realised in the increased sales of high-ticket items, said Mrs Chiranan.
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