May 7, 2020|

China’s May Day Holiday Releases Pent up Demand in Consumer Categories


by Rachel Liu

As travel restrictions due to COVID-19 eased across China ahead of the 5-day May Day holiday, pent up Chinese consumer demand for daily necessities, home appliances and outdoor activities products resulted in a significant boost in sales. On May 1st, about 30,000 customers visited JD E-Space, JD’s 50,000-square-meter shopping destination in Chongqing, China, with sales on the day reaching RMB 14 million yuan.

While more people gathered with their friends and relatives during the holiday, the sales of wine, Chinese liquor (baijiu), beer and imported liquor have all increased. For example, according to the data from JD Super, JD’s online supermarket, the sales of Dassai increased 6.6 times y-o-y while the sales of Hennessey increased over three times y-o-y. Also, the sale of cooking oil was 2.5 times same period last year.

Parents saw the holiday as an excellent opportunity to get the children out of the house. JD Super’s data shows that ales of children’s scooters increased 250% y-o-y, and sales of children’s electric cars from FUERBO increased 470% y-o-y. Food supplements also did well, with the American brand Earth’s Best experiencing a 300% y-o-y sales increase.

The demand for home appliances also went up. During a May 1st promotion, according to JD data, the whole day sales for home appliances was twice that of the same day last year. The epidemic has caused people to see home appliances that handle sterilization as must-haves. On May 1st, the sales of sterilization air conditioners and refrigerators increased four times and 80 times, respectively. With people moving about more freely, the demand for indoor installment and repair of home appliances also rose.

As the quarantine was lifted in Beijing on April 29th, the sales of products related to outdoor activities and service products subsequently increased in the city. Data from JD’s Big Data Research Institute has shown that on this day, the sales of outdoor equipment increased by 249% and cycling products by 117% compared to average sales in April. Sports-related services, such as venue reservation services increased 655%. JD’s offline stores also experienced sales increases. Orders for car repairs, maintenance and cleaning increased 2.5 times in JD Auto Service, JD’s offline automobile repair stores. In JD’s 7FRESH stores, sales of beverages and food boxes, barbecue, and beer were over double that of average daily sales.

On May 2nd, JD launched a ‘Super Hubei Day’ – its first Super Brand Day for a Chinese province – to promote local food in partnership with local brands, including crawfish, oranges, duck eggs and others. JD also provided resources to support fresh food brands in Hubei, leveraging livestreaming to increase sales.