News about consumer spending and shifting shopping habits from around the world with a focus on developments in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Chinese New Year holiday spending grew nearly 30% to US$127 billion
Despite the pandemic, Chinese consumers enjoyed a shopping and dining spree during this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations.  Sales increased to US$127 billion (821 billion yuan), a rise of almost 30% from 2020, but still below the 2019 record of $154 trillion (1 trillion yuan), government data showed.  With prevalent travel restrictions, many people spent more at retail stores, online outlets and restaurants.  China has continued to battle Covid-19 outbreaks in several provinces this year. As a result, the annual Lunar New Year mass migration home was severely disrupted after health authorities advised people from high-risk and medium-risk areas to avoid unnecessary travel and large gatherin
Huge crowd forces Costco to shut early on opening day in China
So many bargain-hunting customers flocked to Costco’s first store in China that it was forced to close early due to safety concerns. The new Costco branch in Shanghai became packed with shoppers pushing their carts soon after the store opened at 8.30am on Tuesday. Even the roads leading to the suburban location was jammed by customers’ cars. The crowd eventually forced Costco to announce an early closure after 1pm, according to a notice on Costco’s Chinese app.  In a Weibo post in the afternoon, the police at Shanghai’s Minhang district said a section of the road leading to Costco was temporarily closed due to heavy traffic. It asked customers not to go to the area.  The US retail giant ope