Beijing Looks to Fashion Show and Bar Festival to Boost Spending

Chinese consumers have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many still uncomfortable about heading out to eat or shop. Beijing City is hoping that a fashion show, harvest festival or bar culture celebration will convince reluctant shoppers to open their wallets.

That’s all part of a nationwide campaign starting next week to boost consumption and restore confidence. Tens of thousands of companies across China will participate in Consumption Promotion Month, with participation from the auto, home appliance, clothing, electronics and agriculture sectors, according to the Commerce Ministry.

“China’s consumption market has suffered unprecedented shocks since the outbreak of the coronavirus pneumonia,” Commerce Ministry official Wang Bin said at a briefing in Beijing Friday. “The recovery of industries such as catering and accommodation has been slower than expected and sales of some durable consumer goods have fallen sharply.”

Local governments will provide funding to support the campaign, the ministry said, including consumption coupons and subsidies. Participating businesses such as Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com Inc. also will offer subsidies and discounts.

The campaign is expected to stimulate consumption, help companies return to normal operations and stabilize supply chains, Wang said. It also will benefit the “dual circulation” development model, he said, referring to the latest strategy from President Xi Jinping, which calls for a focus on the domestic economy.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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