Festive hampers flying off shelves

Shops are enjoying brisk hamper sales this Chinese New Year despite the economic slowdown. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

Hamper providers in Johor Baru are enjoying brisk sales as people rush to get Chinese New Year goodies as gifts for their loved ones in time for the celebrations.

Hamper store owner Loo Chok Nan said online orders from his customers this year increased by about 40% compared to last year.

Most of the orders were from those stranded overseas because of travel restrictions.

“Many Malaysians, especially those working in Singapore, are unable to return to their hometown for the festivities this year, so they order hampers to be delivered to their family and friends’ doorsteps all over the country.

“We have already sent out more than 1,000 hampers for out-of-town orders alone.

“This year’s Chinese New Year may be different because of the pandemic, but the tradition of gift-giving for family and friends is still a must, ” he said when met at his outlet in Jalan Pendekar 2, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johor Baru.

He added that the price of hampers at his store started at RM98 and his bestsellers were in the RM200 to RM400 range.

Loo says the tradition of gift-giving for family and friends remains strong.Loo says the tradition of gift-giving for family and friends remains strong.

“We understand that some customers may be watching their spending, so we introduced value-for-money hampers by including a can of abalone in our RM98 hampers, ” he said.

The most extravagant order he received this year was for a RM8,888 hamper filled with items such as liquor, premium dried seafood and bird’s nest.

While overall sales has dropped this year because of the lack of Chinese New Year fairs held at malls, Loo, who has been in the hamper business for more than 30 years, highlighted that there was an increase of 30% in walk-in customers.

Meanwhile, Toh Xue Yi, an area manager of a traditional Chinese medicine outlet in Johor Baru, said demand for Chinese New Year hampers was still strong this year despite the economic slowdown.

She said the RM300 to RM500 hampers were popular among customers while businessmen and corporations preferred those worth thousands of ringgit as gifts.

“Because of the pandemic, we noticed an increase in online orders.

“We started using a mobile application in May last year, making it easy for customers to place orders without having to come to us physically, ” she added.

Aside from hampers, Toh said her company launched a series of gift boxes to meet the needs of different customer groups.

It also offered delivery services and a RM10 cash voucher for every RM100 spent as customer incentive, she added.

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