High hopes amid low sales

Colourful cheer: Customers checking out the Chinese New Year decorations on sale in a shop here in Taman Sentosa, Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Shops selling decorations here are hoping to see an increase in their online sales with Chinese New Year coming in just about a month.

They say that while they do not expect sales to be as high as during the festive season in previous years, they are hopeful that it would at least see some improvement.

Eva Wong, 39, who owns a shop selling decorations near Taman Sentosa here, said she enjoyed higher sales during Christmas last month.

“Although we have lost most of our sales from hotels and malls around Johor Baru as they have scaled down their decorations, we saw a spike in sales among our walk-in customers.

“Those buying the Christmas decorations also include people who do not celebrate the festival but want to bring cheer into their homes by putting up Christmas trees and other colourful decorations, ” she said, adding that she hopes the same thing will happen during Chinese New Year.

Wong added however, that she expects most of her sales to come from online orders instead of walk-in customers.

“With the number of Covid-19 cases going up, I believe that fewer people will be going out to buy decorations or any other non-essential items. I think that most of my sales will most likely be coming from online orders.

“I also encourage my customers to buy the items online as it is a safer way, ” she said.

Wong noted that the number of customers visiting her shop also increased earlier this month as people feared that they may not be able to leave their home during the movement control order.

Shop assistant Koh Le Xin, 23, who sells flowers and decorative items said they would be focusing on their online sales as well due to the spike in Covid-19 cases and the closure of the border with Singapore.

“We started receiving customers who are buying stuff for Chinese New Year since last week.

“Normally, the number of customers buying decorations would increase in the last two weeks before the festival but we are unsure it will be the same this year as the number of Covid-19 cases seem to be increasing.

“We expect to have more customers, including those in Singapore, buying from us online this year due to the pandemic, ” she said.

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