The Lunar New Year for ethnic Chinese in Thailand doesnot seem to be having equal swing as seen in 2013, owing to household debt and political issues that have depleted purchasing power and spoiled the spending mood. Even so, the celebration is of utmost importance to the ethnic Chinese population here and is strictly observed. For this reason, businesses engaging in veneration offerings – e.g., meat, vegetables, fruit and joss paper, etc., can expect to earn substantial revenues from this annual homage. Most celebrants will have no choice but to increase their ceremonial budgets due to higher prices. Those with limited purchasing power may opt to reduce their offering to control expenses. Only a small proportion of celebrants will likely cut their budgets.
KResearch projects that expenditures for veneration offerings during the 2014 Chinese New Year Festival may reach THB5.8 billion, a 4.0 percent YoY gain, slowing from the 2013 gain that had experienced over-year growth of 6.0 percent. The average expenditure per person will probably be around THB3,600, up from THB3,450 in 2013.
As for sales channels, traditional markets and long-standing shops in the Yaowaraj district will no doubt be flocked with shoppers from Bangkok. However, modern trade retailers are gaining in market share since they have increasingly focused on making profits from Chinese ceremonies, including the Ghost and Moon festivals. These modern trade stores usually have all the basic essentials as required by traditional practices bundled together and sold to customers seeking convenience, instead of patronizing many different smaller outlets as in the past. For even greater convenience, some retailers now offer online or telephone shopping and deliveries, differentiating them from merchants at traditional markets.