The Chinese New Year is a time of the year when Thais of Chinese descent are quite generous in their spending, thus helping bolster business income. Although they continue to place importance on this festive occasion, most of them will likely be careful towards spending this year amid lofty household debt and a high cost of living, despite plummeting oil prices that have not yet been positive to consumer product costs, especially necessities, amid an uncertain economic recovery.
We at KResearch expect that Bangkok residents' spending on veneration offerings during the upcoming Chinese New Year will reach around THB6 billion, rising 3.5 percent YoY, which would be close to that reported in 2014. Each household may spend around THB3,750, increasing over the THB3,590 average last year.
It is also expected that the prices of ceremonial offerings this year will not differ much from 2014. The most popular place for Bangkok residents to purchase such items will be the fresh-food markets near their homes, even though modern trade stores are fast catching up as alternate shopping venues because they meet current lifestyles and offer greater convenience, e.g., spacious parking areas and special sections designated for ceremonial products.
Aside from paying homage to deceased ancestors, it is customary for ethnic Chinese in Thailand to make merit, visit relatives, enjoy their leisure time and give “Ang Pao” red envelopes (lucky money) to younger relatives. Despite being a brief holiday period, it is an important time for businesses to introduce marketing promotions using only appropriate budget to boost consumer spending. Since children and company employees who have been given “Ang Pao” will have cash in their pockets, shopping malls, restaurants, apparel and electrical/communication appliance retailers will be targeting these revelers.