Sales of watches and jewellery, which comprise a major segment of Macau’s retail business, fell 10.4 per cent last year, fuelling the territory’s first annual retail sales decline since 2000.
Department-store goods and leather products were also hit, according to the latest Macau retail sales data from the Statistics and Census Service.
Overall, retail sales volume was down 7.9 per cent for the year, with their value reaching nearly MOP60.9 billion (US$7611 million), says the survey. However, the drop was in double digits for watches, clocks, jewellery, department-store goods, leather products and footwear. The watches, clocks and jewellery segment accounted for 22.2 per cent of all retail sales value – a drop of 25 per cent year-on-year to MOP13.53 billion.
Department store goods, the second-largest retail segment, had sales fall 13.7 per cent year-on-year to MOP8.93 billion.
Meanwhile, cosmetics and sanitary articles as well as communication equipment had double-digit increases in sales for the year, reaching MOP2.36 billion and MOP1.68 billion respectively.
Nearly half of the retailers covered in the survey anticipate a further drop in sales for the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, while nearly 40 per cent expect the sales volume to be stable.
Retail sales for the fourth quarter of last year fell 10.5 per cent to MOP 15.59 billion, with sales volume dropping 7.7 per cent. There were significant decreases in footwear (down 24.5 per cent), watches, clocks and jewellery (down 16 per cent), leather goods (down 11.3 per cent) and department store sales (down 10 per cent).
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