Mall-hoppers bade farewell to the capital’s shopping fiesta, called the Jakarta Great Sale Festival, which ended on Saturday after catering to shopaholics for more than a month.
As lucky shoppers snapped up heavily discounted goods, the festival’s promoters were in a jovial mood after reaching their target of Rp 10 trillion ( US$1.05 billion ) in transactions.
“Shoppers and the organizer were not the only happy ones,” said the chairman of the Jakarta branch of the Indonesian Shopping Center Association ( APPBI ), Handaka Santosa said.
“The festival benefited also participating malls, which saw an increase in visitor numbers during the festival,” Handaka said at sale’s closing in Kuningan City mall, South Jakarta.
The annual festival, which dates back to the 1980s, has been organized jointly by the APPBI and the Jakarta administration since 2008.
This year’s festival — which was held to mark the 485th anniversary of Jakarta — quenched diehard shoppers’ thirst for spending after kicking off on June 1 with myriad shopping opportunities at 73 participating shopping centers.
The sale not only offered shoppers new goods produced specifically for the event but also offered huge discounts of up to 70 percent, buy one-get one, cash back, midnight sales and many other promotions.
“We hope the event can improve Jakarta’s economy and help the city attract foreigners, and turn it into an ASEAN shopping hub,” Handaka said.
With transactions increasing every year, Handaka remains optimistic that the ideals will one day be met.
Data shows that average transactions during the Jakarta Great Sale increased up to 20 percent.
Last year, the festival booked Rp 8.7 trillion in transactions with 68 participating shopping centers. Entering its fifth year in 2012, the sale was held longer than its usual 30 days in the hope that more transactions would be made.
The committee claimed than in 2011, the Jakarta Great Sale Festival saw the number of mall visitors increase 100 percent. For instance, the number of visitors to Senayan City in South Jakarta increased from the average 50,000 to 60,000 visitors per day to up to 120,000 visitors per day since the festival kicked off.
This year, the event committee aimed to attract more Middle Eastern tourists.
On the sidelines of the sale, various events were also held to mark the festival, including a fun bike competition, a parade of decorated andong ( horse-drawn carriages ) through Jakarta’s streets in June and a blood drive held at 63 of the participating malls.
The blood drive got extra attention after it won an Indonesian Museum of Records ( MURI ) award under category of the “longest relay blood donation to be held in shopping centers”. ( aml )