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Jakarta Post

Retailers optimistic annual sale season will jump start consumer spending

  • Mardika Parama

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 10, 2020   /   03:42 pm
Retailers optimistic annual sale season will jump start consumer spending Come back, soon: A woman walks past a fashion outlet at a shopping mall in Serpong, Tangerang, Banten, in this undated file picture. The shopping mall offered 30 to 70 percent discounts to attract customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

Hopes are high the annual Indonesian Discount Shopping Days (HBDI) will give a much needed boost to household spending, which has been well down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, providing retailers with an opportunity to sell their excess stock at below-market prices, officials have said.

HBDI committee chairperson and president director of state-owned retailer Sarinah, Fetty Kwartawati, told The Jakarta Post Friday that a sales target had not been set for this year’s event, but that it was more focused on simply reviving consumer spending.

“While we can’t predict exactly what the sales will be like because of the pandemic, we are certain this event will jump start retail activities,” she said during an online press conference.

The committee set a sales target of Rp 24 trillion (US$1.6 billion) during last year’s HBDI event, a 20 percent increase from the first HBDI target in 2017, according to Kompas.

This year’s HBDI will offer special prices for consumers, with discounts reaching up to 75 percent from Aug. 14 to 30 both in-store and on online marketplaces.

Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of the production of goods and services, was down 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter, the steepest decline since the first quarter of 1999, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced Wednesday.

Household spending, which accounts for more than half of GDP, fell 5.51 percent yoy in the second quarter. Apparel consumption, included under the household spending category, also fell 5.13 percent yoy during the period.

At a press conference, Deputy Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Angela Tanoesoedibjo said the pandemic and subsequent large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) had driven down demand in the tourism and retail sectors.

According to National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) data, the purchasing power of Indonesian dropped Rp 362 trillion in the weeks between March 30 and June 6 due to the pandemic.

“[The COVID-19] pandemic and PSBB measures have affected demand for non-essential products. However, we hope the situation will improve in the third and fourth quarters of 2020,” she said.

Besides ramping up household spending, it is also hoped that the HBDI will help retailers sell their excess stock, which has sat unsold during the closure of malls and shopping centers from late March to mid-June in Jakarta.

“As shopping centers were closed during the Idul Fitri holiday season, we hope this event can help retailers sell their Lebaran stockpiles such as sarongs and Muslim attire,” Indonesian Shopping Centers Tenants Association (Hippindo) chairperson Budihardjo Iduansjah told journalists.

“This is the right moment to empty our warehouses as we’re currently being helped by the government and online marketplaces during the event.”

Hippindo and HBDI are working together with e-commerce giants Tokopedia, Lazada, and technology decacorn Gojek for event promotion and product marketing.