Beijing residents in gold rush at year end


By Zhao Yanrong
China Daily, Beijing
Monday, December 28, 2009

Gold jewelry sales jumped more than 30 percent over the weekend in Beijing, as bargain shoppers swarmed the city's major jewelry stores on year-end promotions.

In a collective sales campaign after international gold prices fell, stores including Caibai, Gongmei, and China Gold reduced the pure gold's price by as much as 9 yuan per gram, with more Christmas-themed jewelry designs for shoppers to choose from.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, China National Gold has doubled its sales to 40 kilograms per day. Caibai, the largest gold store in China, reported 30 percent more business than last year over the weekend after it dropped the price from 278 yuan to 269 yuan per gram.

But pure gold's price at Caibai is still 59 yuan per gram higher than last Christmas, when it was sold at 210 yuan per gram.

"The gold price kept rising in Beijing this year, so this decrease somehow influenced customers' decisions," the marketing department manager of Caibai, who preferred to be known as Niu, said yesterday.

Niu is also very optimistic about sales in the rest of the holiday season, which runs from Christmas to the Chinese New Year in February. She said Caibai extended trading from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, to serve the crowds of customers.

"I am looking for a gold pendant with a tiger on it," said a 23-year-old woman customer surnamed Yang, who was born in the year of the tiger. "I have had this idea since October, but the price just kept rising. It is going to be the year of the tiger soon, and they dropped the price a little bit, so I want to buy it now," she said Friday.

Beijing residents showed keen interest when the limited-edition gold bars for the Chinese tiger year went on sale this month.

Caibai received 1.5 tons of orders while holding 1.3 tons of gold.

According to the Beijing Evening News, almost 20 kilograms of gold bars for investment were sold on Thursday morning after the price adjustment.

Beijing residents are also rushing to hoard the yellow metal, as they expect inflation next year.

"I feel it is safer to invest in gold than other things in this period," said a business consultant surnamed Bai, who has been investing in gold since September. "The inflation in Beijing is quite obvious, but I can still keep my wealth after the economic bubbles break in Beijing."

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