China Retail Dynamics Under COVID-19

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China is seeing a good recovery on a variety of its economy activities.  This shows that if a country is effective in containing Covid-19, the economy can also go back on track.

After checking with various big shopping malls in mainland China, we confirmed that offline shops are mostly closed in early Feb and started to reopen in the late Feb. In March, almost all shops are opened National wide except for Hubei province. 

This is consistent with Sandalwood offline and online retail data as well, we see continuous recovery in the first half of March 2020 in various sectors, both offline and online channel. Housing (see chart below) and Automobile spending on the way of recovery, indicating the recovery of consumer sentiment, while Hotel and Restaurant spending still remain weak – this make sense due to social distancing measures. Luxury spending are seeing early signs of recovery in Mainland China as well.

Note: the chart above is indexed based on last year December’s daily average. 
Based on Sandalwood web scraping data, online sales fully recovers by the mid March. We do see sectors that were negatively impacted in Feb starting to recover very fast in March: Online Apparel, Cosmetics, Sportswear, and Home Appliance. 
All the products that are related to at home activities also generated higher sales online than others. During the period of Covid-19 outbreak, people in mainland China are very cautious and avoided going out. Most of the employees in service providing companies worked from home. So names like MTG, Senssun, Yihai International, CN Light benefited from home office arrangements and increased time spent at home. 
Overall overseas travel was even weaker in the first half of Mar vs Feb, as coronavirus outbreak escalated globally and more countries have been implementing stricter border control.
Sandalwood specialize in Asia consumer data and we would be able track consumer trend in timely manner in regards to Covid-19 impact. If you are interested, please contact