China could introduce 2.5-day weekend to reinvigorate retail sector

China could soon impose a two-and-a-half-day weekend in efforts to jumpstart its retail sector as it emerges from weeks of lockdown.

Cities across the country have encouraged companies to offer workers an extra half day off so they can spend the time shopping and boost China’s economy.

Last month China’s eastern providence of Jiangxi became the first to suggest the measures to promote more shopping time and Hebei, Gansu and Zhejiang followed soon after.

On Saturday, Nanjiang became the latest city to announce plans to encourage extended weekend period to “encourage enthusiasm” in the retail sector.

READ MORE: Livestream and Social Selling: How China’s Retailers Adapted to Coronavirus

Countries around the world are looking to China, which is potentially facing the worst economic downturn for 60 years, for indicators and ideas about how to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Retail will be increasingly important to boost China’s economy as tourism and leisure industries have been severely impacted by the outbreak.

Savills China Retail has predicted that although shoppers are now gradually returning to retail outlets and shopping malls in the country’s most affected areas, a full recovery is still months away.

Shopping malls in Shanghai are now seeing footfall at levels around 30 per cent of pre-crisis levels, and most centres have returned to normal shopping hours.

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