Singaporean MasterCard cardholders spent US$26.3 million during the first weekend of the Great Singapore Sale (29 – 31 May 2009), an increase of 7%versus the same period last year (23 – 25 May 2008).
The number of transactions by local cardholders in the first weekend rose 15% from last year to 283,703 this year.
Tourists also made the best use of the privileges and deals available at the Sale. Visiting MasterCard cardholders made 67,226 transactions and spent US$11.2 million over the first weekend of the GSS. Tourist spend however, was down 12% compared to the same period in 2008, in line with declining visitor arrivals.
Overall, both Singaporean and tourist MasterCard cardholders spent a total of US$37.5 million over the first weekend, a slight increase of almost 1% compared to the US$37.2 million spent last year. The total number of transactions also saw a 13% increase from last year, reaching 350,929.
“The MasterCard cardholder expenditure data from the first weekend of the Great Singapore Sale supports the fact that Singaporeans are savvy shoppers. Singaporean cardholders spent 7% more than last year despite the challenging economic climate, which means they found the deep discounts and exclusive privileges offered by retailers and MasterCard to be very attractive,” said Julienne Loh, vice president and Country Manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide.
Other key highlights of the first weekend include:
The top two categories of spend by cardholders in Singapore, eating places / restaurants and department stores, remained consistent with last year.
Interestingly, grocery stores / supermarkets emerged as a top spend category for Singaporean cardholders this year. While cost conscious consumers cut back on spending at eating places / restaurants by 6%, spending in grocery stores / supermarkets increased 56%, an indicator that more consumers are eating home-cooked meals.
Although not among the top three spend categories, personal grooming is still a priority for Singapore cardholders. They continued to invest in looking good, spending US$711,705 or 26% more than last year, at barber shops and beauty outlets such as hair salons, manicurists, spas and skin treatment and slimming centres.
Cardholders from Australia continued to be the top spenders for the first weekend of GSS 2009, spending US$ 1.6 million, while consumers from the United States came in a close second, spending US$ 1.5 million. Cardholders from Malaysia came in as the third largest group of spenders, registering a 16% increase in expenditure compared to last year.
Australians spent the most at duty free stores, while consumers from the United States zoned in on buying electronics. Clocks, jewellery, watches and silverware were favourites with tourists, with the category being the top spend category for cardholders from Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Japanese consumers meanwhile, enjoyed pampering treatments at health and beauty spas.
As with previous years, dining continued to be a key aspect of the Sale experience for both locals and tourists, with both groups spending a combined US$3 million at eating places and restaurants over the first weekend of the GSS.