Chinese home shopping takes off

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BEIJING -- TV shopping looks to be proving a hit in China. "TV Marketing", a 20-minute programme began regular broadcasts last April. Since then, the number of products on offer has risen from two to more than 100 and hotline calls have shot up from 200 to 1,000 every day, with profits from sales increasing five fold.

And Beijing Television (BTV)'s "TV Shopping", which kicked off the TV shopping phenomenon in China in November 1995, has spawned a 100-strong BTV Television Marketing Centre supporting 10 departments.

Other major cities across China such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Weihai have also now started their own home shopping programs and the trend is expected to spread quickly. Convenience, low prices, detailed presentation, choice and guaranteed after-sales services are the key to the success of home shopping in China.

With no need for retail outlets, the economies of scale in delivery and broadcasting during off-hours when air time is cheaper make the prices of home shopping merchandise lower than those in department stores, says An Hui, manager of BTV Television Marketing Centre.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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