Tue, 05 Aug 2003

Great sale close to sales target

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The seventh Jakarta Great Sale was officially closed on Monday by Governor Sutiyoso, with sales slightly missing the target of Rp 4 trillion (US$470.6 million).

The month-long sale program, which started on June 14, coincided with the city's 476th anniversary. Sales reached Rp 3.9 trillion.

Sutiyoso said that the program was successful in terms of sales, total participants and promotion.

"Based on those (factors), Jakarta should be dubbed 'the destination for shopping tourism'," he said, referring to plans to make Jakarta competitive with Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong as a shopping haven for domestic and international tourists.

Sutiyoso said that he was looking forward to seeing even better events of a similar nature in the future.

During the closing ceremony, the organizers announced the most successful participants of the program.

Pasaraya Grande in Blok M, South Jakarta, was the winner of the best shopping center award; Metro department store chain received an award for the best department store; Aston Atrium Hotel in Senen, Central Jakarta, was named the best hotel; while the best supermarket award went to Hero.

Head of the organizers Purwati Sidharta said that the award ceremony was a new part of the program. She expected more businesses to be involved in next year's Great Sale.

Purwati said that more promotion was needed to attract international buyers.

"Next year, we aim to attract more shoppers from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand," she said.

Pungky Bambang Purwadi, head of the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said that this year's program focused mostly on domestic shoppers.

A poor publicity campaign was blamed for last year's failure to secure Rp 3.7 trillion in sales. The organizers said that they only managed to reach Rp 3.5 trillion.

This year, the organizers said that the program received financial support from the Indonesian Culture and Tourism Agency for a promotion on television station CNN.

However, the promotion of the event still did not make people aware of the sale program.

Linda, 45, a shopper at Mall Kelapa Gading told The Jakarta Post that she had spent at least Rp 40 million the month of the Great Sale but she had not been aware that the sale was even on.