NSTnation Kuantan residents in last-minute CNY shopping rush
KUANTAN: With Chinese New Year just around the corner, many Kuantan residents of Chinese descent are making last-minute purchases to ring in the Year of the Rat.A large number of people were seen thronging a popular shop selling Chinese New Year decorations at Kubang Buaya here, today, hoping for a good bargain. Red and gold lanterns of various sizes hanging throughout the premises were selling fast, while customers were spotted inspecting rows of potted lime trees – symbolising good luck – arranged at one corner of the establishment. Shop owner Tay Lian Chew, 48, said she and her elder brother, Tay Yap Seng, 51, have their hands full entertaining customers, who are mostly those from out station who have returned to Kuantan to celebrate the festival with their families here. "Business was initially slow, as I believe people were busy making preparations for the new school session. But it improved, as customers arrived to make last-minute purchases. While most shops are closed today, we will operate as usual till evening. "I have a lot of walk-in customers and we even advise them on items to buy and how they can decorate their homes. Some even hire our services to decorate their homes for Chinese New Year," she said when met today. Lian Chew, who ventured into the business sector when she was 19, said she visited Yiwu, China, in June last year to buy decorative Chinese New Year items in bulk for her shop. "Yiwu is known as the home of the largest wholesale market in the world, and the items are delivered in containers. For smaller quantities, items can be purchased from Guangzhou. After my visit last June, I placed my orders in October, and the items arrived in November last year. "Since this year's zodiac is the rat, many choose to purchase items related to the animal, including balloons and coin boxes. “The lime trees are also a popular choice, not only for customers who want to decorate their homes, but also as gifts," she said, adding that the lime or kumquat trees, which come from Langkap, Perak, are priced from RM68 per pot, depending on their size and height. Customer Lim Kam Seng, 40, said he decided to buy balloons resembling Chinese characters and motifs to be hung around his house, as it would add more festive cheer during the holiday. "These days, customers have a lot of choices for decorations. Most of the items come from China and the prices are quite reasonable," he added. Related stories Read more: New Straits Times
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