- Reuters•4 months ago
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, March 16 (Reuters) - Retailers in China are shedding staff, slowing expansion plans and seeing stocks pile up in warehouses as shoppers tighten their belts - a major headache for a country that has pinned its hopes on consumers to drive economic growth. With that growth running at its slowest in a quarter of a century, China's consumption patterns are changing, with wealthy middle-class households trading down from up-market to more affordable brands, and poorer families paring back on even basic purchases. China's top 50 retailers saw sales fall 6 percent at the start of the year, and sales of basic goods from noodles to detergent grew just 1.8 percent at the end of last year, down from over 9 percent just three years ago, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.
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