Blog: Leonie BarrieChinese number-crunching

Leonie Barrie | 19 March 2004

Currently number-crunching his way through updating Access Asia's mammoth Retail in China report, publishing director Paul French has come up with a range of startling facts and figues on the world's largest market. In response to my (tongue-in-cheek) comment that he perhaps has way too much time on his hands, Paul explained that over the years so many people walk through the doors declaring that they have come to China to sell to 1 billion people that he likes to play with the stats to show what a stupid notion this is.    

Anyway, here goes. There are, approximately, 24.5 million retail outlets in China, ranging from small hole-in-the-wall corner shops to huge hypermarkets. So, if you wanted to browse the shelves of every shop in China, assuming that you could do so by spending an average of 10 minutes per store, and given that there are 31.536 million seconds in the average year, it would take you 466 years to complete such a shopping marathon, not including time travelling between each shop. If you bought a packet of 4 AA batteries at each store you visited, given that the average 4-pack of AA batteries weighs about 100 grams, by the end of your shopping trip, the total weight of your purchases would be 245,000 tonnes (not including the weight of the plastic bags from each store).


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