ON AN otherwise quiet Friday afternoon in Guangzhou, a city in southern China, 500 shoppers gather outside a Gome electrical superstore in the downtown district. They arrive en masse at the designated timeJune 16th at 4pmthat they had previously agreed online. Several hours later, they emerge clutching boxes, having secured 10-30% discounts on cameras, DVD players and flat-screen televisions. It was great, says Fairy Zhang. We just bought an apartment and this way we can afford nice things for it. The previous weekend, over 100 locals visited Meizhu Central, a well known furniture outlet, to haggle over the prices of kitchen cabinets and dining-room furniture.
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