Local, international retailers investing heavily as spending booms

Ding Yining
Consumers are spending again after the long lockdown, and that is driving a surge in retail investment and new stores.
Ding Yining

Editor's Notes:

Shanghai, a well-established destination for investment from home and abroad, is confident to ride the waves of a rising city to attract more quality investment with better policies and services.

Local, international retailers investing heavily as spending booms

Consumer goods companies, retailers and sportswear firms are investing in the city with new businesses and new stores to cater to growing demand.

Sportswear firm Skechers China opened its new China headquarters in the Hongqiao Central Business District in July to connect with neighboring areas.

"It will provide our business with new momentum by banking on the city cluster effect and open up a new chapter for our future expansion in the country," said Willie Tan, CEO of Skechers China, South Korea and Southeast Asia.

The Hongqiao CBD in the city's west has a geographical advantage to link with the Yangtze River Delta region, the company said.

The new office also sits together with Hong Kong-based conglomerate Luen Thai Group's China headquarters, which formed the joint venture with Skechers USA to operate the business in the country.

"Our apparel products aim to cater to both sports and leisure and we believe the sportswear market here remains upbeat and promising," Tan said.

The company will soon unveil a new flagship store format in the Bund area to inject momentum into the city's retail landscape.

It also hopes to target specific groups of shoppers through online channels such as a range of products for infants to suit different scenario.

Local, international retailers investing heavily as spending booms
Ti Gong

A Skechers store in the city's downtown.

Fresh retail formats, new merchandise and limited editions are being offered as the vibrant consumption scene continues to attract companies from home and abroad.

Lululemon has set up a pop-up store at the Jing'an Kerry Center Shopping Complex to introduce its latest women's training shoes.

It's the yoga brand's second women's shoe after it entered the footwear sector with a running shoe earlier this year.

Chief Executive Officer Calvin McDonald said in an earnings call in June that its growth plans remain on track and most of its 40 international new stores this year will be on Chinese mainland.

It also opened a new store at the iapm Mall last month as it continues to introduce a range of products and shopping experiences. An augmented reality virtual fitting service is also offered on its WeChat mini program.

A limited edition for the Qixi Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine's Day, also went on sale at the end of July after it sees positive response from last year's limited merchandise during Qixi.

Local, international retailers investing heavily as spending booms
Ti Gong

A pop-up store by lululemon at the Jing'an Kerry Center Shopping Complex.

In the first half, a total of 366 debut stores opened in Shanghai and new stores will gain further steam in the second half, with key features like high-tech gadgets, futuristic store designs and eco-friendly merchandise, according to the Shanghai Commerce Commission.

Fashion retailers are stepping up their investment with new openings to offer trendy products and a new shopping environment.

This month, Zara opened a new store in the Ruihong Tiandi shopping mall in Hongkou District with simple yet elegant design to fit new shopping trends.

It's also equipped with automatic checkout counters and used clothing recycling facilities.

Local, international retailers investing heavily as spending booms
Ti Gong

Zara's new outlet at Ruihong Tiandi has a simple but elegant design.

Italian luxury group OTB's four fashion brands – Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sanders and Amiri – opened their flagship stores at the JC Plaza in downtown Jing'an District last month.

Covering over 2,400 square meters at the new shopping landmark marks the latest opening of debut stores in the city as retail vitality gradually recovers after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

The Nanjing Road W. area, where JC Plaza is located, now hosts more than 10 five-star hotels, 1.6 million square meters of prime skyscrapers, and several upscale shopping centers and restaurants.

Local, international retailers investing heavily as spending booms
Ti Gong

Nanjing Road W. is a prime location for first-in fashion brands and upscale shopping.

The area is the destination for most first-in Shanghai brands, where luxury and trendy fashion flourish together.

It boasts over 1,600 international and domestic brands – over 60 percent renowned international brands – according to Director of Retail at CBRE East China Mario Zaccagnini.

Despite rather weak retail property transaction and leasing activity in the first half, new commercial property supply is expected boost the offline retail scene, and a wide range of debut stores are set to emerge with business sentiment continuing to rebound in the second half, the property consultancy said.

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