Landmark pedestrian street tries out to regain popularity
Shanghai's landmark Nanjing Road E. is hosting a variety of social events among the nearby office workers as it tries out new ways to drive the business recovery amid the COVID-19 resurgence.
The famous and popular pedestrian mall, known as China's No.1 commercial street, has suffered a great impact from the city's coronavirus resurgence since March.
During the city's COVID-19 lockdown, the street, which usually receives over 100 million people annually, became empty for the first time since it was constructed in 1851.
Despite the lockdown has been lifted for nearly two months, the brick-and-mortar shops on the street can hardly regain its former popularity as sporadic community infections still pop up across the city.
The new campaign aims to bring the business back on track by promoting the "community economy" among the white collars working or living around, according to the Huangpu District government.
The management authority of the street cooperates with the brands and malls to host activities, such as T-shirt painting, jewelry making, reading club and music parade to attract office workers to relax and feel the cultural ambiance after work, an official with the authority said.
Dozens of office workers practiced yoga and attended to a lecture about the health lifestyle at the Huawei global flagship store over the weekend during the first such event.
"We added Wechat with each other and plan to take lunch together or practice yoga in the future," said a participant surnamed Li who works on the nearby Henan Road M.
A host of brands and malls have agreed to take part in the campaign. They include the Swarovski, Levi's and Raffles City Shanghai, according to the authority.
"If the measure turns out to be effective, it will be promoted to other downtown landmark commercial streets such as the Huaihai Road M. to boost the business recovery amid the pandemic," the official said.
The pedestrian street between the iconic Bund and Xizang Road M. in Huangpu District received about 200 million visitors in 2021. Over 40 percent among them were under 30 years old, according to statistics.
The total sales of the pedestrian mall exceeded 10 billion yuan (US$1.48 billion) last year, making it one of the most lucrative commercial hubs in the city.