BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — Eyeing for the wide consumer market and the increasing demand for quality life in China, more and more international and domestic brands have set up their first stores in the country or in a major Chinese city, injecting new impetus into the country’s retail sales.
Since its opening in the China World Mall in Beijing in June, the store Choo Noble, the first on the Chinese mainland, has received an increasing number of customers. A brand of the Hong Kong-based company China Nobleness, the store sells color pencils and crayons from Switzerland, as well as wine, coffee and beer from Europe.
“Many companies have come to place orders for pencils, wine and coffee from Switzerland,” said Amy Cao, manager of the brand.
Cao said the sound business environment and orderly organization in Beijing made the company determined to open its first store on the mainland here. “The favorable operation conditions have given us confidence, and we have planned to open more stores in the domestic market,” she said.
In July, China approved Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing to take the lead in building international consumption center cities.
In an implementation plan for this goal, issued by the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, Beijing said over 3,000 first, innovation and flagship stores of brands from both at home and abroad are expected to open by 2025 in the city.
Third-party statistics show that a total of 696 first stores, including flagship stores, had been set up in Beijing in the first three quarters, and the figure in Shanghai was 513 during the first half of this year.
Japanese fashion store Studious has included more than 80 Japanese brands of clothes and accessories in the 860-square-meter outlet that opened in April in Beijing, the first store in the city.
“Among the outlets in China, the one in Beijing is the largest in terms of the number of Japanese brands. The next step, we are going to open another one in Guangzhou,” said Zhang Tianhao, head of the Studious Beijing outlet.
In the shopping mall “The New” in downtown Xidan, where the Studious store is located, nearly half of the stores are first stores or flagship stores in Beijing, some even in China. The mall opening in April receives some 50,000 customers every day.
Yan Ligang, head of the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, said that the city will further strengthen the ability to gather talent in international retailing and consumption, as well as to innovate, enhance the business operation models to continuously introduce first stores of major brands to the city.
China’s retail sales of consumer goods went up 16.4 percent year on year to around 31.8 trillion yuan (about 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
In Shanghai, the new shopping mall Taikoo Li Qiantan that opened in late September in the Pudong New Area received more than 100,000 people daily during the National Day holiday from Oct. 1 to 7. Among the 200-plus stores that cover high-end retail, dining and beverage, as well as culture and arts in the mall, more than 50 are the first of their brands in Shanghai.
“Even window shopping in these novel stores is interesting,” said Zhang Qi, a local resident visiting the mall.
The Pudong New Area has unveiled a plan to attract world consumer brands, aiming to become home to over 100 headquarters and over 1,000 first stores of consumer brands.
Gu Jun, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, said the city will better make use of the major platform of China International Import Expo to optimize customs clearance and other procedures related to imported exhibits and commodities, and promote international brands to debut their products, shows and exhibitions more smoothly in Shanghai, so as to turn the city into a highland for new launches and first stores in the world.