Ikea’s flagship store in Beijing is among the group’s most heavily trafficked in the world – with more than six million visitors in 2011. But how much time and effort does it take to translate those visits into sales?
It’s an important question given that the Swedish furniture giant has this week announced plans to boost the number of stores in China from 11 to 40 over the next seven years. Continue reading »
No retail sector in the world has benefitted as much from the new wealth in China as Hong Kong’s has. But in the second half of 2012 retail sales growth slumped to single digits, a far cry from the 20 per cent monthly growth rates in 2011.
However, despite this slowing growth, the Hong Kong Tourism Board revealed on Monday a 16 per cent increase in visitor arrivals to the city to 49m in 2012, with a staggering 35m coming from mainland China. Why the slump? Continue reading »
Chinese shoppers are known for their love of luxury goods, but as the domestic economy continues to slow many are discovering a taste for thrift. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir looks at the changing attitudes to luxury shopping and the growth of boutiques specialising in second-hand designer goods.
Hong Kong investors fond of buying into IPOs have been starved of late. The market for raising capital in the city has been dead for months, prompting some potential issuers to postpone, or even just scrap plans altogether.
Retail rents remain buoyant in emerging markets as an expanding middle class attracts tenants despite the global economic slowdown.
Commercial property services company, Cushman and Wakefield, surveys its international offices annually to study retail rental performance. In the year to June 2012, rents increased 4.5 per cent globally, rising in 147 of 326 locations. Continue reading »
The once-a-year Singles Day in China is becoming a big event for both online shoppers and retailers, with some of the bigger sites such as those run by Alibaba offering 50 per cent off and seeing growth in sales explode.
The alternative to Valentine’s Day, which was started among Chinese college students and held on November 11 (as a numerical pun of four single digits) has now become mainstream – and very big. It is also causing something of a challenge for couriers and delivery companies in the mad rush. Continue reading »
Remember those ghost malls in China? Sad, massive buildings like the New South China Mall in the southern factory town of Dongguan – the world’s largest by leasable area when it opened in 2005 – that just sit there empty for lack of tenants and customers?
According to new research on shopping centres by Knight Frank, the property consultancy, the ghost mall syndrome is spreading: overall vacancy rates in major cities have gone up this year. Continue reading »
Walmart Stores, the retailer that arguably took Chinese goods into most American homes, might prove to be among the early indicators that sales to China’s vast middle class are starting to slow.
That is one way to understand the company’s announcement in Beijing on Thursday that it would slow the rate of its new store expansion to 100 stores over three years – down from the 50 to 60 stores a year the American retailer was opening rapidly in China. Continue reading »
Big city Chinese tend to look down on people from anywhere other than Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. But last year nearly 9m Chinese from cities other than those three visited Hong Kong and spent the night, according to the latest Mainland Chinese Visitor Study from Nielsen – up 43 per cent last year over the previous year.
Like their big city brethren, they come to shop – but they don’t necessarily like to buy the same things. Continue reading »
There is a chill in the air as Sotheby’s opens its Hong Kong autumn sales on Friday, and it’s not because the worst of the summer heat is over.
This week is China’s “Golden Week”, traditionally the public holiday when the world’s most populous country goes on holiday and spends a lot of money abroad. But retailers in Hong Kong – the most popular destination for mainland tourists – have noticed a sharp fall off in sales growth this year. Continue reading »
Are Chinese consumers in the biggest cities getting bored with window shopping? Of all the many surprising transformations of mainland society in recent years, that would really be a big one.
According to McKinsey’s 2012 China consumer report, 40 per cent of those surveyed said “retail-tainment” was one of their favourite leisure activities. However, McKinsey says this should wear off – and anecdotal evidence suggests it might already be happening. Continue reading »
Moutai, China’s most famous form of firewater, has been banned from some official banquets recently – but it clearly still has friends in high places.
Kweichow Moutai, the preferred tipple at government festivities, has passed the first hurdle to be declared China’s only “national liquor”. Not surprisingly, this has annoyed other distillers of firewater, who claim the decision is anti-competitive. Continue reading »
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