Metropolis' efforts in building global consumption hub bear fruit as more brands settle in
Consumers gather at a commercial zone in Shanghai in March. There were 1,073 newly opened first stores in Shanghai last year, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce said. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Shanghai ranked first among Chinese mainland cities in terms of number of newly opened first stores by domestic and international brands last year and in the first four months of this year, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce said on Sunday.
Altogether 1,073 newly opened first stores of various categories were added in Shanghai in 2022, showcasing the municipality's innovation power and vitality in building itself into an international consumption center, said the commission.
Another 375 first stores were opened from January to April this year, keeping the city at the forefront in terms of scale and quality. Four were globally or Asia's first, and 52 were the first nationally. Nearly one in six were deemed as high-level first stores, the commission said.
As this year's launch season of global new products in Shanghai kicked off on Sunday, which will be monthlong, more than 150 additional first and flagship stores will be opened in the city.
Among them, California-based medical cosmetic producer Obagi will operate its world's first experience store, Estee Lauder's handmade perfume brand Le Labo will have its first shop located in Shanghai's downtown Xintiandi commercial area and Lego group will unveil its first digital retail store.
During the launch season organized by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and the Jing'an district government, diversified activities themed "first launch" will be held with a focus on innovative consumption formats and creative consumption activity scenarios.
Uniqlo is a participant in the 2023 launch season of global new products in Shanghai.
"More than 50 new products will be available at the shop over the upcoming two months," He Yuyun, chief store manager of Japan's clothing brand Uniqlo's global flagship store on Shanghai's Nanjing Road (West), told Shanghai Television Station.
"We hope that events such as the launch season will further stimulate and promote consumer purchasing desire," she said.
To provide convenience for more consumers to explore the first stores, Data Quest China — a service provider of commercial real estate big data applications — and Tencent Map jointly debuted the country's "first store map" on Sunday. It summarizes more than 700 representative first stores of various brands over the past four years, presenting such shops digitally.
The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce data showed that following a continuous increase over the past few years, there was a slight improvement regarding the activity index of the debut economy in the city in 2022 compared with the previous year, especially in terms of the effect of the debut activities and the balanced proportion of first stores.
Districts in Shanghai have also focused on their respective industrial advantages and regional characteristics to formulate a string of support policies around new product launches and new store settlements.
"Xuhui district is on its way to building a pilot demonstration zone in the international consumption center, and a batch of commercial brands famous at home and abroad have gathered in the Xujiahui business area, Hengshan Road-Fuxing Road historical blocks and Xuhui waterfront area along the Huangpu River to operate their first or flagship stores," said Tang Xiaolin, deputy director of the Xuhui District Commission of Commerce.
"By 2025, more preferential policies and funds will be rendered to attract more businesses to relocate to Xuhui," she said.
Between 2018 and 2022, Shanghai introduced a total of 4,881 first stores of various domestic and foreign brands. Among them, 77 were the world's or Asia's first and 925 were nationally first, ranking Shanghai No 1 in both quantity and quality in terms of first stores in the country.