As they emphasize flagships, Chinese
retailers are reducing their store counts
as sales gravitate online. To succeed and
remain relevant, retailers need to rethink
their portfolios to focus on two types of
stores: large flagships delivering unique,
compelling experiences and small, community stores providing better access to
products that consumers would otherwise purchase online.
The Chinese love to eat out. It’s hard
to walk more than 20 ft. without coming across either a global food chain or
an independent food operator. In addition to their sheer numbers, the size of
the establishments is often large, with
many comprising multiple floors. And
the demand is not expected to abate.
A McKinsey study on the Chinese consumer of 2020 forecasts dining out to
grow by 10.2% annually.
2 Digital, Digital and More Digital
China is truly a digital nation like no other. Here, digital signage is not just a line
item; it’s the cost of doing business. The technology is valued as an application
to both the exterior and interior. The exteriors of entire skyscrapers act as gigantic digital signs, with additional signage throughout the interior space. And it’s
integrated into retail stores. For example, Samsung’s store on the famous Shanghai pedestrian shopping street Nanjing Road features an entire façade of digital
screens integrated within the architectural personality of the store.
Digital is also valued to support the customer journey. Chinese consumers
embrace technology in everything they do. Digital is a critical element in the way
they shop and want to experience brands. The mobile wallet, for instance, has been
entrenched within the Chinese market for eight years. To meet consumer expectations, a major retail client emphasizes technology throughout the customer journey,
from exterior digital signs to intimate tablets for use while customers are waiting.
5 HOT RETAIL TRENDS
IN THE LAND OF THE DRAGON
!thought leader viewpoint by Jean-Pierre Lacroix
Bigger is better for Chinese retail. Architect MNA helped Ralph Lauren make this store appear
larger with a four-story façade.
Eating out is so expected that this Shanghai
tech-oriented store (Easmart) designed
by rkd retail/iQ includes an in-store café.