Stallholders bid farewell to capital
Updated: 2016-02-04 07:45
By Hu Yongqi(China Daily)
A vendor (center) at the Jinkai Lide International Garment Market sells his goods at very low prices on Tuesday. [Photos by Feng Yongbin / China Daily]
Closure of popular zoo markets aims to reduce traffic, improve regional integration
A once popular market area near the Beijing Zoo closes on Thursday, bringing an end to the must-go destination.
Jinkai Lide International Garment Market, accommodating 2,600 businesses in a building of 38,000 square meters, followed six other markets relocated to ease traffic congestion in the notoriously crowded area near the zoo.
The shops stopped selling goods on Wednesday and customers swarmed to buy items in clearance sales. Signs such as "10 yuan for a pair of shoes" were everywhere.
During the last week, store owners made every possible effort to reduce losses by selling goods at very low prices. Some shoppers even carried suitcases on their shopping spree.
Shop owners were compensated depending on the size of their shop. Xicheng district has been working with Tianjin and Hebei province to find shop owners a better place that offers favorable policies on rent, taxes and education for children.
"I will see if it's possible to earn a profit in Tianjin because a new market needs at least three years to mature," said an owner who asked to be named as Xiao Li.
The markets near the zoo also symbolize a time before online shopping gained overwhelming popularity across the country, said Jiang Yue, a 31-year-old human resources employee in Beijing, who graduated from Peking University six years ago.
Jinkai Lide once attracted thousands of college students from around the capital, wanting to dig out reasonably priced but fashionable clothes and shoes.
"Back in college, my roommates and I found lots of cheap stuff that we could afford. Smart shoppers could find pretty items at a low cost," said Jiang, who didn't hesitate to go to the market for the appropriate shirts, coats and suits before taking job interviews. She pretended to be a wholesaler by carrying a black plastic bag, resembling real wholesalers, to get a better price.
"The bag would mislead store owners into giving the minimum price for wholesalers. If you want only one or two pieces, the price would double or triple," said Jiang.
For residents and small businesses, the markets offered good deals too.
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