Retail therapy

Updated: 2013-01-10 09:31

By Gan Tian (China Daily)

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He strongly believes that shopping malls should play more than a commercial role. The Taiwan businessman is planning a big project, Couture Interart Center, in Shanghai's central Huaihai Road.

"I would like this shopping mall to be more 'cultured', featuring training courses on different subjects, and a bookstore," Zhu says.

The growing popularity of e-commerce and other online platforms are the main reasons that shopping malls have to innovate to attract consumers back to physical shopping centers.

"In the past five years, the online business platforms have taken a huge portion of revenue from shopping malls, and big department stores," Shayne's Zhu says.

With the gradual change in lifestyles, shopping malls are turning into a place to meet people.

"People still need to communicate. It is a basic need. In shopping malls, you get to savor the 'atmosphere', a feature absent online," Zhu stresses.

The mother Wang Yuandong says under the family planning policy, most children do not have many playmates like before when children had brothers and sisters as companions. At the same time, living in high-rise apartments means children do not have much space to play in the house.

She says most parents her age bring their children to childcare centers on weekends, which provides play areas and toys for children.

For retiree Sun Jianguo, shopping malls are "too modern". He does not shop in such mega centers. "The most entertaining thing here is to take a walk with my wife," he says.

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