A convenient history

Updated: 2014-09-12 11:20

(Shanghai Star)

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A convenient history

Xing Huo Day and Night Store is the first shop in Shanghai to open its doors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Photo provided to Shanghai Star

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"People were lining up to buy daily essentials before the expiration date," says Hu Jianhe, labor union chairman of Shanghai Xing Huo Day and Night Industrial Company.

In the 1960s and 1970s, all consumer products such as sugar, pastries, soap and cigarettes were provided according to a strict quota regime, and people could only buy goods with special tickets, which expired every 10 days.

"Usually, the tickets would become useless after the expiration date. But at Xing Huo, because it was open day and night, the expiration of these tickets was actually prolonged," says Hu.

By meeting customers' needs, Xing Huo became hugely successful. Sales revenue was merely 2,000 yuan per month when it opened. Today, the four stores bring in sales figures of between 5 million and 6 million yuan per month.

The Xizang Road store alone generated about 38 million yuan in revenue last year, and the four stores' total revenue totals 70 million yuan, says Hu.

"The development of Xing Huo cannot continue without its variety of products," says Zhang Lexin, general manager of the company.

In the 1970s, there were only several hundred goods available in the shop, and many of them had purchase restrictions.