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TX Huaihai: Shanghai’s Generation Z shopping center

Céline Delacharlerie
2 minutes

Shanghai sees the opening of a shopping centre for young people in the middle of a pandemic. This centre, unlike any other, contains a variety of shops and activities little seen in malls.

TX Huaihai Mall opened in the midst of the Covid pandemic. Despite this unfortunate timing, the mall sees 5 million visitors in 2020. According to a study by Statista, 92% of Chinese consumers have switched to some form of online consumption following confinement. This place is not in competition with online retail, or e-commerce, but serves as a physical location that amplifies it. That’s why TX Huaihai differentiates itself by offering consumer experiences in addition to their retail stores. To offer context, the Chinese see the mall visit as a very common social activity, as in many Asian countries (Singapore…).

All stores are suitable for Millenials and Generation Z. Brands, for example, are all brands known to young people such as Nike and Adidas. Half of the shops are pop-up stores which means that there is always change in this mall, always new stores and these changes attract young customers.

This mall also has an innovative business model. The vast majority of stores in shopping malls have to pay monthly rent. The Shanghai shopping centre operates differently: it requires a percentage of the store’s sales in exchange for the space offered for the installation of the shops. TX Huaihai also has tools that collect data, using cameras and visual recognition to detect consumer demographic information and analyze in-store traffic patterns.

The location of the mall was also the subject of a strategic decision. Shanghai is a city full of potential customers with a young population and interested in this kind of innovation in retail. The mall is located in one of the most competitive shopping districts in the world, with the luxury iAPM shopping center on one side and the easy pedestrian Xintiandi area on the other.

Why visited the mall?

Discover the latest designs from fashion designers

The largest fashion show in Asia, Ontimeshow, has opened showrooms in the TX Huaihai shopping center. More than 80 fashion brands set up their showroom in the mall to show off their latest pieces. Many independent creators are stuck in a desperate situation, where production cycles are severely affected, stocks are accumulating and the global travel ban makes fashion shows impossible. These showrooms aim to help these creators get out of this situation.

Dancing in a state-of-the-art nightclub

The fifth floor of the Shanghai mall is a nightclub called Master. This club is an interactive space of light and art exhibition 24 hours a day. TeamLab took care of the visuals with 3000 flashing lights and 80 lasers that work in tandem to create an electronic orchestra led by a DJ. The room is also equipped with a giant rotating LED screen of 150 meters.

Visit temporary stores adapted to young people’s tastes

In terms of fashion, a wide variety of shops for young people have opened their doors. For example, a large boutique of the youth culture brand Innersect that sells clothing and accessories attracts a large number of customers. There are also “pop-up” stores such as the local streetwear shop DOE. In addition, leading brands like Nike also have their store in this mall.

Shop second hand vintage

The fourth floor is dedicated to vintage. A café and bar is located on this floor with a vintage atmosphere created thanks to the decoration and furnishings which is mainly wood. In addition, there are a few shops on this floor that sell second-hand luxury goods: what they call “recycled fashion.” This vintage trend is even found in Europe and is growing among young people.

Visit an art gallery

On the second floor of the TX Huaihai, visitors are guided to the “Cc Art Museum.” The museum is a large art gallery with various exhibitions. For example, the exhibition “Wild Cinema” featured 17 works of art by popular artists such as Anish Kappor, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst and Zeng Fanshi. The works of art exhibited are modern art and they are controversial: one of the works was thrown in the trash by the cleaning service during another exhibition because it was confused with waste.

Skiing with ski simulators

The ski centre has a restaurant, a shop and ski simulators. The restaurant serves Italian food prepared by a chef who has two Michelin stars. This centre also has a shop that sells products that touch the world of skiing. In addition, there are three ski simulation trails for customers.

Céline Delacharlerie
Celine is the correspondent of the Echangeur in China. On the lookout for retail innovations, she identifies and analyzes the latest retail and consumer trends in Asia.
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