Shopping Malls in China Feel the Heat of Online Shopping

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china shopping mall

With the advent of online shopping, many shopping malls and retail stores are feeling the heat. So much so, that many stores have closed in the past year, as they can no longer compete against online shopping. Stores that recently closed are Dalian Wanda, Parkson and Marks & Spencer, who together, shut down a total of 25 stores in the Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and other major cities around China.

Now, with the results of how well Alibaba did during Singles Day, more shopping malls are feeling the heat.

Read more about the amazing turn out for Singles Day for Alibaba here

A Typical Shopping Day in a Shopping Mall

For those who wander into a shopping mall or retail store on any day, they are going to see a few people that are roaming the floors, looking at what the company has to offer. However, they will notice that many sales clerks and customer service agents are standing together talking, playing on their smartphones or simply waiting to help any customer that needs it. That is because there has been such a decline in the number of people who actually go to stores anymore.

The National Bureau of Statistics found that in the first 9 months for 2015, the sales for retail stores saw an increase of 10.5 percent from the previous year to around 3.4 trillion US dollars. However, the online shopping results were great with a 36.2 percent increase. The percentage increase difference between the two forms of shopping shows a huge issue. Retail stores, including shopping malls, are not going to be able to keep up with online shopping.

Why the Change to Online Shopping

Many people who are not avoid online shoppers may wonder why there has been such as increase in online shopping, when you can get the chance to see products in person or try on clothing via shopping malls and retail stores. However, a New Retail Survey in April found that there were several reasons for this shift to online shopping. These reasons included:

  • Home delivery is better than having to go and get it themselves
  • Smartphones have made it easier to shop wherever you are
  • There is more selection via online shopping

For these reasons, many retail stores are combining with online stores in order to stay afloat in a changing market.

However, shopping malls and retail stores are not giving up just yet. Many of these locations are offering playgrounds, food and other entertainment options for Chinese consumers. These are aspects that online shopping cannot offer.

 

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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