Art: Turn­ing cul­ture into profit en­gine

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

In con­trast, Fang Suo Com­mune will open its third branch in Chongqing in March and is go­ing to en­ter Qing­dao later this year and Shang­hai in 2017.

“To achieve busi­ness suc­cess, a cross-in­dus­try book­store needs a big enough scale. But most im­por­tantly, we need a pro­fes­sional team to op­er­ate it. The lead­ing mem­bers in Fang Suo’s team all have more than a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence in the book or re­tail in­dus­try,” Liao says.

Quan Jiyu, 29, and his girl­friend have al­ready be­come fans of Fang Suo Com­mune’s Chengdu branch.

“Fang Suo has a wide col­lec­tion of books. I can have fun com­ing across some sur­pris­ingly good books here,” Quan says.

“And many are im­ported books that are dif­fi­cult to find in other book­stores or on­line.”

Yang Ying, 28, Quan’s girl­friend, is at­tracted to the fine hand­i­crafts sold at Fang Suo. She bought a del­i­cate Ja­panese ce­ramic teapot for around 900 yuan.

She got to know the book­store from shop­ping cen­ter Taikoo Li’s rec­om­men­da­tions on WeChat, the coun­try’s most widely used mo­bile mes­sag­ing app.

Fang Suo Com­mune’s Chengdu branch is lo­cated in the up­scale Taikoo Li mall, while its Guangzhou branch is lo­cated in the Taikoo Hui mall, the city’s big­gest clus­ter of high­end brands such as Her­mes and Louis Vuit­ton.

“Read­ing and knowl­edge should be val­ued higher than the luxury brands,” says Mao Ji­hong, pres­i­dent of cloth­ing brand Ex­cep­tion de Mix­mind and founder of Fang Suo Com­mune.

“Tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture val­ues read­ing books, but this seems to have been forgotten by many peo­ple as they have been chas­ing wealth,” Mao says.

“How­ever, I still have a dream of open­ing a book­store which is a public space where knowl­edge, science, wis­dom and life­style are spread to the public.”

In the Chengdu branch, Mao is go­ing to con­duct more ex­cit­ing ex­per­i­ments, such as or­ga­niz­ing po­etry read­ing events and ex­tend­ing the busi­ness hours for a cer­tain area for bands to stage per­for­mances.

“Fang Suo Com­mune well com­ple­ments the up­scale shop­ping mall. Con­sumers, es­pe­cially young peo­ple, come to shop­ping malls for more than clothes and bags. They also seek some­where to learn and get in­spired,” says Yang, the fan of Fang Suo Com­mune’s Chengdu branch.

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