Re­tail gi­ants eye Dis­ney crowds

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By XU JUNQIAN in Shang­hai xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ahead of the open­ing of the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort on June 16, a num­ber of re­tail­ers and com­pa­nies have set up shop in the ar­eas near the at­trac­tion with hopes of draw­ing a por­tion of the 15 mil­lion vis­i­tors that are ex­pected to swarm the venue dur­ing the first year of its open­ing.

Dan­ish toy gi­ant Lego S/A and Bri­tish lux­ury out­let de­vel­oper Value Re­tail are among those who have de­cided to es­tab­lish their out­lets.

Cov­er­ing a to­tal area of 55,000 square me­ters and com­pris­ing more than 140 bou­tique stores and restau­rants, the new Value Re­tail out­let, called Shang­hai Vil­lage, is the group’s sec­ond in China and the largest world­wide. It is sit­u­ated in the heart of the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Tourism and Re­sorts Zone, which has a planned area of 24.7 square kilo­me­ters and in­cludes the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort.

Mark Is­rael, CEO of Value Re­tail China, be­lieves that the key to at­tract­ing cus­tomers to Shang­hai Vil­lage is to “cre­ate an un­par­al­leled ex­pe­ri­ence” for both chil­dren and their par­ents.

As part of ef­forts to achieve this, Shang­hai Vil­lage will be the only out­let within the group that of­fers two play­grounds. In ad­di­tion, there will also be spe­cial “fam­ily wash­rooms” where par­ents can tend to their chil­dren re­gard­less of gen­der dif­fer­ences.

While a num­ber of con­sul­tan­cies have ex­pressed con­cerns over China’s slug­gish lux­ury mar­ket, Is­rael noted that there are still tremen­dous growth op­por­tu­ni­ties and that the in­cred­i­ble amount of diver­sity among Chi­nese con­sumers will be the key growth en­gine.

His con­fi­dence in the China mar­ket is shared by Ja­cob Kragh, gen­eral manger of Lego China. Kragh also noted that while Lego is al­ready a house­hold brand in China and has a long-last­ing part­ner­ship with Dis­ney span­ning more than a decade, many chil­dren have yet to re­ally ex­pe­ri­ence it.

He ex­pects the newly opened flag­ship store within the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort, as well as the oth­ers that are in the pipe­line, to fur­ther ex­pand the brand’s foot­print in the coun­try and “ex­pose Lego to mil­lions of Chi­nese fam­i­lies while al­low­ing mil­lions of Chi­nese chil­dren to have their first Lego ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Opened on May 11, four days af­ter the Chi­nese main­land theme park held its soft open­ing, the 800-square-meter store marks Lego’s first flag­ship store in Asia and the largest world­wide.

The two-story store is lo­cated right next to Dis­ney’s own re­tail space at the en­trance of the re­sort and has an in­ven­tory of more than 600 prod­ucts, twice as many as the av­er­age num­ber of items in the com­pany's reg­u­lar stores. Up to 250 prod­ucts are ex­clu­sive to China.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Lego has opened its world-largest flag­ship store in the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort.

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