Retail giants eye Disney crowds
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.
Lego has opened its world-largest flagship store in the Shanghai Disney Resort.