New World in big ‘millennial’ push
HK property, retail giant to unfurl its K11 concept across Chinese mainland over next 5 years
Hong Kong property, hotel and retail conglomerate New World Development is poised to thrust its popular K11 shopping mall brand — the brainchild of the group’s Executive Vice-Chairman Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, founder of K11 and K11 Art Foundation — across the Chinese mainland over the next five years as it continues to ride on the label’s growing image.
According to Cheng — a grandson of the late Ne w World Group patriarch Cheng Yu-tung — more than 16 K11 malls will roll out in at least half a dozen top and secondtier mainland cities from 2017.
“This is because we’ve been very successful here in Shanghai, where we have created a cultural hub,” Cheng told China Daily earlier this week after a launching ceremony for Vivienne Westwood’s “Get A Life” Exhibition at K11 Shanghai.
At present, there are two K11 shopping malls in China — one in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, which opened in 2009 and claimed to be the world’s “first art mall”, and the other in Shanghai, which went into service in mid-2013.
New World says it has created an “art x commerce” business model, calling it a “museum retail” concept. By introducing a host of art works and organizing art exhibitions at these malls, it has managed to enhance its connection with young customers, and the model has been a success story, particularly in Shanghai.
In the past three years, K11 Shanghai has seen its revenue grow in double-digit percentage terms annually, drawing an average of 1.5 million visitors monthly this year, Cheng said.
He pointed out that K11 is focused on attracting millennials — those from early 1980s to late 1990s generation who are not only interested in purchasing goods, but also fond of the cultural and history behind the products. They want unique, tailor-made, personalized shopping experience and, by introducing the “museum retail” concept, customers are better engaged with K11, said Cheng.
Hopefully, the (K11) brand itself will become both a cultural and an art identity.”
K11 has built up a very strong contemporary Chinese cultural eco system, and it’s very confident of spreading such a system to other mainland cities, he said.
New World will launch K11 shopping malls in Shenyang, Wuhan and Guangzhou this year, while K11’s social, innovative and sustainable business model will help the company start K11 offices, as well as K11 art stores it already has.
“Hopefully, the brand itself will become both a cultural and an art identity,” Cheng said.
K11 shopping malls are also due to go up in Beijing, Tianjin and Ningbo in the next five years, Cheng said, explaining that the focus will be on firstand second-tier mainland cities for the time being.
“We’ve said we will have 16 (K11 projects) in the next five years, but there could be more, as you can see that New World Development has tendered for more land on the mainland.”
Giuseppe Aragoni, group commercial director of Vivienne Westwood, said K11 is a perfect place for it to hold the exhibition, as the brand shares the same interest in the environment as Vivienne Westwood.
“It’s very wise for us to cooperate with K11 in order to communicate with people who know this better than we do. We had wanted to be here in the beginning as we think this is a great location to be in,” Aragoni said.
The K11 Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui opened in 2009, claiming to be the world’s “first art mall”. Its founder said more than 16 K11 malls will roll out in at least half a dozen top and second-tier Chinese mainland cities from 2017.
Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, founder of K11 and K11 Art Foundation