Beijing, Shanghai Lead The Way, Though Second-Tier Cities Are Moving Up Fast
As luxury brands further extend their reach into the mainland China market, Jing Daily turns its attention to the exclusive malls and shopping centers that are home to many of the top lux labels. Here is the Jing list of Must-Know Luxury Shopping Centers—hotspots for brands with an established presence in China as well as those choosing to expand into China for the first time.
Oriental Plaza, located on Wangfujing Street, houses apartments, offices, and a hotel as well as the luxury shopping mall. At 120,000 square meters, the Oriental Plaza is one of Asia’s largest shopping centers, with retail shops ranging from top luxury brands to more local and casual labels. At the top end: Trussardi, Moschino, Hugo Boss, Burberry, and watchmaker Piaget, among others.
A venture between Taiwan’s Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store and Beijing’s Hualian Group, Shin Kong Place is one of the top shopping malls in Beijing’s Central Business District. Housing brands like Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Hermes, and luxury phone maker Vertu, Shin Kong Place is a successful luxury extension for Shin Kong Mitsukoshi.
Also located in Beijing’s Central Business District, the China World Mall is older and more established than Shin Kong Place or Seasons Place, yet has set the standard for luxury. Though some may consider it outdated, China World Mall still hosts stores for marques like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Chanel, and Dior.
Unveiled in 2007, Seasons Place has quickly set a new bar in high-end luxury. At 89,000 square meters, Seasons Place has over 300 international brands, including Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, and Chloé. It is also the chief mainland China location for luxury department store Lane Crawford.
Offering a complete experience across the full spectrum with dining and gallery spaces, Sanlitun Village is split into two sections: Village South and Village North. Village North houses the more luxurious high-end stores, such as Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Miu Miu, as well as flagship stores for Balmain and Versace. More geared towards foreign shoppers, Sanlitun Village North includes the first foreign-language bookstore. Sanlitun Village as a whole has yet to heat up, as stores for Comme de Garçons and Armani are still under wraps.
Park Life Yintai Centre not only houses the first Park Hyatt Hotel in Bejing, but was built as the tallest skyscraper on Chang’an Avenue. The luxury shopping center also hosts a VIP club on the fourth floor, as well as big-name luxury brands Armani, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier and Hermes.
Opened in 2008, Intime Lotte shares Wangfujing Street with the Oriental Plaza. Co-founded by the South Korean Lotte Shopping company and China Intime, the shopping center has international brands such as Gucci, Cartier, Missoni and Bvlgari, but also hopes to be a channel for Korean and Japanese luxury brands looking to break into the Beijing market. Intime Lotte is unique among this list in launching an e-commerce venture.
Plaza 66 is part of the “Golden Triangle” of luxury shopping malls on Nanjing West Road. Aside from being one of the tallest skyscrapers in Shanghai, Plaza 66 also plays host to various shows and events, including last spring’s “Park-Shanghai” Chanel exhibit. Plaza 66 is full of luxury brands, from Louis Vuitton and Dior to Prada and Cartier, and houses the popular nightclub M2. Plaza 66 is also home to Joyce Boutique, which offers a selection of less well-known high-end luxury brands like Dries Van Noten, Maison Martin Margiela, and Rick Owens.
The second point in the “Golden Triangle,” CITIC Square stages international exhibitions and auto shows in its 1000-square-meter exhibition center. In addition to retail stores for lux brands like Armani, Bally, and Marc Jacobs, CITIC Square is the office headquarters address for many international companies and diplomatic organizations.
The last shopping center within the “Golden Triangle,” Westgate Mall opened with Japanese department store Isetan attached to the project. Now, Isetan takes up 16,000 square meters throughout seven floors of Westgate Mall, which also has shops like Burberry, Lacoste, Ermenegildo Zegna and Givenchy.
Also on Nanjing West Road, Shanghai Centre offers luxury apartments, office space, the Shanghai Centre Theater, an exhibition atrium, the five star Portman Ritz-Carlton hotel, and a three-level retail plaza. There, the luxury retailers include Salvatore Ferragamo, Miu Miu, and Tom Ford.
Located in Pudong, the financial district of Shanghai, Shanghai IFC houses the Pudong Ritz-Carlton, as well as office space, luxury residences, and a six-story mall—at 110,000 square meters, one of the largest indoor shopping centers in Shanghai. The modern structure, designed by architect Cesar Pelli, boasts brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Located in Shanghai’s Times Square, Maison Mode is a luxury mall with locations across China, including Chengdu and Shenyang. The Shanghai location houses retail stores for Bally, Dunhill, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Shanghai’s leading luxury mall, Three On The Bund markets itself as a celebration of art, culture, food, fashion and music. Armani was the first major fashion house to move into Three on the Bund; These days, Three On The Bund houses many other brands, including Bottega Veneta, Marne, Yves Saint Laurent, and Yohji Yamamoto. Three On The Bund also contains the Shanghai Gallery of Art, as well as fine restaurants like the Shanghai outpost of Jean Georges.
Originally built in 1923 as the headquarters of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, Bund 18 building underwent a lengthy restoration project that earned UNESCO’s Heritage Award of Distinction. Bund 18 now offers luxury shopping, dining, and culture targeted to the “tastemakers” of Shanghai. In addition to boutiques for Cartier, Vertu, and Patek Philippe, Bund 18 has the largest Ermenegildo Zegna flagship in Asia, with custom tailoring services as well as the full spectrum of collections.
New World Printemps (Harbin)
Located in Harbin, this luxury center houses retail stores for luxury brands such as Burberry, Dunhill, Hugo Boss, and Tod’s.
Renhe Spring Store (Chengdu)
Opened in 1998, Renhe Spring was Chengdu’s first luxury shopping center, a sign of the city’s newly elevated economic status. In addition to boutiques such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Prada, and Valentino, Renhe’s Spring Store also offers online shopping.
Century Ginwa Shopping Mall (Xi’an)
The premier fashion center in Xi’an, the Century Ginwa Shopping Mall holds over sixty international brands, including Bally, Burberry, Dior, and Givenchy.
Gingko Shopping Center (Kunming)
The high-end Gingko Shopping Center in Kunming is home to brands like Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, Versace, Mont Blanc, as well as being the first mainland retail outlet location for Hermes in 2005.