Retro Brands Make A Comeback At Shanghai Mall

Time-Honored Chinese Brand Shopping Mall Sells Everything From Cosmetics To Bicycles

Time-Honored Chinese Brand Shopping Mall exclusively stocks some of China's best-known homegrown brands

Time-Honored Chinese Brand Shopping Mall exclusively stocks some of China's best-known homegrown brands

While most well-heeled Chinese consumers continue to swear by European luxury brands, Japanese or Korean cosmetics and American-style villas, some are rediscovering the charm of the home-grown Chinese brands of yesteryear. Recently, Jing Daily looked at the resurgence of retro (复古, fugu) style among many of China’s urban hipsters, from Huili sneakers to Shanghai brand watches, and this week Shanghai Daily profiles “Time-Honored Chinese Brand Shopping Mall”, a four-story mall that opened this May and sells a range of brands from the city’s swinging Jazz Age heyday up through the 1970s and ’80s.

From the article:

Almost all the famous brands are more than 100 years old, according to Daisy Wang, a member of the mall’s planning department.

Many Chinese customers relied on time-tested brands, known as “laozihao” (time-honored brands with 100 years history), and swore by their quality.

Though many products were indeed of good quality, inefficient manufacturing and marketing made them lose market share as they were swamped by competition from products from overseas since China’s reform and opening up in the late 1970s.

Many of the surviving time-honored brands have regained popularity, especially with young people who are reminded of the value of Chinese culture.

As the article goes on to point out, despite interest in some of the old brands that are being revived at the mall among the hip or nostalgic, many of these brands are in danger of dying out not because of a lack of interest or a shortage of potential customers, but because of a loss of interest in studying traditional handicraft making among China’s younger generation.

Since most of the time-honored products involve demanding techniques and experience, few young people are willing to spend years as apprentices. Even if they become masters, there’s not much money to be made, and money seems the overriding goal today.

“All of our workers are over 40 years old now,” says Jin of Changzhou Comb Co. “We are going to face a big talent gap when they are retire within 20 years. I hope that more support from the government can help change the situation.”

Zhonghua Laozihao Shangcheng (Time-Honored Chinese Brand Shopping Mall)
Address: 1271 Pudong South Rd, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai, China
Telephone: 021-65909900


Market Analysis