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Korean Store Sales Up 300% Due to the “Peng Liyuan Effect”

Posted: 09/25/2014 1:59 pm

peng liyuan effect korean shopping mall retail suggestion copyIn times of crisis and despair, we look to our national leaders for clarity and inspiration. During less troubled times, leaders may provide guidance in other areas—like suggesting what kind of facial mask to purchase.

Store sales at a mall in South Korea displaying the picture of Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan have risen by 300 percent, according to a report by Caijing. Called the “Peng Liyuan Effect”, several products have been recommended to consumers on the basis that China’s First Lady had purchased them during her visit to a South Korean mall.

It’s not quite an official endorsement, but it has still proven effective, especially for Chinese tourists. This first sign (below) says in Chinese, “Warmly thank China’s mother Lady Peng Liyuan for visiting ‘Happy Heaven FITIN’”.

peng liyuan effect korean shopping mall retail suggestion copyAnd this one reads, “Mother of the country Peng Liyuan chooses MISSHA face cream”:

peng liyuan effect korean shopping mall retail suggestion copyThis sign says, “Lady Peng Liyuan chooses A’PIEU snail gel repair facial mask”:

peng liyuan effect korean shopping mall retail suggestion copy

Politicians have a long history of kick-starting trends in China. US Vice President Joe Biden’s attempt to connect with common Chinese through “noodle diplomacy” has resulted in a huge increase of customers at the restaurant he visited, for instance. The restaurant has even created a special “Biden set” available for savvy diners.

But this isn’t just a case of monkey-see, monkey-do.

The Chinese desire to emulate national leaders doesn’t just come from a lack of imagination, but one of self-preservation. The walled compound of Zhongnanhai that houses China’s leaders serves food that is equally as safe and healthy to eat as it is forbidden for common Chinese to consume. The food served here is said to be organic, and specially flown in exclusively for China’s decision makers. While ordinary Chinese can’t get the same food, they can buy things like Peng Liyuan-endorsed products.

With sales up 300 percent, we expect other stores to begin using China’s First Lady in their sales materials, too.

peng liyuan effect korean shopping mall retail suggestion copyPhotos: Caijing


Unreleased Hong Kong and US Versions of iPhone 6 Already on Sale in Beijing for US$4,500

Posted: 09/6/2014 1:58 pm

iPhone 6Can’t wait until Apple’s official announcement on September 9 to buy the new iPhone 6? There may be a way to get it now, but it will cost you.

Impatient consumers are apparently able to purchase the unreleased Apple product at select electronic stores in the Zhongguancun area of Beijing, reports Caixin.

Enterprising stores are reportedly selling “US versions” and “Hong Kong versions” of the newest iteration of the popular smart phone for a price of RMB 28,000 (around US $4,500).


A popular electronic retail center in Zhongguancun, Beijing.

However, it’s tough to get a look at one of these devices, if the stores even have them. The shops are asking for money up front, and then say they will “set up an appointment” for you.

Industry experts are warning consumers to be wary of fraud, of course. The iPhone 6, once released, will cost a fraction of what these shops are charging.

Photo: zol, kemaiyixian


FamilyMart Is Coming To Dongguan

Posted: 06/10/2014 12:50 pm

Dongguan will be the location of several new FamilyMart stores set to open later this year as Japanese brands continue to entrench themselves in the Chinese retail industry.

The move is part of an initiative to open 200 new stores, which will also see new openings in Beijing and WuxiShanghai Daily reports.

FamilyMart  previously opened eight Shenzhen FamilyMart stores back in May, and already has branches operating in Guangzhou.

Despite a competitive Chinese retail sector, FamilyMart has been less affected by the online shopping boom than supermarket chain operators due to different consumer behavior and shopping patterns, said Wei Yinheng, chairman of Ting Hsin International Group.

READ: Top Ten Things to Buy Now That FamilyMart Has Opened in Shenzhen

Meanwhile, other Japanese retailers continue to boldly expand in China despite closures by major Japanese department stores like Isetan Shenyang and amid ongoing China-Japan disputes.

Uniqlo opened its largest retail store in Shanghai last September, and plans to open hundreds more in China to complement the 290 stores it has now. Uniqlo doubled its brand share from 2012 to 2013.

Already very popular with Chinese consumers, Sony confirmed that it will be selling the Playstation 4 in China.

Chinese tourists also traveled to Japan in droves last year, setting a record of 928,500 visitors in October 2013.  Gotemba Premium Outlets reported a 130% rise in Chinese shoppers from the year before, while Mitsui Fudosan outlet malls experienced a 70% increase in Chinese shoppers from April to October.

Perhaps in trying to establish a unique retail experience that can’t be satisfied online, FamilyMart outlined a new strategy for all of its Chinese branches. The Japanese chain is planning on increasing the floor space of all of its retail outlets in order to accommodate in-store eating and drinking as a way to attract more customers.

That does make sense: if you’re not able to travel all the way to Japan for a unique retail shopping experience, why not have that experience imported over to China, one square meter at a time?

Photo: dianping


British retailer Topman to launch in China with its first store in Shenzhen

Posted: 08/29/2012 3:41 pm

Riding high on the clothing trail, the team behind Topshop’s successful debut in China is preparing to unleash Topman to eager shoppers in Shenzhen.

We’re told the new store is due to launch on September 28, if not at the start of Golden Week on October 1 to take advantage of holiday sales.

The new Topman, opening next door to Topshop in King Glory Plaza, fills an important hole in the market.  In order to get the go-ahead to launch, it had to overcome trademark issues earlier in the year.

Topshop launched to much fanfare in May, but some fans had to leave with empty bags as the store only stocked female fashions.

Britain’s Arcadia Group, which runs the two franchises, is focused on the mainland market.  It is testing the popularity of the brand with pop-up concept stores it goes against the trend of rival retailers, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, launching their presence in China with flagship stores in Hong Kong.

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