Shanghai to Become Consumption Hub

Shanghai has pledged further support toward becoming a consumption hub, while more multinationals are hoping to elevate the city’s position with innovative offerings.

Vice Mayor Zong Ming told the Hongqiao International Economic Forum that Shanghai is on the right track to become a consumption hub, as the city pledged further support for various kinds of business.

It will also build up new commercial hubs and districts with strong business vitality to upgrade consumption offerings.

Experts and industry executives praised Shanghai’s continuous efforts in building up a consumption hub. They suggested further initiatives in the field and made proposal for new initiatives.

“CIIE is a major platform for Shanghai to establish an international-level consumption hub, and the city shall continue to explore new consumption opportunities and business formats,” said Yang Jirui, director of the China Consumer Economics Society, a non-profit organization focusing on the study of consumption economics.

In an interview with Shanghai Daily he said the city shall further leverage the expo to enhance cultural exchanges with overseas brands and bring more niche brands to set up their first physical stores in the city.

“It’s also essential to further attract research, development capabilities and high quality craftsmanship from overseas to enhance innovation in the industry supply chain,” he said.

He also suggested Shanghai set up a number of modern shopping districts and special neighborhoods, with shop labels and logos in foreign languages to enhance capabilities and attractiveness.

Wang Wei, research fellow and director-general of the Institute for Market Economy at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that a congregation of premium brands offers consumers a wide variety of choice.

“An increasing supply of high quality consumer goods would in return push competition and product upgrades in the domestic market,” she noted.

Retailers are rushing to the CIIE platform to express their upbeat sentiments over the huge market potential.

Danone has brought more than 30 new offerings through CIIE in the past three years and all of these exhibits have turned into popular products on the retail channel.

This year, it is offering more than two dozen nutritional products covering the demand for infants and senior.

Bruno Chevot, President of China and Oceania region of Danone, expects China to become the company’s biggest market in five years.

Last year, it opened the Danone Open Science Research Center for Life-transforming Nutrition in Shanghai to strengthen local offerings.

Chevot said at the Hongqiao International Economic Forum there’s obvious signs that both consumers from first-tier cities and low-tier regions are experiencing consumption upgrades. Danone hopes to continue leveraging China’s unique digital ecosystem to create the opportunity to add value beyond physical products.

A smart plastic recycling machine at the Danone booth is also its latest response to the call of cutting carbon emissions and promoting green consumption.

Sephora, the world’s largest beauty retailer, owned by LVMH, is showcasing for the first time the Cha Ling brand at the CIIE, hoping to share its sustainable skincare philosophy.

Its latest campaign allows consumers to do their part for tea forest reservation in Yunnan by committing a portion of the proceeds to the tea forests when they purchase from retail channels.

Through the platform of CIIE, Sephora and Cha Ling serve as important representatives of LVMH, and they seek to jointly bringing more sustainable beauty offerings.

Shanghai’s latest action plan aims to accelerate the development of the international consumption hub, a significant part of the city’s efforts to transform the economic growth pattern and answer people’s aspirations for a better life.

In the first half of this year, a total of 513 brands and retailers made their debut in Shanghai and the number of debut stores and flagship stores continued to rank first among domestic cities. (Source: