When the shopping mall at Madang Lu/Xujiahui Lu opened at the start of Expo last year I was quite excited, it’s just around the corner from me and the area until then had been a bit stagnant, I imagined a mall full of Starbucks/Costa Coffee cafe’s, cool clothes shops (with no clothes that fit me), maybe a couple of gadget shops, great bread etc..
Well, I was right on one count, they did have a good bread shop, but nothing else. On the day it opened it was already more than half full of shops, mostly selling clothes and toiletries, but also a Korean food shop and a couple of home furnishing shops, it definitely had potential. Everybody was hoping to cash in on expo, the mall was on the same corner as one of the main expo entrances (line 13) and I think everyone expected to make a fortune from the expo crowds.
Except they overlooked one thing, when people arrive in the morning to visit expo, they don’t want to go shopping and potentially have to carry round bags full of shopping every day, they want to get straight into the expo site and look around. Also, when they leave the expo site, they don’t want to go walking round a shopping mall looking at stuff, they just want to go home or go for dinner.
So from day 1 the mall was a ghost town.
Pretty soon the shops started closing down, one stall near the front door was occupied by two different shops in the first six months and both closed down within about 3 months, one by one the other shops pretty much all followed suit. Now the place is completely empty apart from the much reduced bread shop (two complete rows of storage units is now down to 1 or 2 smaller units with vastly reduced range), a Happy Lemon drink shop and a Japanese grocery stall which opened a couple of months ago.
I took some photos a couple of weeks ago
The latest we heard is that the whole place is now going to become a Suning Electrical Store, but they’ll allow the breadshop, the Happy Lemon and the Grocery Store to remain.
You’ve got to wonder though, when will Shanghai decide it has enough shopping malls?
edit: just walked past, the Japanese grocery and happy lemon have also closed down…..