Retail in Asia


JC Plaza debuts on Shanghai West Nanjing Road

This Monday marked the launch of JC Plaza, a hotel-turned luxury shopping mall located on Shanghai’s bustling West Nanjing Road.

The prestigious venue was formerly known as the JC Mandarin Hotel, one of Shanghai’s first five-star hotels.

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The JC Mandarin building was purchased by the real estate company Baohua Group in 2012. The building’s construction began in 2017 and was completed five years after approval from Jingan District Bureau. It was subsequently transformed into a shopping mall and office building complex, the cost of which was twice the amount as constructing a new mall due to its complexity.

JC Plaza was Baohua Group’s first shopping mall project, and it spans 215,000 square feet over five floors.

For more than 20 years, Plaza 66, the flagship mall of Hang Lung Properties, has held court as the most important luxury retail mall in Shanghai.

With its new luxury labels, JC Plaza aims to differentiate itself from its competitors. Amiri, a new brand that was unveiled in early July, is a prominent feature on the new JC Plaza, which features Maison Margiela, Marni, and Jil Sander.

“We wanted to differentiate, with the same high-end shopping experience, so the first thing we thought is maybe we could build a brand mix around Italian brands,” said Jian Yang, Baohua Group’s board member responsible for retail operations.

Source: GreenbergFarrow

“We first looked into brands like Prada, Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, but we also had to consider the young shoppers’ needs, especially Gen Z. So we started looking into younger luxury brands, those with enough customer awareness and decided to introduce a refreshing luxury take to West Nanjing Road,” continued Mr Yang.

Yang believes Plaza 66 will become a home for Italian luxury brands if it is built around LVMH, French luxury houses, and other luxury brand powerhouses.

“Facing Plaza 66, diagonally across from Citic Square, and not far from Kerry Center and Réel Department Store on the west side, our project takes up a prominent spot in the region. But in terms of real estate, it’s really small. So after careful consideration, we decided to create a small but beautiful, small but refined, shopping mall project,” he added.

A lineup of local Chinese designer brands, including Shushu/Tong, Short Sentence, Le Fame, and Erdos, are featured on the second floor, further emphasizing its “exquisite Shanghai lifestyle” positioning.

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Among the new names on the third floor are furniture brands Yomei and Savoir, eyewear select shop Whitecrow, and homeware concept store Justluxe. Moose, a Michelin-starred hotel, serves Huaiyang cuisine on the fourth floor.

Founded two weeks ago, Maison Le Fame, a customization line from local fashion brand Le Fame, has generated RMB 700,000 or USD 102,500 in sales.