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- September 1, 2012: Vol. 4, Number 8

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Boom or Bust? Is China

by Alex Eidlin

Chinese developers recognized good potential in the retail sector early on. They built shopping malls across China trying to capitalize on the growing consumer segment of the Chinese population. Many of these malls were so big that one wonders if the developers conducted any feasibility and demand studies before they built them. Most likely, as with many projects in China by local developers, they were built on a belief that “if you build it, they will come.” In many instances, though, retailers and shoppers did not come, and many shopping malls remained empty or suffered poor occupancy rates.

Inspired by rapid growth of the middle class with its spending habits, local and later foreign developers continued building shopping centers. Of course, there was a big difference between experienced retail developers and the ones that just wanted to cash in on the growing income and spending spree of a new consumer generation. Just by visiting many of these malls it wa

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