- March 1, 2014: Vol. 6, Number 3

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Experience at the fore: Spotlight on China’s retail market in 2014

by Paul Hart

China has more Internet shoppers than any other country, at 220 million, and is shortly set to overtake the United States as having the world’s largest online retail sales market by total value, yet the supply pipeline of new mega-sized malls in its cities shows no signs of abating. The question naturally arises: Does e-commerce represent a significant competitive threat to traditional bricks and mortar, or can the two continue to coexist in a symbiotic relationship?

Mega-malls remain the norm

On the supply side, the retail pipeline of new shopping centres in China continues. In 2013, a total of 68 new malls opened in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and the second-tier cities of Tianjin, Shenyang, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Dalian and Harbin — an increase from the 52 that opened in 2012.

We continue to have concerns about oversized malls. There is no strong evidence that floor space is being reined in and

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