VivoCity, Singapore’s retail, lifestyle and entertainment centre brand, has opened its first offshore mall – in China.
A 62,500 sqm VivoCity shopping mall has opened in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, the first mall of its kind in the second tier city.
“Xi’an has several department stores, but high-end shopping malls have been set up here only in recent years,” said Loh Shyh, head of Mapletree China, the local subsidiary of the company that owns VivoCity.
“What makes VivoCity successful is its concept – good design, retail mix and services – which appeals to the young and trendy, and to families,” he added.
The US$110 million VivoCity in China features the same waves and bubbles interior design and sprawling outdoor landscape of VivoCity Singapore. Tenants include international fashion labels such Calvin Klein, Mango, H & M and Quiksilver, as well as a five-star cinema operated by Golden Village.
Sales staff are trained to providing shoppers with quality service, another rarity in China.
“We offer training for our tenants’ new staff, and amenities like a babycare room and a first-aid room,” said Joanna Lee, head of VivoCity Xi’an’s management.
Mapletree Investments decided to set up the mall in China due to the booming middle-class Chinese who are starting to utilise their spending power. Mapletree joins other foreign companies that have started building new malls in China including the Hong Kong’s Hang Lung which spent HK$50 billion for a new mall and the CapitaLand which has 55 shopping malls in China.
Mapletree aims to build more VivoCity malls in bigger cities where there are more opportunities. The company is building a second, measuring 100,000sqm in Foshan City, a province of Guangdong.
“We are looking at first- and second-tier markets, where there is demand and good returns,” said Shyh.