The 206,000sqm Chengdu IFS mall which opened last year is trading 21 per cent ahead of budget.
The mall’s success helped drive Hong Kong-based parent The Wharf Holdings’ Chinese revenues by 57 per cent to HK$1.984 billion in 2014. Operating profit in the market rose 30 per cent to HK$991 million.
Located on the prime intersection of Hongxing Rd, Dacisi Rd and Beishamao St, Chengdu’s busiest pedestrian shopping area, the IFS (International Finance Square) mall is modelled on The Wharf’s Harbour City mall in Hong Kong.
The total development area of 760,000 sqm features a mega shopping mall designed by Benoy, two premium-grade A office towers designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, a luxurious residential tower and a premium hotel. The mall and the office towers were completed in 2014 and the full development will be completed this year.
“Since its opening in early 2014, the mega mall has become a one-stop lifestyle shopping landmark in Western China, thanks to its unparalleled location, critical mass, world-class management and services,” said The Wharf in its 2014 profit announcement.
“Its most comprehensive trade mix, lifestyle and entertainment offering fuels strong demand from the rising middle class. The presence of nearly 300 of the world’s most coveted brands (including over 100 debut stores of renowned brands in Western China) underlined retailers’ confidence in Wharf’s management expertise. With its 530 metre retail street frontage on par with Harbour City’s Canton Rd frontage, Chengdu IFS is comparable to Harbour City in terms of showcase effect and attraction power.”
The mall is over 99 per cent leased, with 98 per cent of shops already trading. Since its opening, retail sales jumped 400 per cent and foot traffic by 250 per cent at year-end.
The mall generated a revenue of RMB483 million in 2014, 21 per cent above target, and is expected to reap an annual retail revenue of RMB600 million at full operation.
Further China success
The Wharf’s other properties also enjoyed improved fortunes in 2014.
Shanghai Times Square, located on Huaihai Rd, has been transformed into a high-end retail destination with the largest Lane Crawford store in China and a mega lifestyle specialty store City’Super, upon completion of its substantial renovation in 2013. The renewed mall alongside the new cluster on HuaiHai Rd and the new Lane Crawford complements one another and creates value. Shanghai Times Square was over 99 per cent occupied at year-end after the tenant mix was further refined with the addition of new brands, culinary and lifestyle tenants.
The Wharf group is developing five IFSs in China, with a scale comparable to or surpassing that of Harbour City and Times Square in Hong Kong. These IFSs, upon full completion by 2017, will significantly enhance the group’s recurring income base in China and be a significant growth driver.