Disney’s resort launches on June 16, but the village is getting in first with a planned opening date of May 19.
In the new 24.7 sqkm Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone (SITRZ), across the manmade Wishing Star Lake from the Disney resort, Shanghai Village is the second mainland venture for Value Retail.
Covering 55,000 sqm and with 140 boutiques, the Art Deco village features architecture styled after buildings in Milan, New York, Paris, Vienna and Shanghai. It has many lifestyle features aimed at catering to the Chinese demand for “shopping tourism”, a new concept defined by UNWTO in the wake of China’s outbound travel boom.
While it will be Value Retail’s second location near a Disney park – the other is La Vallee Village near Disneyland Paris – it will have a difference in scale and architecture given that Shanghai Disney Resort is one of the largest destinations Disney has built, according to Value Retail Management CEO Desiree Bollier. “Shanghai Village is the same: it is our largest investment to date.”
In addition, the village is run by a joint venture between Value Retail and Shanghai Shendi Group, the state-owned enterprise set up to manage the SITRZ, including the Disney Resort.
“I think the government is moving to a consumer-led economy, and will want Chinese to spend money in China,” says Bollier.
“They are looking at various ways to encourage Chinese to view China as a resort destination: hence the development of Hainan as a tourism destination, hence the development of SITRZ as an entertainment destination, hence investment in cinemas, Imax and major theatres. It’s a logical transformation in the Chinese economy.”
Bollier says Shanghai Village will be following Value Retail model of offering goods at a minimum of 33 per cent off and an average of 40 per cent off full domestic price. It is targeting mainly upper-middle class and affluent consumers.
Shanghai Village will offer “retailtainment” activities such as dining and exhibitions, as well as outdoor cafe seating overlooking the lake, ferry rides to and from the Disney park, and streets named after historical figures in the Art Deco movement in Mandarin and French. VIP services will include hands-free shopping, valet parking, concierge services and private lounges, as well as meeting spaces.
A feature will be more niche labels and boutiques by Chinese designers. Brands available at the nearby Suzhou Village location, the group’s first China outlet, include Alexander McQueen, Armani, Givenchy, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Valentino.
A third outlet mall is planned for China by Value Retail, as reported in Inside Retail Asia in May last year.