Shanghai’s No. 1 Department Store to close for facelift

Shanghai’s 81-year-old No. 1 Department Store on Nanjing Road East, once the largest in the Far East, will close from June 19 for a major facelift.

Officials say it is a move to fight back against online shopping, and the store will reopen by the end of October, along with neighboring Orient Shopping Center. The two stores will be joined by skywalks to target families from both home and abroad, according to the Bailian Group, which owns both stores.

Huangpu District Government says the renovation incorporates adjustments to meet the demands of consumers in the internet era.

No. 1 opened in 1936 and it will be restored to its original look, but with a rooftop garden, an international food market and bookstores.

Shanghai’s No. 1 Department Store 1

Orient will concentrate on fashion to attract younger customers, according to the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration website, where details of the renovations were publicised to solicit public opinion.

About 70,000 customers packed No. 1 on Saturday as it was offering discounts before closing. The sales run through until June 18.

Store executive Shao Guohui says most customers were middle-aged people and seniors mainly buying jade jewellery, leather shoes and gold products.

Meanwhile, other early department stores on Huaihai and Nanjing Roads will also close their doors next year for renovation and adjustment, including the landmark New World Department Store in People’s Square and Wing On Department Store on Nanjing Road East.

The total investment for the renovation projects is expected to top RMB10 billion (US$1.45 billion).

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