Shanghai World Expo 2010>History
UPDATED: April 14, 2010

With consumption level improving steadily and urban development progressing greatly since the 1990s, Shanghai's commerce, after its reform and opening up, has gained substantial development, basically forming a multi-tier modern commerce pattern with the core of "four streets and four towns," i.e., the Nanjing East Road, Nanjing West Road, Huihai Road, Sichuan North Road, Yuyuan, Xujiahui, Ever Bright Town and the New Shanghai Commerce Town in Pudong, supported by local commercial centers, featured commercial streets and community commerce.

As a result, a diversified modern commerce structure consisting of department stores, franchises, supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenient stores, shopping centers and catering service networks. The fast development of modern chain commercial operation, typically chain stores, has promoted the strategic transition from traditional commerce to modern commerce.

Chain retail sector

More than 11,000 chain stores in Shanghai contribute annual sales of over 180 billion yuan, 150 billion yuan of which came from sales.

--Supermarkets: After more than 10 years of development since early 1990s, supermarket operators have set up 6,000 shops and plus. Currently, the supermarket sector in Shanghai is at its mature stage, with market concentration getting more and more prominent.

--Convenient stores: Retail sales of convenient stores only accounted for a small fraction of that of the municipality. In addition, with identical commodities structures and locations, the business mode is still away from mature, which calls for further regulation and innovation.

--Hypermarkets: Today, hypermarkets in Shanghai are already playing a more and more important role in retail sales of food sand commodities. In the fields of household electronics, clothing, communications equipments and other endurable goods, hypermarkets are also expanding their market shares. Some hypermarkets are also taking the path toward neighboring shopping centers.

--Franchises: Currently, in sectors such as household electronics, construction material, medicine and food franchises are showing the momentum of pushing forward. Both the number of franchise shops and their total retail sales are increasing in these sectors. Particularly in the fields of electronics and construction material with the trend toward professional, scale and networked development, franchise chain stores have become the leading business modes, playing a dominant role in the retail market.

Other retail sectors

Shanghai is the most famous shopping hub in China. There are department stores, shopping centers, and hundred-year-old shops, shops for special commodities and super-markets row upon row. The famous, special and superb commodities from home and abroad are a feast for eyes with everything that one could wish for. Generally shops in Shanghai open at 10:00 in the morning and close at 10:00 in the evening.

--Department stores: Actively realigning their operational structures to meet multi-tier and multi-dimension demands of the consumers, Shanghai's department store sector has achieved higher concentration rate through the transformation of business mode and the promotion of chain operation. In addition, with more and more citizens moving into suburbs, emerging community department stores are developing fast to drive the development of local commerce.


During the last decade, Shanghai's catering market has maintained double digit annual growth. The sector has formed a pattern of subdivision and diversification and operators from outside Shanghai held a market share as high as 60 percent.

As an international city, Shanghai offers all kinds of cuisines from around the world. Of course, the majority of restaurants offer Chinese food at reasonable prices. Chinese food is famous for its Eight Major Cuisines: Sichuan, Zhejiang, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Fujian, Cantonese and Anhui. Not surprisingly, Shanghai Cuisine, also known as Ben Bang, is not one of the Eight Major Cuisines.

Life service

Life service sector in Shanghai has achieved substantial growth.

--Beauty and hairdressing: Emphasizing on brands and chain operation, a number of chain brands with unique taste of fashion are holding an increasingly larger market share. In the meantime, many enterprises armed with standard volatilizing products and powerful capacities have set up communities in the mode of chain operation, forming a life service network.

--Bathing: Currently, there are more than 300 composite or sauna bathing operators and about 2,000 public bathing places in Shanghai. Contributing annual sales of over 2 billion yuan, it is becoming an increasingly important sector in life service. Main changes in the sector are reflected through functional extension into leisure, health care and recreation. Traditional service of bathing, back massage and foot care contribute less than 50% in the sales revenue.

--Laundry: Covering key target groups such as hotels and community residents; the sector is developing very fast. In some emerging communities, laundry has become one of the basic service items. Currently, there are about 7,000 branches across the city, forming a market size above 900 million yuan. The sector is expected to accelerate its development in the coming years.

--Repair & maintenance: The sector has sales revenue of 3 billion yuan. Notably, autorepair and its extended services, such as car decoration and maintenance are taking an increasingly larger market share in the sector.

--Life service-lease: With sales revenue of 2 billion yuan, the sector is showing promising space of development. It covers lease services of automobiles, audio/video products, printed products and goods for children and computers.

--Photography and related service: With sales revenue of approximately 2 billion yuan, the sector provides services for professional photographer, wedding photographing and wedding ceremony as well as film developing/printing, coping and typewriting. Currently, the sector is improving its expertise, upgrading its products and extending into basic community services.

--Life service-intermediate service: Mainly consisting of intermediate service for housekeeping, babysitters'house rental, the sector features scattered small-scale operation.

( April 14, 2010)


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