The West Zone attracts young customers with trending retail stores, strengthening Sanlitun’s entertainment, fashion and social allure.
Photo from CFP
By NIU Yu
Beijing's Taikoo Li Sanlitun West opened on November 2 after three years of renovation, creating a new center of entertainment, fashion and socializing in the city. Once Yashow Market, Sanlitun West now mainly provides shopping, catering, and entertainment. It is considered as a complement to the Sanlitun business district, rather than an independent project.
The area contains many flagship stores, cafes, and patisseries that are new to customers. Young people wait in line in front of these shops to try new recipes.
“These cafes help not only attract young customers but also improve the property’s operational efficiency,” said LI Jianteng, managing partner of Oliver Wyman.
Swire Properties says they are strict on brand selection. Despite the popularity of the retail brand, they pay more attention to its capability to provide innovative products and a good user experience. The renovation project is Swire Properties’ first attempt at an asset-light strategy in mainland China. Swire Properties plans to expand Taikoo Li Sanlitun to the north.
The property giant focuses on real-estate acquisition, design, and construction in mainland China, but with only seven projects in 12 years. Its latest project Taikoo Li Qiantan opened on September 30 in Shanghai.
Taikoo Li Sanlitun’s retail sales grew by 58.4 percent in Q3. It is Swire's only project with a 100 percent occupancy rate, but Sanlitun is much smaller than other projects.
Other business districts in Beijing including Guomao, Xidan, and Zhongguancun are diversifying to cater to young people’s tastes. The long-established Wangfujing Street is no exception. The current business district will be extended to a “Forbidden City-Wangfujing-Longfu Temple" triangle.