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Xian shopping mall developers deliver improved leisure experience for customers

HNA Group, Taubman Asia and Wangfujing Group are all involved in ventures

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 November, 2016, 10:46am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 November, 2016, 10:46am

Xian aims to diversify and increase tourists’ spending by developing large-scale leisure and shopping facilities.

Located in the upmarket Qujiang New District, the Great Tang All Day Mall features architectural designs modelled on buildings in the prosperous Tang dynasty (618-970 AD). Designed as the centrepiece of the cultural and commercial hub of Xian, the mall is intended to be the “largest and longest pedestrian street of tourist-landscaped and cultural shopping experiences in Asia”.

The shopping/entertainment development runs for 1,500 metres from north to south along Yanta South Road, from Xuanzang Square at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to the Tang Dynasty Relic Walls. From east to west, it measures 480 metres, running from Cien East Road to Cien West Road. Occupying 54,100 square metres, including a 19,000-square-metre underground parking lot, the sprawling project encompasses six city blocks and cost an estimated 3 billion yuan (HK$3.37 billion). The developer is mainland conglomerate HNA Group.

As a tribute to the Tang dynasty’s achievements that have had a profound influence on China’s culture, the mall in its landscaped gardens features nine groups of sculptures devoted to the period’s great leaders, monks, artists, writers, scholars, poets, scientists and mathematicians. Some of the main cultural and artistic buildings include Xian Grand Theatre, Xian Concert Hall, Shaanxi Art Gallery and Qujiang Cinema.

The shopping area consists of dozens of free-standing Tang-style commercial structures that integrate shopping, venues for leisure activities, performance and arts exhibitions and sightseeing, spread around the development interspersed with landscaped gardens, pavilions and canals. The shopping experience encompasses businesses targeting a cross-section of the consumer market: boutique speciality retailers, large supermarket chains, branded flagship stores, restaurants, and recreational venues for children.

A shopping centre catering to the fast-growing middle class, CityOn.Xian,opened in April 2016. A joint venture between Taubman Asia and Wangfujing Group, CityOn.Xian has seven levels of about 1 million sq ft, including 2,200 parking spaces.

The mall has direct connections to Metro Lines 2 and 4, as well as access to the Airport Expressway and High Speed Railway Station.

Anchored by the Wangfujing Department Store,CityOn.Xian is in the heart of Xian’s new central business district and administrative centre, next to the Zhangjiabao Residential District and on Fengcheng 8th Road. Part of a mixed-use development, containing residential apartments, two international hotels and office towers, CityOn.Xian is next to 9,200 corporations, including more than 30 Fortune 500 companies and nearly 100 government institutions.

“Wangfujing Group is one of the largest retail groups specialising in department stores in China,” a Taubman Asia spokesman says. “The group operates 50 large-scale retail stores, covering retail formats including department stores, shopping malls and outlets.

“The partnership with Wangfujing Group provides Taubman Asia with access to intimate market and consumer knowledge and allows the company to

leverage its proven track record and expertise in retailing across China.”

As the top-end segment of the luxury goods market has been hit hard, CityOn.Asia focuses on the medium-priced market segment of “affordable luxury”.

The shopping centre “reflects a mix of domestic and international designer and lifestyle brands from fast fashion to accessible luxury, creating a shopping experience that satisfies the diverse tastes and requirements of people across the region”, the Taubman Asia spokesman says. “CityOn.Xian also offers a wide selection of local, regional and international cuisine, across all price-points and in both seated restaurant and quick-service food-hall formats. CityOn.Xian will offer families a number of child-friendly experiential, educational and entertainment offerings.”

To cater for strong demand for discounted branded designers’ luxury goods, malls featuring outlets of branded products have mushroomed in many Chinese cities. Beijing Capital Juda, whose shares are traded on Hong Kong’s stock exchange, has launched Xian First City.

The main tourist draw of Xian First City is its outlet mall. It also features offices, a commercial area, residential apartments and car parks. Xian First City is located in the core district of the economic and technology development zone, 1.2 kilometres from Xian North Railway Station and just 10 minutes’ drive from Xianyang International Airport.

Given that it is in a well-established community area without any significant commercial developments, it is particularly suitable for developing outlet shopping, a spokesman for Beijing Capital Juda says.

“The project is now at a stage at which it can contribute stable cash inflow, and thus is able to provide strong cash flow support and contribute solid revenue and net profit. Overall, Xian First City is a milestone as the first project of Capital Juda, representing our transition into a new business focus on commercial property.”