Beijing's 'first-store economy' sees robust growth, fuels local consumption

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As more businesses from home and abroad start to tap into Beijing's market, the city's "first-store economy" thrived in the first half of this year, becoming a new momentum to drive local consumption.

The so-called "first-store economy" is a type of real economy measured by the launch of the "first store" opening of a leading industrial or fashion brand in specific areas. The definition also includes the launch of traditional brands' flagship or experiential stores operating under a new innovative model.

According to third-party data, a total of 434 such stores were opened in Beijing in the first half of 2021, more than twice the total of last year. This includes many international brands, such as Italian sportswear brand FILA, the Manchester United Theater of Dreams, French jewelry brand SATELLITE PARIS, and German optical tech giant Leica, to name a few.

In terms of the areas where these businesses were originally based, nearly 17% of the 434 stores were established by international brands, with those from France, Italy, and Japan ranking top.

These stores also cover diverse business forms. Restaurants and retail shops account for nearly 80% of the total, while those specializing in entertainment, life services, and children-related businesses account for about 22%.

More than 52% of the stores are based in Chaoyang district, while the rest operate across the city's urban and suburban areas. In addition, Beijing's Sanlitun commercial district and Guomao (Beijing's central business district) attracted more than one-third of the total stores.

With Universal Studios Beijing theme park opening in a few months, more "first stores" are expected to open across the city. As shopping centers in Beijing's sub-center and Shijingshan district open soon, the city's "first-store economy" will see further growth.

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