|Does China really need more malls like this?|
Singapore developer CapitaLand believes China needs more shopping malls so it's planning to build 45 more in the next three to five years to make its total to 100.
"Today China has no more than 2,000 malls," said Liew Mun Leong, president and chief executive of CapitaLand. "How many shopping malls will China need? We did our calculations -- 15,000," Liew said.
"If you look at China's consumption, it is now at 35 percent [of the gross domestic product]. We think it will go up to at least 50 percent."
That's a lot of retail therapy.
He may be right when looking at the National Statistics Bureau numbers that disposable per capita income is growing at 13 percent a year on average. Retail sales were up 18.4 percent last year and analysts believe the rise will continue.
But does China really need 15,000 malls? And with the huge wealth gap, the per capita numbers look good, but in reality the income disparity reveals most of the money is in the hands of the few super rich, while the rest are still just managing financially.
Anyway after a certain point all the malls start to look the same with the same stores... what's so special about that?
Why not support local businesses and try to create homegrown brands... isn't that what the Chinese government want to do -- show the world that China doesn't just manufacture products but designs them too?
Comrades! Time to get out of the mall and get creative!