Zhu Haiqun, Link’s Managing Director - Mainland China, said that it is more important than ever to deepen the relationship between shopping mall owners and retailers through ongoing discussions in order to find ways to keep products and services relevant to customers in the post-pandemic “new normal”.
Zhu Haiqun, Link’s Managing Director - Mainland China (second from left), joined the forum’s panel discussion with three top emerging Mainland retail brand leaders – Che Xiaoyun, Pop Mart’s Vice President of Government Affairs (second from right); Ji Xuemei, Director of Strategic Alliances of Starbucks China (middle); and Lu Jie, Branding Director of M&G SHOP (first from right) – to discuss the importance of developing differentiated products and services through innovation to strengthen the brand presence and stay relevant with customers.
Practitioners of shopping centres and retail industry came to a conclusion at a forum that engagement and customer experience are key to the success of retail business.
The “Post-COVID Retail Strategy and Innovation” Forum was co-hosted by Link Asset Management Limited (Link), the manager of Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823) and China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) today (Tuesday) in Shanghai. The forum is part of the CCFA’s New Retail Forum – Shopping Centre & Chain Brand Development Summit 2022, with 260 industry leaders attended in person and nearly 4,000 participants attended online.
The forum aims to provide retail industry leaders with sharings, insights and practical solutions as they navigate the possible massive shift of consumption pattern in the post pandemic era.
Apart from Link’s senior executives, Professor Anthony Fung, Director of Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) unveiled the latest survey result about Hong Kong people’s consumption behaviour after the pandemic outbreak; Chen Xiaoyun, Pop Mart’s Vice President (Public Affairs), Ji Xuemei, Starbucks China’s Director of Strategic Alliances, and Lu Jie, M&G SHOP’s Branding Director joined the panel discussion with Zhu Haiqun, Link’s Managing Director – Mainland China, on how retail business can be rebooted from the pandemic.
“The pandemic might have accelearated ongoing industry shifts. As retail landscape transforms, it is more important than ever for everyone in the industry to continually look for ways to stay ahead of the curve and provide added value to our consumers,” Zhu Haiqun said.
Through a pre-recorded video, Greg Chubb, Link’s Chief Operating Officer – International, shared his observations on the consumer behaviour in Australia amid sporadic COVID outbreaks in the country.
“It is evident that experiential retail is playing a more important role after the COVID outbreak as consumers are longing to engage with their friends and families in person more than ever. Some other nuances we have observed include the increasing popularity of click-and-collect facilities, which empower shopping centres and give them an important role in the fulfilment of online ordering,” Chubb said.
On the side exhibition of the forum, Link introduced to the participating retailers the asset enhancement project at Guangzhou’s Zhujiang New Town (currently known as Happy Valley Shopping Mall). The asset enhancement is set to add more food and beverage, kids, entertainment and general retail to attract young consumers, white-collar workers and family customers, with the first phase expected to complete in September 2023.
High-resolution pictures can be downloaded here.
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Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823), is the largest REIT in Asia. It is managed by Link Asset Management Limited, a leading real estate investor and asset manager in the world. Since its listing in 2005 as the first REIT in Hong Kong, Link REIT has been 100% held by public and institutional investors. It is a constituent of the Hong Kong securities market benchmark Hang Seng Index, as well as a component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index, the FTSE4Good Index Series and the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index. From its home in Hong Kong, Link Asset Management Limited owns and manages a diversified portfolio including retail facilities, car parks, offices and logistics assets spanning from China’s Beijing, Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), and Yangtze River Delta centred around Shanghai, to the UK’s London and Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne. Link Asset Management Limited seeks to extend its portfolio growth trajectory and grasp expansion opportunities in different markets in pursuit of sustainable growth.
For details, please visit https://www.linkreit.com.