A man cleans the window display area of Shanghai No. 1 Shopping Center, owned by Bailian Group, yesterday while the center prepares for its reopen today after nearly half a year of renovation. The 81-year-old department store will feature more dining and leisure activities while Bailian aims to rejuvenate the city's shopping environment in the digital era. (Jiang Xiaowei)
Shanghai's retail conglomerate Bailian Group Co aims to rejuvenate the city's shopping environment and to better target consumers' preferences through Internet technologies and digital capabilities as it cooperates with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
"It's an inevitable trend for retailers to join hands with online giants to reshape the shopping experience for consumers in the digital age," said Wang Wei, managing director at Digital McKinsey in China.
"Understanding how consumers make their shopping decisions and how to manage supply chain and offerings based on consumer purchasing preferences would be key areas for digital technology to reshape the retail industry in the next one or two years."
The Ministry of Commerce said it's also upbeat about the prospects of new retail models.
"The retail industry is brewing a new round of reform with Internet technologies being deployed to integrate resources from both online and offline while retail merchandise is also quickly catching up with consumption upgrade," the ministry said in the annual China Retail Industry Development Report.
Shanghai's retail sales in the first 10 months rose 8 percent from a year ago to 972.5 billion yuan (7 billion).