we were up in china last week for a meeting with a potential client. while waiting for the car to pick us up, we started to explore this ‘downtown’ area near the train station out of boredom. being brave, we wandered into this center area that resemble a fancy shoppping mall with a garden. the real estate developer did a fine job, but no one is going to know – the place is empty. no foot traffic at all.
mental note: there is no middle class in china yet, at least no in the same sense as in the states. (even if you’ve built it, they haven’t come.)
on the way back, we saw a nike store, an adidas store and a puma store. wondering if the hussein chalayan effect is in place, we decided to check out puma. first thing who greeted us was the red sign under the logo: ‘all goods are up to 70% off, 15% off on all new arrivals’. but other than that, the whole place was nice. too nice. gucci kind of nice. then we check out the prices – renminbi 599 (us$ 85) for a pair of sneakers. considering most workers in the area make under renminbi 2000, the shoes cost almost 1/3 of the salary of an average consumer.
mental note: the international athletic brands in china are the luxury fashion brands in the west. (in turns, the luxury fashion brands in china are the ferraris and the patek philipp in the west.)