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City Report Dalian

Located in Liaoning province, Dalian is known as a main gateway to Northeast China, an international shipping center in Northeast Asia, an international logistics and regional financial center. Shipbuilding, equipment manufacturing, petrochemicals, electronic information and software are the principal industries. The city once won the prize of UN Habitat Award and is known in China as “The international garden city” and “Pearl of the North” for its environment. In 2007, the city was also selected as the permanent host city for the summer Davos meetings.


In 2012, the industrial output of Dalian was 1033.1 Billion RMB, placing it 14th in the GDP ranking of cities in China, and 11th and the only city in Northeast China in the “China city’s comprehensive competitiveness ranking” (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) published by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in 2011. The total retail sales of consumer goods in 2012 were 222.4 Billion RMB, a 15.5% year on year growth. And per capita disposable income of Dalian citizens in 2012 was 27,539 RMB, having increased 13.4% compared to that of 2011. The per capita consumption expenditure (daily life consumption include housing, car and investment) of urban citizens in Dalian is 20,417 RMB, an increase of 8.3%.


Government policy

The Dalian government has attached great importance to the development of its tertiary industries. It was announced in a 2008 government work report that it would vigorously develop modern services industries, such as information technology, logistics, finance, consultancy and legal service. In May 2012, in order to develop the jewellery and art industry, the government started building the Dalian International Jewellery & Art Trade Center, which will be the largest and have the highest status in Northeast China, covering an area of 23,000 sqm. By 2020, the Zhonghua Road business district is expected to achieve the goal of being the most prestigious commercial center in the Northeast China; at present, the Wanda center and Plaza 66 high-end shopping malls are under construction in Dalian.


Luxury retail distribution

Qingniwa and Tianjin Street business circle are the two most famous commercial districts in Dalian. There are both local stores with hundreds of years of history and newly-built modern shopping malls in these areas. At the end of 2012, these two major business hubs were combined as “Qingniwa – Tianjin Street” commercial circle, which was designated a provincial business district to be developed into the high-end commercial center of Northeast China. Many high-end shopping malls such as the Friendship department store, Dalian Times Square, and Parkland shopping mall can be found here.

Another famous commercial district adjacent are the Qingniwa and Tianjin Street commercial districts centered on the Renmin Road and regarded as the city’s premier CBD and the convergence of many well-known global enterprises,integrating economy, technology, culture and commerce, in which can be found the Dalian New World Tower (The Galleria).


Dalian Friendship Department store

Opened in June 1996 on Tianjin Street, the Dalian Friendship department store was the top of the retail industry in the city. After expansion and renovation in December 2001, it covered 10 floors with an area of 15,000 sqm, and was recognized as the most prestigious department store inNorthern China at that time. Luxury brands which have stores here include in Givenchy, Panerai, Versace, Burberry, Boss, Longines, Mont Blanc, Chapard, Jaeger-Lecoultre, Blancpain, IWC, Piaget, and Audemars Piguet.

Dalian Times Square

Located in Tianjin Street Commercial district, Dalian Times Square covers an area of nearly 17,000 sqm
over two floors, all stores here are stand-aloned. It was designed by Arquitectonica (ARQ) the company that designed the Westin Hotel in New York Times Square. Times Square was the first mall in Dalian to focus on international luxury brands, and currently contains the largest number of luxury brands in Liaoning province, that include Alfred Dunhill, De Beers, Moschino, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna, Prada, Brunello Cucinelli, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Shiatzy Chen, Chanel, Glasstique, Sportmax, Gucci, Dior, Hugo Boss, Tod’s, Dior Homme, Hermes, Versace, Daks, and Louis Vuitton.

Parkland Shopping Mall

Located in the most prosperous commercial district of Qingniwa, Parkland is a landmark building built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Dalian. Covering an area of 15,790 sqm, Parkland has the largest full glass curtain wall entrance lobby in Asia, and contains brands such as Emporio Armani, Escada Sports, Zegna, Mont Blanc, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Prada, Alfred Dunhill, Kenzo, Canali, and BMW Lifestyle.

New World Tower (The Galleria)

Opened in August 2009, The Galleria is located in Dalian New World Tower, comprising over 100 international and local brands. It is currently a new hot spot for shopping. Other than superb shopping its contains thematic shopping zones for diversified consumer groups, areas for leisure and elaborate art exhibitions. Brands opening stores here include Cartier, Max Mara, Emporio Armani, Class Roberto Cavalli, Armani Collezioni, Canali, Aquascutum, Max&Co, Anteprima, Shiatzy Chen, and Porsche Design Mobile.


Consumer attitudes

As early as 2010, the Dalian luxury market achieved sales of over
1 Billion RMB. Although Dalian is not a tier one city, a great number of wealthy people in the three Northeast provinces of China (Liaoning, Jilin, Helongjiang) who converge on it, most of whom own property in Dalian. There are consumers with trendy and open-minded consumption attitudes and mature consuming psychologies, who are open to new luxury brands and products.

The city has attracted many top luxury brands to open their first and second stores in Dalian. In our Luxury Brand Reach Review 2013 Part1, Dalian ranks 8th among all cities in terms of luxury brand intensity, and 4th and 5th place in watch and jewellery market respectively across the country, after Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. The head of sales of a luxury store in Dalian commented that many local luxury consumers have stopped evaluating luxury goods only on price, and that the brand culture and history are becoming the key factors to attract and influence their luxury consumption.

Editor’s view

It was reported in the Dalian Daily in late 2012 that although many luxury brands have encountered a slowdown in the Chinese market due to the global economic depression, there appears to be no clear impact on the luxury market in Dalian. We can see some luxury brands are actively opening new stores in Dalian. Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Hublot added new stores in Dalian at the end of 2012. “Our sales have been under a stable situation,” according to an insider who is responsible for a well known luxury brand in Dalian. In Times Square where luxury brands are concentrated, there was no discount promotion at the end of 2012, which is typically the season of discounting. Even under the current economic situation, and luxury product price increases there appears to be no slowdown in Dalian luxury market.


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