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First-store Economy Drives Consumption in Chongqing | Experts

By ZHAN CHENICHONGQING|Jun 23,2022

Chongqing- Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality is home to more than 220 first stores, covering catering, retail, hotels, and other fields, according to the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce.

With the opening of the 1st China (Chongqing) International Consumer Festival on June 15, many first stores also made their debut.

The first store refers to a representative brand in the industry, or the first store opened by a trendy brand in a specific area, or a new store formed by a traditional store through innovative business formats and models. The first-store economy refers to an economic form in which a region uses its unique resource advantages to attract domestic and foreign brands to open stores in the area for the first time to achieve the optimal relation between brand value and regional resources triggering the region’s economic development. 

Chongqing

A picture of Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

In addition to the increase in quantity, the arrival of many well-known first stores has added impetus to the economic development of Chongqing’s first stores.

For example, Galeries Lafayette, with a history of more than 120 years, has recently chosen Chongqing as the site of its first store in southwest China. Its selected concept store of Galeries Lafayette will be unveiled in Yuzhong District at the end of this year, bringing consumers high-quality and diversified shopping choices. Besides, Kidzplorer, located in the Chongqing Halo Shopping Park (The Ring), is the first parent-child science exploration complex in China built by Hongkong Land, covering an area of nearly 3,000 square meters.

Experts said that the entry of each brand’s first store has proved its high recognition of the city’s development. After a first store comes in, it can attract more first-store brands of the same type to enter Chongqing and promote upgrading the urban retail market. This is of great significance for Chongqing to build an international consumption center. 

The Ring

Chongqing Halo Shopping Park (The Ring). (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

“International consumption center cities must be the gathering places of global consumption resources. They are the commanding heights of a city or even a country to seize the global consumer market with a strong leading and driving role in consumption,” said Liao Chenglin, professor at the School of Economics and Business Administration of Chongqing University. He believes that the first-store economy is conducive to increasing the influence of well-known international and domestic brands, expanding Chongqing’s global impact on business, and grabbing the opportunities of the worldwide consumer market. 

In recent years, Chongqing has taken steps to provide policy support for the landing of the first store in Chongqing, taking the opportunity of creating an international consumption center. In particular, according to the plan, Chongqing gave a financial reward of no more than 1 million yuan to well-known commercial brand enterprises at home and abroad for their first store in Chongqing. 

At the same time, each district and county also put forward their development goals. For example, the Liangjiang New Area is introducing particular policies to promote the international consumption development, supporting market players to increase the introduction of high-end, high-quality consumer products, and promoting the debut of high-end new products and new stores. It forms the first store aggregation effect of internationally well-known brands and creates an international consumption atmosphere, developing economies of the first store, first brand, first launch, and first show.

(Wang Lu, as an intern, also contributed to this report)

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