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Aug 10, 2017

James visits Beijing to learn more about China retail.
He meets up with the JLL Beijing Retail Research team: Steven McCord, Sam Zheng, Lesley Chai, Ming Ji and Linda Yu.
They check out a smart-phone-operated vending machine.
Sam Zheng says that most of his meals are ordered online through O2O, but he doesn't buy luxury items online for fear of counterfit goods.  He also gets his laundry done on O2O, which delivers haircuts, food delivery, nail polishing and more.  
Steven McCord says that Beijing online sales account for 20% of retail sales.  In the past year that percentage has plateaued   All the people who will shop online are doing it now.  We may be on the cusp of a backlash away from online. People want to get back to shopping malls for the social elements that they offer.  Labor costs are rising in China and last-mile delivery of ecommerce is going to get more expensive.    
Ming Ji goes to shopping centers for fun, food and desserts. She buys most of her daily goods, even fresh fruit, online.  Older generations still want to go to shopping centers and outlet stores to buy cloths.  Shopping centers are very family oriented and full of kids. Price matters, so Ming would likely not shop as much online if delivery costs became more expensive.
Linda Yu pays for most things with her phone.  She jokes that if you forget your wallet, it's no problem if you still have your phone. Alipay and Wechat pay are two of the most popular digital wallet apps in China.  
Lesley Chai has seen a popularity in VR kiosks in China.  Players pay less then ten dollars to play VR video games for 30 minutes. This is popular for people waiting for movies or restaurants.
Beijing SKP is the mall with the highest sales in the country: $1.4 billion USD annually. Wanfujing is China's most famous shopping street. 
Links mentioned in the show:
Got a retail question?  Tweet at: @JamesDCook  
Read more retail research here.
James Cook is the director of retail research in the Americas for JLL.
Theme music is Little Lily Swing by Tri-Tachyon under Creative Commons 4.0 license.