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Super Brand Mall retools its positioning
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-07-07 11:57
The Thailand-based Chia Tai Group has formed a partnership with an international retail property development and management firm in an attempt to turn around its money-losing Super Brand Mall in Pudong's Lujiazui area.

A joint venture between Chia Tai's subsidiary Shanghai Kinghill Ltd, the mall's developer, and Canada-based Ivanhoe Cambridge, has taken over the operation of the mall and plans to turn it into an entertainment-oriented shopping complex.

The venture, called the C2 Group, was formed with US$1.2 million in registered capital, and each partner holds a 50 percent stake.

"Ivanhoe Cambridge's experience in retail management will help Super Brand Mall, which has had a slow start," said Robert F. Welanetz, chief executive officer of Shanghai Kinghill Ltd and the new venture.

The retail outlets in Super Brand Mall, the city's second-largest shopping complex after Cloud Nine Shopping Mall near Zhongshan Park, are reportedly suffering poor sales.

In September, the mall began renovations to shift its market positioning from its original luxury brand concept to an affordable entertainment and leisure-oriented shopping venue targeting families, white-collar workers and foreign visitors.

Most of the new entertainment facilities, including more restaurants, a bar "street" and an ice skating rink, are now open, doubling the mall's daily traffic to 130,000 customers.

The new joint venture is expected to make further changes in the mall's retail space, including downsizing its self-operated Chia Tai department store by half and renting the space to international brands that are new to the Chinese market and affordable by the middle class.

The mall has sealed a deal with Toys 'R' Us, the biggest toy retailer in the United States, which will open its first China outlet at the Pudong facility in a few months.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, an owner, developer and manager of North American retail projects, including the Fairview Mall in Toronto, is keen to penetrate the China market both through the joint venture and future acquisition of shopping centers from domestic retail developers.

The Canadian firm is in earl stage talks with the troubled Cloud Nine Shopping Center to offer management services.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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