Special Feature 1
China Report: “AEON MALL Suzhou Xinqu”
Accelerating the cultivation of
dominant strategy through localization
The city of Suzhou, which is near Shanghai, is the capital of Jiangsu Province. There are approximately 50 million people who live within a range of 100 kilometers.
AEON MALL Suzhou Xinqu is the third mall to open in this high potential area. It has seen a steady increase in the number of visitors, thanks to the strong “AEON MALL” brand that has been boosted by the success of the two malls that came before it.
We will accelerate horizontal development in the surrounding areas, with the management capabilities of the local personnel we have cultivated acting as the driving force.
Steadily rising brand value stemming from the success of the two existing malls in the area.
AEON MALL Suzhou Xinqu, which opened in the special zone (Suzhou New District) designed to attract foreign-affiliated companies that will drive the economy of Suzhou, brings together 280 specialty stores in a building with a distinct exterior that will make it a new landmark in the region. The mall puts a lot of effort into improving food and entertainment, and its business performance remains much stronger than planned since it opened.
AEON MALL made its foray into the Suzhou area in 2014. AEON MALL Suzhou Wuzhong, the first mall opened in the suburbs, attracts customers visiting the mall by car from a wide range of areas, debunking the common notion that “commercial facilities should be in the city center.” Business is thriving, and the parking lot is full practically every day. In May 2015, AEON MALL Suzhou Yuanqu Hudong, the second mall, opened in an urban area. It has become popular from new urban families, thanks to the enhancement of events and other experience-based forms of consumption. Reflecting the success of the first and second malls, AEON MALL Suzhou Xinqu is receiving an increasing number of requests for store openings from tenant companies. At the third mall, we have further improved profitability by splitting the space into smaller units to increase the integration density of tenants.
Building a 20-mall structure by 2030, with local staff as the major driving force.
The successful experience of the three existing malls in the Suzhou area has also contributed to the development of local staff. Local staff members engaged in the development and operation of the three malls are absorbing our customer-first philosophy and Japanese-style operation know-how. They then take this knowledge and work to adapt it in their own way to local culture and business practices. They are making efforts to create new concepts for malls in line with local characteristics.
In this area, we have a policy of shifting mall operation to a new system where the local staff play a leading role in development projects and operate malls as the general manager even after they open. At a new mall scheduled to open in Nantong in the suburbs of Suzhou, local staff members are playing key roles in proceeding with the preparations. We aim to build a 20-mall structure that will cover the entire area of Jiangsu Province by 2030. To do this, we will accelerate horizontal development into the neighboring areas of Suzhou through “real localization” described above.
Aiming to develop malls based on the “From Japan, Made in China” concept.
When the first mall opened in Suzhou, I was moved to see customers gathering and lining up in an area where “there was literally nothing.” Mall development is an undertaking that leave its mark on the map, so to speak. In the future, I want to create malls with my own hands that I can be proud of for years to come.
Assistant General Manager
Jiangsu Development Division
Becoming an entity that contributes to regional development by improving the brand power cultivated by the company.
When I studied in Japan, I came to know AEON MALL and was introduced to its “customers first” philosophy. It involves providing value that no other company can offer, and making proposals that only we, who know the region, can make. I intend to further enhance this value.
The Development Manager
Jiangsu Development Division