Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Chinese Electronics Store Opens Outlet On Roof Of The World

Suning will open its first electronics chain store in the Tibetan city of Lhasa on May 25, 2013.

With the opening of this store, Suning will become the first Chinese nationwide retail chain operator to enter this autonomous region in western China.

As the capital of the Tibet autonomous region, Lhasa is called as the roof of the world. By 2012, the population of Lhasa reached 560,000 and the annual retail sales of social consumer goods in the city were CNY8.8 billion. Of that total, CNY430 million were contributed by the home appliances market.

Meanwhile, the sales of mobile phones, computers, and digital products saw fast growth, and the sales of communications products were over CNY100 million. However, due to the consumer habits and operating cost factors in Lhasa's home appliances market, no large retail chain has entered this relatively small market before.

Sun Weimin, vice chairman of Suning, said that after six months of investigation and preparation, they have gained a full understanding of the consumer habits and market characteristics of Lhasa, and completed the preparation for the new store. This new outlet, which is 3,650 meters above sea level, is not only the highest Suning store, but also built with the highest comprehensive standards.

Suning started its nationwide chain development from 2000 and has maintained fast growth. In 2002, the company entered major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin; in 2005, it expanded into Wuhan and completed chain distribution in major first-tier cities in China; in August 2009, it opened a store in Yinchuan, marking its entry into all provincial capitals except Lhasa. So far, Suning has developed more than 1,600 chain stores in over 600 cities in China and abroad.

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