Canadian Chinese Consumerism’s influence Over Malls Architecture & Interior
Canadian Retail Consumer Market is tremendously affected by the great wave of growing middle class wealth in increasing Chinese population of Canada; causing significant shift in retail consumerism, driven by a new generation of young, prosperous and independent consumers who are upwardly mobile, less price-sensitive and determined to display their worldliness through well-considered consumption of reputed brand products.
With digital technology becoming a part of everyday life, we see a new trend of young Chinese consumers’ boom moving to the web search before they make actual purchase. So, they spend less time in store and devout more time in eating and entertaining in shopping malls. This has great impact on architectural and interior planning on new upcoming and existing malls as we are experiencing that many of the existing shopping malls are undergoing extensive remodeling of their layouts and structure; Brentwood Mall, Willow Brook and Guildford malls are the great examples of this changing scenario.
The first, young middle-class Chinese are willing to pay significant premiums for known Brands they trust to be safe and of high quality and they are willing to pay premiums for higher-end products. Plus, this increasing number of Chinese consumer is also looking for distinctive retail experience where they feel comfortable. They are looking for a lifestyle center with distinctive specialty interior design to enjoy unique shopping experience. Chinese greatly value – a quality associated with dignity and pride, that known brands and plush interior design can offer them.
As Chinese consumer’s ratio is rapidly increasing, their shopping behavior has compelled today’s Architects and Interior Designers to pay equal focus on entertainment zones along with shopping zones. Increased numbers of seating lounges, expansive food courts, presence of the specialty restaurants and movie theatres, special courtyards for events and festivals, high ceilings with oversized sky-light windows to bathe mall with natural lights, extra broad corridors and interconnected walkways, information kiosk and baby care centers, are the evidence of changing consumer shopping behavior.
With increase in population, oriental ethnic culture has become the mainstream. Keeping this in mind it has become significantly necessary for retailers to have interior design to promote “an East meets West” approach. As today’s young consumer is globally connected is obviously looking for a state-of-the-art interior to make his shopping memorable and unique.
Apparently, new trendy buyer is more motivated, thrilled and comfortable shopping in vertically stacked mall where traffic and flow is divided at multiple levels rather than everything is at one level where shopping becomes un-interesting and boring experience.
For today’s sophisticated consumer Shopping has become Style. So many retailers today believe to have distinctive Interior Design to make their store Anchor Store, following theory of how customer could be enticed in a controlled environment.
Dynamic signage, organic forms, LED light enhanced interior display, smooth and shiny surfaces, warm tone neutrals, open and less crowded shelving display, color separation to change the flow and function, efficient flooring design to create seamless transition, ceiling design in relation to display and to incorporate effective lighting and handle ancillary (HAVC/Sprinklers etc.) as part of design – are truly evident in designs to make retail outlet the Status Symbol for new high class consumer who is willing to pay premiums for shopping in high-end store.
Feng Shui approach for greater turnover in Business –
- Indoor and outdoor water features/fountains believed to be auspicious in Chinese culture brings more wealth and turnover to members. Chinese FENG SHUI is now well known to Canadians and it’s becoming popular part of urban Interior Design.
- Open and Airy Layout – creates auspicious energy flow, promotes stress-free environment in which buyer and seller are more energetically tuned makes deeper connection.
- Over-sized skylight windows bring more natural light in is part of yang energy that’s responsible to boost rapid turnover and increased profit.
- Glass façade brings outside in during day and inside out during night creates dynamic chemistry of Yin and Yang, plus creates urban shopping experience to young Canadian Chinese buyers.
Current retail market industry statistic shows – “Customers are evolving very quickly from the low-end market to the middle and high-end,”. In the 1950s and 1960s the world economy was transformed by the emergence of the American consumer. Now China seems poised to become the next consumption superpower. “The future of the world will be profoundly shaped by China’s rush toward consumerism,” says Karl Gerth, an expert on Chinese consumption at the University of California, San Diego.
As a result, in current scenario Architects and Designers should have more focus on Chinese consumer’s shopping behaviours and pattern.