Li Ka-shing’s Parknshop losing out in mainland China market

Source: 21 Century Business Herald

21st Century Business Herald — Parknshop, the vanguard of Li Ka-shing’s retailing business, on Monday (May 14) closed its store at Shanghai’s Westgate Mall, a premier business site in China’s commercial hub.

The closure is temporary and the company will continue to open new stores in Shanghai, a PR official said.

For some observers, however, Parknshop is looking doomed to failure in the mainland market.

Parknshop was the first foreign retailer in Shanghai, and it had a peak of 21 stores in the city. However, after 2000, the brand started on the road to decline.

The closing of the store at the Westgate Mall means the brand will not have any store in Shanghai until at least mid-2012.

Parknshop has not been able to get to grips with the local business environment and has been troubled by some historical problems, an industry insider told the 21st Century Business Herald.

The company hit success with standard supermarket sizes in Hong Kong, where land is limited and rents are high, but Mainland Chinese prefer hypermarket formats, the insider said.

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