Located in Western China, Chengdu is known as one of the top economic capitals in China. In 2010, the Chengdu Retail Industry Association released a report showing 241.1 billion RMB spending in Chengdu, with 64% of that spent on consumer goods - clothes, jewelry, home appliances etc. Chengdu’s retail and consumer market is growing rapidly; huge malls are popping up all over the city, adding to the many already existing international shopping centers around town.
With all of the options available to you, you’re going to need to the “must-see shopping areas” of Chengdu.
1) Chunxi Lu (春熙路)
The Chunxi Road Business Zone is one of Chengdu’s largest and most popular shopping districts. In the past the shopping area was just a single pedestrian street in downtown Chengdu, but now it has developed and spread to become much larger, covering several city blocks and spilling over in all directions.
The original pedestrian street and the streets immediately surrounding Chunxi Lu offer a plethora of shopping destinations for everyone. Some of the notable international brands available in the Chunxi Lu shopping district include H&M, UNIQLO, Adidas, Nike, Häagen-Dazs, and Jack and Jones. The Häagen-Dazs location is right in the center of the district, not far from one of Chengdu’s busiest Starbucks outlets.
The biggest draws to this shopping district are the three megamalls which sell everything from imported goods to local vegetables, including apparel, appliances and even sporting equipment.
Ito Yokado and Isetan are the two large Japanese megamalls that carry big-name brands, such as Coach, SWAROVSKI, GODIVA, and ZARA, as well as whole floors devoted to kids games, electronics and Asian foods. You’ll find sushi, sukiyaki, and Japan’s famous Tonkatsu Wako, as well as local Sichuan places, Hong Kong restaurants, and Western-style cafes in both Ito Yokado and Isetan.
Chicony is a Taiwanese-developed shopping mall where you’ll find many high-end brands, such as Rolex, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, BVLGARI, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, and Lacoste. The entire 9th floor of the Chicony mall is a boardwalk of many international foods including Korean, Hong Kong, Indian, Japanese, and Thai. You’ll even find Papa John’s pizza if you’re looking for that American flavor!
More than just a simple shopping area, Chunxi Lu is also an important landmark in downtown Chengdu. It lies just east of the Mao Statue on Tianfu Plaza and serves as a symbolic boundary (along with Mao) between the north-south and east-west parts of the city. A statue of 孙中山 (Sun Yat-Sen) stands in the central square of the shopping district. Sun Yat-Sen is known as the founder of modern China, and also “The Father of the Nation”.
Chengdu Metro Line 2 recently opened, and Chunxi Lu is now easily reachable through the Chunxi Lu (春熙路) stop - one stop east of the Tianfu Square interchange.
2) Raffles City （来福士广场）
Raffles City is Chengdu’s newest mall, having opened on September 23, 2012. It was developed by the Singaporean firm Capitaland. The mall was designed by world-renowned architect Steven Holl, and has quickly become an iconic structure on the south side of the city, right off of the city’s main artery, Renmin Road. The building also includes the dramatic Light Pavilion, an experimental art installation by designer Lebbeus Woods.
Raffles City offers a breath of fresh air for both local and foreigners in Chengdu. Unlike other shopping centers, Raffles City is almost pure international flavor: more than 70% of all outlets are the types of foreign brands you would find at a comparable mall back home, including a spectacular grocery store, TREAT, which carries an incredibly large selection of foreign groceries at affordable prices. Raffles City is a mixed-use development, so the complex includes retail, food, entertainment outlets, and office space.
Raffles City is also the home of Lumière Pavilions, one of only 15 theatres worldwide that use the new Dolby Atmos sound format (referred to as LD in China), lauded for giving users a 4D-like experience. The first movie to be shown using this technology will be Taken 2. Next to the theatres, you’ll also find a state of the art arcade with all of the newest games.
Raffles City is easily reachable by Chengdu Metro Line 1, at the Sichuan Gymnasium (省体育馆) stop.
3) Galleria （凯丹广场）
The Galleria has been one of Chengdu’s top landmarks for international products since it opened back in 2005. In 2010, the Galleria won “Best Retail Project in China 2010,” awarded by the International Property Awards in association with Bloomberg. The Dutch-owned mall offers five levels of shopping, loaded with major international brand names. The Galleria has an excellent theater offering foreign films and a quality cantina with local and international cuisines.
The Galleria can be reached via Chengdu Metro Line 1, at the South Train Station (火车南站) stop.
4) MixC (万象城)
MixC is another one of Chengdu’s newer megamalls. Although somewhat difficult to reach on the east side of the city, you won’t be disappointed if you make the trip. The MixC has one of the best retail selections in the city, including well-known stores like Honeymoon Dessert, GODIVA, Aji Ichiban, Columbia, FILA, and even a Toys R’ Us store.
But the best part about MixC is the selection of food! Not only does the mall have a staggering array of local and international restaurants and cafes, but the Olé grocery store on the ground floor stocks some difficult-to-get foreign brands and organic foods. Olé also sells fresh bread for under 20 yuan a loaf. For entertainment, the theatre in MixC also offers a number of English films and a very cool indoor skating rink.
5) Yanlord Landmark (仁恒置地广场)
Opened in 2010, Yanlord Landmark is a mall dedicated solely to luxury brands. Several of the world’s largest luxury brands have their Chengdu flagship stores in the Yanlord Landmark complex, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Burberry, Canali, Berlutti and Hugo Boss.
The Yanlord Landmark’s entire concept is based around luxury living, so the decor, layout and storefronts strive to reflect that concept. The mixed-use development has several high-end restaurants, excellent spas, and one of Yanlord Landmark’s finest features: the ultra-luxurious Fraser Suites serviced apartments.
Yanlord Landmark is easily reachable with Metro Line 1 at the Jinjiang Hotel (锦江宾馆) stop.
Chengdu is growing and evolving at a rapid pace, with more and more mega-malls going up each year. We will continue to update this space with new and exciting locations for shopping, but for now check out these other great locations:
- Wang Fu Jing (王府井): A well-known Chinese mall with two locations in Chengdu. One location north of Chunxi Lu, and the second just south of the Nijiaqiao (倪家桥) subway station on Metro Line 1.
- 9 Square (九方购物中心): Another new mall which opened in September. Accessible by subway at the Incubation Park (孵化园) stop on Metro Line 1.
- Wanda Mall (万达广场): A large mall right on the east side of the city, bordering 2nd ring road that offers some international brands, as well Japan’s department store, Ito Yokado. Unlike, Chunxi Lu’s Ito Yokado, this location stocks extra foreign goods for the neighboring expats living in Jade City.
- UNO Mall (富力天汇中心): A large mall that carries UNIQLO, H&M, a movie theatre, skating rink, and a floor that sells cars. This mall is northwest of Chunxi Lu.
- Lotte Mall (乐天购物中心): Owned by South Korea’s largest shopping and food conglomerate, Lotte will be opening up their signature department store in Chengdu in early 2013. This mall will introduce a new business model that integrates shopping with a vacation resort.
No. 22, Huanhuabei Road, Qing Yang District, Chengdu
No.231 Wuhouci Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu
Website:http://www.cdjinli.com/(Chinese version only)
Kuan-Zhai Alley, Qingyang District, Chengdu
No. 3 Renmin South Road 4th Section, Wu Hou District