Joy City Property Limited (“Joy City Property” or the “Company”, HKEx Code: 0207) has added impetus to its real estate business by launching China’s first cultural and creative industry-themed indoor pedestrian street in Tianjin Joy City’s Cheer Market. The street is also the first of its kind in the country to have been located inside a shopping centre. Dubbed “a mind-boggling commercial property project” because of its unique and avant-garde style, Cheer Market has been held up as a model that other shopping malls have been following in recent years in an attempt to buck the trend of homogeneity and the influence of e-commerce as well as to shoulder the corporate social responsibility actively.
A graduate who has started a business in Cheer Market says, “Young people find opportunities here to realize their dreams instead of merely letting forces of life dictate how they live.”
Joy City’s target customers, who are aged between 18 and 35, are capable of creating and appreciating artworks, including those designs which are above the mass market’s taste. In particular, Cheer Market caters for the preferences and wants of the yuppies. Positioned as “an art street in a shopping centre”, Cheer Market consists of shipping containers in which entrepreneurs set up shops and are free to exercise their creativity and originality in their interior decoration and design. In addition, the low rent and large share of revenues enjoyed by the businesses in Cheer Market and the place’s unique artistic ambience have attracted a large number of creative young people to make their marks there. The freewheeling atmosphere has given birth to such inventive zones as “Shen Shou Si” (Temple of Auspicious Animals) and “Secret Post Office” which have become magnets for customers.
“Young people are imbued with many original ideas, but usually cannot put them into practice as they face many different kinds of constraints, including a lack of capital”, said a graduate who is a young entrepreneur. “However, they can realize their dreams in Cheer Market, which is a seedbed for new businesses started by the young because of its favourable conditions.”
Tianjin Joy City’s General Manager Mr. Wu Jing says, “A shopping centre should be lively instead of being mundane.”
Located on the fifth floor of Tianjin Joy City, Cheer Market has now turned what was once an inaccessible quiet corner with a large area into an indoor commercial street with a strong character and the highest revenue generated per square metre. The commercial property project distinguishes itself from Nanluoguxiang (South Lane of Gongs and Drums) of Beijing and Tianzifang, which is an arts and crafts enclave of Shanghai, by recreating outdoor streets inside a building. As a masterstroke that counters the trend of homogeneity among shopping centres in recent years, such move has struck a balance between arts and commerce at Cheer Market, and boosted the foot traffic there by letting customers have hands-on experience with the activities organized at the shops. It has also made Joy City’s shopping centre a special place for leisure with taste by adding an artistic aura to it.
The name “Cheer Market” was inspired by the children’s book Nils Holgersson’s wonderful journey acrossSweden of the Nobel Prize-winning writer Selma Lagerlöf. The novel illustrates the protagonist’s personal development through a series of fantasy adventures, and inspires people with a passion for life to feel free to live out their dreams. Mr. Wu says, “The significance of Cheer Market lies in its capability to trigger off people’s desire for creativity with freedom. Their hands-on experience with the interesting activities at the shops there lead to consumption. Cheer Market will help attract customers to Joy City. It has blazed a trail in the industry by bringing outdoor streets indoor and by offering customers a stimulating shopping environment.”
Joy City Property’s Executive Director and General Manager Mr. Han Shi says, “Joy City Property aspires to become a company that will thrive for more than a century, and innovation will be the key to that.”
Although shopping centres have been growing exponentially in recent years, homogenization and e-commerce have been threatening their survival. Nevertheless, Joy City Property stands out amid the intense competition by attracting popular brands as its tenants and by innovating. This has reflected the management’s remarkable foresight, innovation capability and adaptability.
Mr. Han said, “Joy City is much more than a shopping centre. It is a vibrant and trendy place for spreading culture. Joy City will set the trend for the young people’s lifestyle. It will endeavor to achieve this aim through constant innovation and by leading the industry in business management.”
Having made such a breakthrough as Cheer Market for Joy City, the Company will attempt to break new ground in its other commercial property projects. In the future, Joy City Property will continue to counteract the industry’s homogenization and the impact of e-commerce.