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Chinese Department Stores Face Challenges Amid Slow Consumer Recovery

Recovery of China’s consumer spending has been slow, impacting not only small shops but also department stores. According to the “2023-2024 China Department Store Retail Industry Development Report,” 70.1% of department stores reported foot traffic has not returned to 2019 levels, and 64.9% say sales have not returned to 2019 levels.

Over 10 department stores have closed so far this year, including Shanghai Meilong Town Isetan Department Store. At least 21 stores closed in 2023, and 35 closed in 2022. Stores reported an 8.8% increase in department store sales in 2023; this increase was due to the low base period in 2022 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges persist, including the impact of e-commerce, rising costs leading to staff cuts, and declining foot traffic.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), April 6, 2024