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Showing posts with label Shopping Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shopping Culture. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Holiday Patriotism and Mooncakes in Zhongshan

Today at the Dasin Metro-Mall (大信新都汇) in Zhongshan there were patriotic signs of the ongoing National Day holiday.

patriotic flag and star display at the Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


Chinese flag at the Dasin Metro-Mall


Today is also the Mid-Autumn Festival. Like elsewhere in Zhongshan, the conjunction of holidays apparently inspired some "Buy One Get One Free" sales at the mall. Perhaps because of the overlap, I noticed just one sign which only mentioned today's holiday.

sign with "Happyiness mid-autumn festival"


Mooncakes are a popular feature of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Unlike last year, this year I have no sightings of Hello Kitty mooncakes or mooncakes for dogs & cats to share. I saw both of those in Macau, so maybe a short trip would have fixed that.

Instead, for some mooncake spirit here is a photo of an advertisement for mooncakes from Starbucks at Lihe Plaza in Zhongshan:

Starbucks ad for its Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes


A single Starbucks mooncake costs 59 yuan (which at the moment equals U.S. $8.88 — how lucky). A barista pointed out it came in a fancy box which looks like a lantern. It isn't hard to find even pricier mooncakes for sale in China.

Or you could go somewhere like Walmart and buy tiny mooncakes for about 2 yuan (about U.S. 30 cents) each. The ones with black sesame filling and salted egg yolk aren't bad.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

National Day Sales in China: Buy One Get One Free at War Ground

As usual, National Day in China means . . . sales.

sign with "national day" printed with "NATI", "ONAL-", and "DAY" on separate lines


This year is a bit different in that the Mid-Autumn Festival happens to fall during the seven day National Day holiday period, which has been extended to eight days this year to accommodate both holidays. Some stores have played off the double holiday theme this year with variations of "Buy One Get One Free" sales.

For example, a New Bailun LP (Xinbailunlingpao) store I passed today in Zhongshan displayed a "Buy One Get One Free" sign.

buy one get one free sign at New Bailun LP


And so did a YG-Niubailun store nearby.

buy one get one free sign at YG-Niubailun


Both of these stores sell sneakers with logos remarkably similar to New Balance's — fascinating story there for another day.

Now I can't mention holiday sales in Zhongshan without bringing up War Ground - a military-themed clothing store. Two years ago, I noticed that a War Ground store in Zhongshan had a sale for International Women's Day. Later in the year, I saw that they also had a sale for National Day. Today I briefly stopped by the same store. The promotion there was toned down in comparison to two years ago, and I didn't see any explicit mention of the National Day holiday. But there was a red colored "Buy One Get One Free" sign.

buy one get one free sign at War Ground


You can decide whether this counts as a National Day sale or not. Perhaps they decided they could have a sale but it would be best not to mention the holiday directly. War and all that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Selfie Dress for Sale in Zhuhai

One recent post referenced a sign at the Zhuhai Port Plaza underground shopping mall. A more recent post referenced a new mobile phone from Xiaomi marketed as being great for selfies. While looking for something else, I realized I had a photo of something which brings these two topics together: a  dress on sale for 35 yuan (about US $5.30) at the Zhuhai Port Plaza.

dress with camouflage pattern and the word "Selfie"


Among other possibilities, the "Selfie" dress would be fitting for somebody interested in taking a meta-selfie.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mistaking All at a Shopping Mall in Foshan

For a brief amount of time on a recent day, I thought the two shopping centers in Zhuhai with signs stating "All you can get here" and "All is here" had been upstaged by a mall in Foshan — a city bordering Guangzhou and not far away from Zhuhai. But then I looked at another sign and realized I was not now at the All Shopping Mall. Instead, both of the Ls in "All" were actually the number one.

A11 Shopping Mall sign in Foshan


I am tempted to argue the A11 Shopping Mall should have a used a font in their logo which makes a clear distinction between the two characters. But I would like to hear their logic for this design. Perhaps the similarity is intentional, though that isn't necessarily a good justification.

In any case, their online presence does clearly make use of two number ones in their name. So yet again, sometimes all is not as it appears.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Parts and All of All at Two Shopping Centers in Zhuhai

The Zhuhai Port Plaza underground shopping mall has a sign with a claim.

Port Plaza promotional sign with the words "All You Can Get Here"


Given the context, the phrase "all you can get here" encompasses the items shown below. Indeed, all of them, such as food, shopping, beauty salons, and transportation, are available. In fact, more can be found there. And two years ago I even saw some Baltimore Ravens boxer shorts on sale for 25 RMB (about U.S. $3.90 then).

Suffice it to say, a lot of stuff can be found at the Port Plaza, which sits just in front of the Gongbei Port immigration checkpoint at the border with Macau.

But the more upscale shopping area at the Midtown complex, about three kilometers away and also in the Gongbei subdistrict of Zhuhai, makes a much stronger claim.

"All Is Here" sign


In this case, the "all" doesn't appear to be limited to the items below. That only leaves all of all.

Competition is fierce. And that's all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in Guangzhou During the Qingming Festival

Many people in China remembered deceased family members during the recent Qingming Festival. Highlighting another side of how some spent the day, which for many was part of a three day holiday, a series of photos taken at the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in Guangzhou appears below. One of the popular destinations for tourists visiting Guangzhou, the area was much more crowded than usual for a weekday though there were few signs of the holiday itself. The photos include both people who didn't have to work during that afternoon and people who did.

crowded day at the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九) in Guangzhou
One of the wider portions of the street

girl carrying an opened coconut to drink at the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九)
Carrying a coconut to drink

people standing in line for Mango Big Mac drinks and stuffed chicken wings
Standing in line for Mango Big Mac drinks and stuffed chicken wings

people standing in line for fish balls
Standing in line for fish balls

two young women preparing fish balls
Preparing the fish balls

sanitation working pulling five trash bins
Keeping things clean

woman selling fruit from a bike
Selling fruit

bus with advertisement featuring Yao Ming
Driving the bus on a portion of the pedestrian street which isn't as pedestrian-friendly as others

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street security guard standing with a large black staff
Providing security (and stopping people from riding bikes)

little girl riding on a man's shoulder's
Riding high

boy riding on a wheeled suitcase
Riding low

many carrying a baby
Riding somewhere in between

people, including a few wearing face masks, at the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street
A few wore face masks

two people wearing more distinctive clothing styles
Walking

young woman holding up a mobile phone to take a photo of the crowded Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street during the Qingming Festival
Photographing

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Beef Brisket, Burger Queen, and Goddesses: International Women's Day Promotions in China

Two years ago in Zhongshan, Guangdong, I saw a sale for International Women's Day at War Ground — a military-themed clothing retailer. Last year in Jieyang, Guangdong, I saw two Women's Day sales featuring laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid.

In an article featuring some of this year's online Women's Day sales in China, Yvette Tan shares how some in China aren't happy about the sales:
It's worth noting that organisers for March 8's "A Day Without A Woman", aimed at calling attention to the economic inequalities faced by women, has called on women to avoid shopping for the day.

Some Chinese netizens are unimpressed with the commercialism of the day.

"Queen's Day, Girls Day, Princess Day, whatever you call it, I think it's disgusting," said one user on Weibo. "You took a perfectly good celebration and made it into this."
Tan also mentions one of the more thought-provoking promotions: a collaboration in Shanghai between Burger King and Y&R Shanghai captured in a video:
Prompted by the question, ‘Can you be our Burger Queen?’, most female interviewees, despite their various differences, doubted or questioned their worthiness of such a regal title.

Having sparked huge curiosity about who would be crowned Burger Queen, female customers opening their burger boxes today face the ultimate unveil – a mirror topped with a crown and the message ‘Every one of you is our Burger Queen.’

Regardless of how one feels about Burger King, the video is worth watching for the variety of perspectives captured.

For Women's Day this year I am yet again in Guangdong province, but this time in its capital Guangzhou. And yet again, I have seen sales for the holiday, including several days ago at a grocery market specializing in imported goods.

199 Go Shopping Women's Day promotion featuring ice cream cones and brisket


This was the only Women's Day sale I noticed that featured beef brisket. But it was similar to a number of other sales in lasting for multiple days before or after the holiday. Another common feature of other sales I noticed in Guangzhou were discounts based on the holiday's date March 8 (3-8). For example, sometimes prices were discounted to 38% of the original price or reduced by 38 yuan (about US $5.50).

Presumably the largest number of sales occurred today. This afternoon I visited the popular Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, which captures one side of Guangzhou's vast range of shopping experiences. No modern luxury malls line the street, but there are plenty of stores and shoppers.

Unsurprisingly, the Woman & Baby Company had a Women's Day sale.

Woman & Baby Company Women's Day sale


A leather goods retailer also had a holiday promotion.

Mexican Women's Day sale


Retailers for several Chinese sportswear brands were in the holiday spirit as well, including 361 Degrees.

361 Degrees Women's Day sale


And Li-Ning . . .

Li-Ning Women's Day sale


And Anta . . .

Anta Women's Day sale


And even New Banluce . . .

New Banluce Women's Day sale


Some people may notice New Banluce's name and logo are remarkably similar to another sportswear brand. I didn't see a sale specific to the Women's Day holiday at New Barlun though.

New Barlun Women's Day sale


This touches on some of the challenges faced by a far more globally recognized sportswear brand, New Balance, in China. I will save that for another day. I don't think there is a New Balance store on this pedestrian street, but there are stores elsewhere in Guangzhou.

Back to the Women's Day sales, Sino Gem didn't miss out.

Sino Gem Women's Day sale


The most remarkable promotion I saw today was at one of the stores of another jewelry retailer — Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry.

Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry Goddes Sale


Instead of using the term "Women's Day", like some other retailers they went with another name, in this case "Goddess Day" (I'll take the liberty to fix the English spelling).

Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry Goddes Day sign


Just to be sure, I confirmed with one of the employees that the sale was for Women's Day.

But I haven't gotten to the part that left the biggest impression. I had the fortune to stop by during a special moment. I don't have right words to express it, so this happened along with majestic music:

Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry promotion with people dressed up in ancient traditional costumes


And things didn't stop there, soon the well-dressed group took a short walk down the pedestrian street.

Royalty walking down the Shangxia Jiu Pedestrian Street


Upon returning to the store, they graciously allowed a few people to take photos with them.

woman posing for photo with pretend royalty


I wonder if the baby on her back was excited by it all.

Anyway, I can't top that promotion today.

The commercialization of Women's Day hasn't reached the levels of Christmas in China, but it does seem to be growing. Some see the sales as a sign of women's growing economic power. Some would like to see women in China heard more in other ways.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

For Sale on a Tricycle Cart in Hongkou

This weekend I didn't see another woman selling flowers from a push cart in Hongkou, Shanghai. But on a small bridge on Ha'erbin Road, I did see a woman selling assorted items from a tricycle cart.

woman sitting with a child next to a tricycle cart filled and covered with items for sale in Shanghai

She was mostly preoccupied with her mobile phone at the time. The child with her looked on and also watched some of the people and vehicles passing by.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Flowers for Sale on a Friday in Hongkou

Among other things I did today in Hongkou, Shanghai, I saw migrant workers outside a construction site demonstrate about missing pay, remembered the partially demolished neighborhood I had walked through there over a year ago, listened to a security guard for an art museum criticize Donald Trump, ate traditional plum flower cake with a black sesame filling, drank milk tea which had no taste of tea, and wondered about the history of the Hongkou Fire Station.

Watching a woman sell flowers from a cart alongside Sichuan North Road was something else I did. All I have mentioned would be suitable for a post, and I hope to share more about each of them someday in the future. But as I looked through today's photos, sharing some of the woman and her flowers felt most fitting for this Friday. The scenes make even more of an impression now than when I took the photos, perhaps because I have more time to reflect upon them. Or maybe because they now feel more isolated from the busy environment which surrounded them.

So here are two photos of a person I saw only briefly. Before I left the area, I saw her rolling her cart of flowers away. I didn't know why she had decided it was time to move on, and I didn't know where she was going.


woman selling flowers from a cart in Hongkou, Shanghai



woman selling flowers from a cart in Hongkou, Shanghai

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bowing and Waving: Contrasting Statues of Japanese Prime Ministers in China

Steve George, a journalist for CNN International, recently commented on a photo of a statue at a mall in Northeast China.

statue of Abe Shinzo with a Hitler-style mustache and bowing

I wasn't surprised to see how Shinzo was depicted or to later discover that the mall is in Shenyang, where six years ago I saw rows of statues depicting the "disgraceful end of the Japanese aggressors" — all in a similar pose — at a museum.

However, the photo also reminded me of a contrasting set of statues I saw several weeks ago between a Starbucks and a Burger King at the ICITY shopping center in Dalian, another city in Liaoning province.



The statues of five world leaders, past and present, were all clearly labeled.

statue of Barack Obama in Dalian, China
"President of the U.S.: Barack Obama"


statue of Nicolas Sarkozy in Dalian, China
"President of France: Nicolas Sarkozy"


statue of Vladimir Putin in Dalian, China
"Prime Minister of Russia: Vladimir Putin"


statue of Bill Clinton in Dalian, China
"President of the U.S.: Bill Clinton"


statue of Junichiro Koizumi in Dalian, China
"Prime Minister of Japan: Junichiro Koizumi"


Obama and Putin were the only current leaders of the set, and Putin is now the President of Russia. It was the statue of the previous Prime Minister of Japan which most caught my eye. Unlike the statue in Shenyang, the design showed no sign of humiliation or apology. Or even a Hitler mustache. Instead, the statue of Koizumi was on equal footing with the others and greeted shoppers as they exited one of the two facing elevators.


elevator doors at the ICITY shopping center in Dalian, China


The statue in Shenyang reflects the anti-Japanese sentiment common in China. But as Chinese traveling to Japan during a Victory Over Japan holiday last year indicated, the full story of Chinese attitudes towards the country and its people is complicated. The statue of the Japanese prime minister in Dalian appears to be representative of a more positive side.

Koizumi did have some small scruff marks though.

statues of world leaders at a mall in Dalian, China