Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Great Wall and the New M&M's World in Shanghai

entrance to M&M's World in Shanghai

A two-story M&M's World recently opened along Shanghai's popular Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street. A press release stated:
M&M’s is the world’s biggest chocolate brand and a popular and growing brand in China and across Asia. The brand, in partnership with Mars Retail Group, which operates the M&M’s World stores across the globe, selected Shanghai as the ideal city for the first M&M’s World store in Asia, due to the city’s truly global feel and appeal. The location in the Brilliance Shimao International Plaza made perfect sense for the world’s biggest chocolate brand, as East Nanjing Road is the busiest pedestrian street in China and a highly visited tourist destination in Shanghai.
In addition to M&M's chocolate candies, the store sells a wide variety of M&M themed goods.

hat and children's clothes for sale at M&M's World in Shanghai

phone cases for sale at M&M's World in Shanghai

And staff offer their assistance for the numerous photographic opportunities which beckon.

M&M's World staff taking a photo of customers with an M&M's character in Shanghai

During my visit on a Wednesday afternoon, the store was not packed but had a steady stream of visitors. Despite all of the attractions, though, a few people appeared less-than-captivated.

two young men staring out a window while crouched at the M&M's World in Shanghai

man sleeping at the M&M's World in Shanghai

Of particular interest to me were the store's localizations for the Shanghai market—such as the Shanghai-themed shirts, Chinese lanterns, and M&M's characters in panda costumes.

M&M's Shanghai shirt at the M&M's World in Shanghai

colored Chinese lanterns with an M&M's logo

M&M's character in a panda costume

One stood out above the rest, and with mixed emotions I can now say I have seen the "Great Wall of Chocolate".

The Great Wall of Chocolate at the M&M's World in Shanghai

Regardless of the wall's apparent popularity, only time will tell for sure whether the store has lasting power similar to a more famous wall in China or faces the same fate as a Shanghai Barbie store.

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