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Retailing in Xi’an

December 2017

As an ancient capital in China’s long history, Xi’an inherited rich culture and history which has deeply influenced the city till now. The height limit of all buildings in downtown areas surrounded by ancient walls and gates leads to typical building structure among all retailing formats. Meanwhile, with the implementation of “the Belt and Road Initiative”, this ancient city has been not only penetrated with modern grocery retailers but also well prepared for new concepts of retailing.

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The height limit spawns unique building structures of department stores

The down town area in Xi’an is surrounded by ancient walls and gates. In order to protect the historic culture, buildings in this area are all limited to a certain height. With such height limit, department stores have to scale out in order to expand its selling space.

Convenience stores have been highly developing but still under mature

Xi’an is highly penetrated with convenient stores, yet the market is extremely fragmented with a large number of independent players. The majority of the independent convenience stores adopt very similar logos to the leading chained player, Everyday, yet with different brand names.

The cultural inheritance of Sun Simiao breeds para-pharmacies

Sun Simiao, known as the “King of Medicine” in Tang Dynasty left rich culture of Traditional Chinese Medicine, widely accepted among Xi’an residents. Moreover, Mount Qin, near Xi’an city, is rich in various traditional Chinese medicine materials, supports the popularity of TCM in Xi’an.

The ancient city welcomes new concepts of retailing

With rising disposable income and ongoing urbanisation, imported goodsparticularly beauty and personal care products and packaged food witnessedincreasing popularity, leading to the development of cross-boarder e-commercein Xi’an, which is also highly supported by local governments, to follow the “theBelt and Road Initiative”.

Retailing in Xi'an

Retailing in Xi'an
Xi’an: s tartgate of the ancient silk road with long history
Consumer Profile: traditional, ethnic, and convenience-oriented
A Typical Outlet
Key findings
The height limit spawns unique building structures
Large selling spaces encourage impressive counters
High penetration rate of convenience stores in the ancient city
Fast developing convenience stores remain under mature
TCM parapharmacies are well received
The rich natural resources breeds the penetration of TCM
New concept of retailing is welcomed in the city
Cross-boarder e-commerce are supported by local authorities
Xi’an Everyday Convenience Store Chains Co Ltd
Century Ginwa Retail Holdings Limited
Xi’an Ganyazi Trading Co Ltd
Key Takeaways
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