Ausen Real Estate Development Set To Invest US$22 Million In Luxury Home Furnishing Retail Complex, Due To Open Next Year
While announcements of new large-scale real estate projects in China are nothing new, nor are they particularly exciting on the whole, Ausen Real Estate Development Co.’s recently-announced plans to open a massive home furnishing retail complex near Shanghai next year stand out. Set to be located in Xinbang, in Shanghai’s Songjiang District (less than an hour’s drive southwest of downtown), the austerely named Ausen World Brand Home Furnishings Center will include features not often seen at furniture stores, including a hotel and restaurant for shoppers who prefer to make a weekend out of their shopping trips. Although slapping a hotel onto a massive furniture store isn’t exactly unheard of, it most certainly is unusual.
According to company spokespeople, Ausen World‘s main focus will be on American and European furniture, popular but often poorly understood by Shanghai-area residents. The center will also include Premium home furnishing areas designed to emulate “DIY” stores like the Home Depot. From Furniture Today:
Another unusual feature for a Chinese retail center will be the presence of on-site interior designers, who can help consumers with home design and product choices.
In a statement, Ausen said it intends to be a door to the Chinese market for Western brands. It will offer help with operating in the country, including support of import entry, logistics and storage.
Zhang said he believes the center will offer a “family feel” that is missing from most Chinese retail spaces, with a rewarding consumer experience for shoppers and their children. An Australian company will design the “eco-garden” look of the complex, including outdoor leisure areas.
Zhang added that while global luxury goods sales have declined in the economic downturn, the China market is holding steady as the brand awareness and consuming power of the country’s middle and upper-income classes continue to grow.
The developers said the center “wishes to spread Western culture by launching premium European and American furniture,” but have not yet announced any brands to be carried. Lectures on Western design trends will be held in the center’s public areas, and furnishings brands are expected to launch products there periodically, officials said.
In addition, the Ausen center will create an e-business platform, which combined with the bricks-an-mortar stores will make the first shopping experience of its kind for furnishings in China, the developers said.