West Nanjing Road Releases Blueprint for “Back Street Economy”

Released on:2018-05-09


On 12th April, first-class global strategy consulting firm Roland Berger released Blueprint for Back Street Economic Strategy of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District (hereinafter referred to as “Blueprint”) which is based on Roland Berger’s analysis on and reference to examples of how other world-class shopping streets successfully developed their back streets and which is customized on the feature of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District of being an upscale commercial agglomeration zone. The Blueprint points out that faced with the backdrop of consumption upgrade in China, Jing’an District, which is a new benchmark of downtown Shanghai, and West Nanjing Road, which constructs the ecology of international business circle, should strive to develop “back street economy” and undertake the historical task of becoming the demonstration zone of international consumption city and thus make Shanghai a more perfect global city of excellence.


West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District has 4 types of target customers: domestic and foreign tourists, local residents, high-level intellectual people and weekend customers. These people have 8 kinds of needs including experiencing the Shanghai-style culture, creative social consumption, quality life consumption as well as experiential culture and recreation consumption. According to the Blueprint, in the new economic era, Jing’an District should keep up with the global trend of city upgrading and further upgrade the commercial types, probe into local culture, drive the innovation agglomeration and offer intelligent services.


The “back street economy” mode in the Blueprint is based on reference, absorption and analysis on the examples of world-class shopping streets including the Oxford Street in London, the Ginza shopping area in Tokyo, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Fifth Avenue in New York. The back street is the functional medium that extends, expands and supplements the main street, aiming to coordinate the main streets to form complete commercial ecology systems in downtown areas of metropolises. West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District is a world-class main street of central commercial area and is the most typical area in Shanghai as the modern international city. In Jing’an District, there are 11 back streets that enjoy development potential with distinctive commercial atmosphere as well as abundant historical and cultural resources around West Nanjing Road. If these back streets can further expand and supplement the functions of the main street, they will contribute to West Nanjing Road’s exponential growth in consumption attractiveness, customization of commercial types and diversity of newly-developing types of business.


The main street of West Nanjing Road is an upscale commercial agglomeration zone. During its development, it always sticks to its internationalized, high-end, qualified and innovative features. Based on the strengths of the main street of West Nanjing Road, Roland Berger posed in the Blueprint that in order to meet the international development trends and upgrade needs, the back streets of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District should stick to four major development concepts, namely “Shanghai school style”, “diversified experience”, “customer-orientation” and “trend-leading”, making the back streets of West Nanjing Road a constructor of international business ecology and a new highlight of Shanghai-style culture. In terms of the development vision of the back street, Roland Berger posed a humanistic slogan: “a back street with ‘four haves’ and you” which focuses on “a lifestyle you long for” instead of focusing on shopping streets with neither features nor originality.


Liu Min, Vice Director of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce said that Shanghai should gather more global high-end brands, build a more distinctive and famous trade area, seize the great opportunity that China International Import Expo has brought, and thus make people believe that “mentioning shopping, Shanghai is the best choice”, making Shanghai a shopping paradise that everybody is willing to go.


Zhou Haiying, Vice Governor of Jing’an District said: Blueprint for Back Street Economic Strategy of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District provides us a new idea for further facilitating the construction of the commercial circle of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District, and a new idea for perfecting the ecological structure of commerce of the trade area. The government of Jing’an District will further perfect the economic development and management organizations, coordinate social forces to jointly facilitate the construction of the back streets. Meanwhile, the government will also further perfect the infrastructure of the back streets to improve integrated service; confirm the subject of back street development and make full use of new media to strengthen the publicity of the back streets so as to make them well-known.”


Back streets of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District will follow the “Three Belts, Three Axes and Two Streets” layout, making the “twin stars and twin landmarks” (twin stars refer to Fengsheng Lane and Zhangyuan 99 while twin landmarks refer to the Paramount and 800 Show) new highlights that support the development of the main street. Wujiang Road, Meitaiheng Back Street (Nanyang Road + Fengxian Road) and (East) Yuyuan Road form the “Three Belts”, while North Shaanxi Road, Jiangning Road and Tongren Road form the “Three Axes” of culture. The “Two Streets” refer to Taixing Road and North Maoming Road, which take advantage of the two highlights, namely Zhang Yuan 99 and Fengsheng Lane, aiming at being twin stars of international fashion trend and establishing immortal night economy. The “Three Belts” with different strong points target at different groups of customers. Wujiang Road will be a street of experiential leisure while Meitaiheng Back Street values personalized styles, and (East) Yuyuan Road focuses on slow-paced quality life. The two landmarks, namely the Paramount and 800 Show will be the embodiment of Shanghai-style culture and modern cultural fashion. As for the “Three Axes”, they are more of streets with distinctive cultures that focus on Shanghai-style history and culture, modern cultural drama and graceful artistic life respectively. “The Two Streets” refers to Xikang Road and Weihai Road, the two streets with different themes. Xikang Road will take healthy life as its theme while Weihai Road will be the pioneer street of scientific innovation which is dedicated to expanding the network of the back streets.


Charles-Edouard Bouée, CEO of Roland Berger Global said, “If we take a wide view of the systems of central cities in the world, we will find out that advanced global cities like London, New York, Tokyo and Paris are all on leading positions of modernization and distinctive culture. Back streets in cities have distinctive advantages in accumulating cultural deposits and cultural heritage, and thus gradually become the “distinctive areas that can be considered the contemporary embodiment of the history of the cities” in the progress of city development.


Extended Reading


An introduction to the Blueprint for Back Street Economic Strategy of West Nanjing Road in Jing’an District


Taixing Road and North Maoming Road: Two highlights base on Zhangyuan 99 and Fengsheng Lane, aiming to build immortal night economy with “twins of international fashion” as a clue. The two streets target foreign businessmen, international tourists and stylish people, satisfying their diversified consumption demands at night. The two roads stick to the design concept of “the night never ends”, highlighting their international, diversified, prosperous and interesting features to build a rich and pluralistic business line portfolio. Taixing Road and North Maoming Road regard night economy-related lines of business as its backbone, attracting lines of business including music bars, bars with specific themes, beer houses, Live House, midnight diners and night theaters, and match them to diversified international restaurants, specialty cafe, specialty souvenir shops and former residences of celebrities with historical and cultural connotations to ensure better customer experience. The two roads also regard a “bright and prosperous” international street as a keynote; reserving and renovating the Shikumen constructions with Shanghai style, creating a sense of “sleepless nights with fiery trees and silver flowers” through nightscape lighting, planting plane trees along the streets and decorating the streets with the colorful Boston ivies to add interest and charm.


Wujiang Road: Making full use of the popularity of the pedestrian street and the diversion function of the crossed subway lines, Wujiang Road further popularizes its label of delicious food. It follows “come to Wujiang Road to experience a brand new life” as clue, making West Nanjing Road trade area a leader in experiential consumption. Wujiang Road targets white collars, stylish youngsters and families with children, meeting their consumer preferences of “novelty and changes”. It sticks to the design concept of “eye-catching and bustling”, pushing forward the newest stylish consumption items of experience and interaction. Wujiang Road introduces experiential shopping like unmanned convenience stores, offline experiential stores of online celebrated stores, brand pop-up shops and stylish life shops; experiential catering such as trans-boundary dining service, pop-up bars, and themed leisure restaurants combined with supermarkets and beauty products; experiential leisure like parent-children DIY toy shops, IP pop-up shops and the most In lifestyle experiential shops into the street. The street view themed “vitality” and “interest” aims to build a personalized, stylish atmosphere through graffiti and roof greening. Wujiang Road makes full use of small-scale spaces like corners of shops as well as streets and staircases to ensure diverse views all over the street. The pedestrian street is decorated with small-scale musical fountains in purpose of making the street seem more active and giving the visitors a sense of refreshment so as to optimize the walking experience.


Meitaiheng Back Street (including Nanyang Road and Fengxian Road): Based on existing online celebrated food service and line of business based on fashion, Meitaiheng Back Street carries some matching functions to Meitailong office buildings. The back street follows “New·Stylish·Free·Young” as the vision, aiming to establish a personalized fashion street of the new era that makes trend chasers feel too satisfied to leave. Meitaiheng Back Street targets stylish youngsters and white collars, meeting their needs for “distinctive true self and interesting tours”. Based on the design concept of “stylish Shanghai”, the back street strives to drive the agglomeration of customization, personalization and distinctive new fashion portfolio to introduce personalized shopping like customizing / reconstructing shops, fashion designers’ shops, fashion boutiques and Vintage second-hand shops; online celebrated food service like online celebrated IP restaurants, restaurants of the beautiful and the handsome and popular snacks; fashion life sets including style design, integrated interesting line of business, new retail in communities and high-end life services into the back street. The back street follows “stylish” sacred spots for street snaps as a clue to design the street’s overall style, encouraging distinctive fashion style and enhancing the openness of buildings. As for the street views, the back street builds paths of cherry blossoms and matches them to lightening so as to build a splendid night view, changing Nanyang Road and Fengxian Road into sacred spots for online celebrated street snaps in Shanghai.


Yuyuan Road: Based on the existing lines of business that consists of catering service and leisure entertainment, Yuyuan Road reserves the cultural appeal formed by the historical constructions and former residences of celebrities, following “slow down to enjoy your life” as the vision to build a slow-paced lifestyle with the most tasteful sentiment and style. Yuyuan Road mainly targets white collars, local residents and weekend crowds nearby, satisfying their consumption needs for recreation outside working hours. It sticks to the design concept of “enjoy your lives with great gusto”, highlighting the delicate, graceful, literary, petty bourgeoisie-featured, and slow-paced lines of business with a rich layout. Yuyuan Road introduces exquisite life experiential shops including painting, flower arrangement, tea ceremony, desserts, embroidery, ceramic and high-end DIY studios; slow-paced leisure recreations such as private cinemas, cat cafes, private book bars / libraries, and diversified delicious foods including distinctive themed restaurants and snack shops into the street. Yuyuan Road follows “exquisite culture” as a clue, building accessories including sculptures and manhole covers that reflect local flavor to add sentiment to the street; studying the experience of how back streets in London are developed and add subject-based hanging flower design to reinforce the atmosphere of culture.


The Paramount: As the cradle of Shanghai jazz culture and a typical construction of Shanghai style, the Paramount pursues “the dream of prosperous Shanghai, the jazz of Shanghai school style”, aiming to build a Shanghai-style landmark and reproduce the prosperous view of the past. The Paramount targets culture lovers, domestic and foreign tourists and Shanghai natives, satisfying their curiosities about Shanghai culture and history. Sticking to the design concept of “the cradle of the jazz culture”, the Paramount regards the jazz music performances, jazz culture corridors and the 3D light shows as its core products of cultural experiencing activities, and matches them to sentimental foods and drinks including delicate Western cuisines and French afternoon tea. Together with bars with stages, New Year's Eve concerts and other social entertaining activities, they form the classical sense and Shanghai style for the Paramount. Meanwhile, vinyl record shops as well as men’s clothing boutiques and jazz culture peripheral shops in accordance with the image of “stylish gentlemen of older generations” are also set around the Paramount.


800 Show: 800 Show uses the Shanghai Exhibition Center as its high-energy resources entrance, follows “lead the trend, brighten the stars” as the vision to make itself the next modern cultural and fashion landmark in Jing’an District. 800 Show sticks to the design concept of “an eye-catching venue” and forms a show-show linkage with Shanghai Exhibition Center, undertaking the main venue’s eye-catching exhibitions and competition activities, following the concept of “exhibition, culture, business and tourism” to drive the back streets’ development in an all-around way. Take fashion launches in exhibitions as an example, 800 Show can be used as a sub-venue for launching events of niche brands / designers and for activities related to DIY designs while promoting direct designer product selling in North Shaanxi Road and the Meitaihang Back Street. Take the mass entrepreneurship and innovation competitions in the events as an example. 800 Show can serve as the sub-venue of the event, or host small-scale hack competitions, youngsters’ creation competitions, and eye-catching events including TED Talks and roadshows. Meanwhile, it can also push Weihai Road, part of the back streets to conduct activities including experience exchanging meetings on how to start a business.


North Shaanxi Road: Based on the street of time-honored brands in the southern segment and the well-known street of abundant historical construction clusters in the northern segment, North Shaanxi Road follows “memories of 100 years, heritage of the classics” as the vision, building a new stage in Shanghai that shows the Shanghai school style culture to the world. North Shaanxi Road focuses on attracting tourists home and abroad as well as Shanghainese to come to the street for shopping and sightseeing, meeting their needs for experiencing the Shanghai style, reviewing the history of Shanghai and purchasing featured souvenirs. North Shaanxi Road sticks to the design concept of “memory of the old Shanghai” and posed the four central guidelines. The first being building the customized experiential center of time-honored brands to enrich the current lines of business of time-honored clothing brands and reinforcing the street’s experiential function through customized services, traditional clothing experience and the setups of master studios; the second being building an exhibition center of Shanghai school style culture based on the existing Shikumen constructions to show the scenes of lives and items of Shanghai in the 1930s so as to create an immersive experience for the visitors. Meanwhile, North Shaanxi Road introduces abundant local cuisine for tourists to taste Shanghai at the same time; the third being jointly establish intellectualized cultural tours with the product launch center, and thus letting the tourists touch the history though APP navigation, physical scenes + VR/AR and walking tours while combining them with tourism projects and holding regular product launch events; the fourth being building a Skills Training Center, digging deep into the connotation of Shanghai school style culture, learning from the successful experience of the Palace Museum, setting souvenir shops and letting the tourists participate in the manufacturing process, and introduce independent culture innovation studios into the street to host various exhibitions and lectures. The sightseeing block follows the theme of “classical leisure” to form its unique style, renovating the classical Shanghai style constructions and historical sites so as to make the block more open, giving the pedestrians a sense of returning to the old Shanghai. As for the street view, North Shaanxi Road learns from the Walk of Fame mode to establish a historical corridor of Shanghai history, showing free-hand sketch maps that portrait Shanghai, and letting the tourists further experience the history of Shanghai.


Jiangning Road: Based on the three major mediums for drama, namely the Majestic Theatre, the Shanghai Art Theater and the Mckinnon Hotel, Jiangning Road tries to extend the connotation of cultural drama, following “drama narrates lives, drama praises the ages” as the vision to establish a modern valley for drama culture, targeting culture lovers, domestic and foreign tourists as well as local residents, and satisfy their diversified demands for spiritual civilization. Jiangning Road sticks to the design concept of “neglect neither reading nor drama enjoying”, further reinforcing and enriching the existing line of business, namely drama performance, learning from the examples of how the West End and the Broadway succeeded, introducing well-known drama IPs home and abroad into the street, and enriching the existing drama mediums to carry performances of different types and scales. Meanwhile, Jiangning Road introduces diversified art businesses including distinctive bookstores, recording studios, music and dances into the street, aiming to become a “modern and elegant” block of culture and establishing a cultural landmark through exterior appearance design, space for street performance, posters and neon light displays.


Tongren Road: Based on existing large-scale gallery, namely Jinghua Art Space and exquisite shops, Tongren Road tries to further show its exquisite, graceful artistic atmosphere. Tongren Road follows “artistic elegance, paradise for poems and paintings” as the vision to establish a street of artistic lives. Tongren Road mainly targets domestic tourists, artists, high-level white collars, meeting their needs for art appreciation and art consumption. With the design concept of “paintings make the street upscale”, Tongren Road further drives the agglomeration of lines of business including high-end galleries, small-scale quality art museums, specialty auction houses / antique houses, enriching existing art functions and reinforcing attractiveness to tourists. Meanwhile, Tongren Road matches the lines of business with a few artistic specialty shops and restaurants to form a complete ecology of artistic lives. Tongren road follows “graceful and exquisite” as a clue to form the art block, highlighting its distinctive graceful atmosphere though constructions that combines tradition with fashion and artistic street views.


Featured Streets


Weihai Road: Based on the existing foundation of media industry, Weihai Road makes full use of mediums including WeWork and Seven Cubic to drive innovation. It follows “young and brave, strive for the future” as the vision, establishing a digital highland for culture innovation in the central area of Shanghai, helping Jing’an District ride the new tide of economy. Weihai Road mainly targets urban makers and scientific talents, meeting their needs for “combination of work and life” by introducing new lines of business in pioneering digital culture and new modes into the street. Weihai Road regards business start-ups as its main line of business and further introduces mediums of scientific creativity including international creative offices and comprehensive set-up offices into the street, matching them to supportive lines of business including social places, healthy catering, quality life, stylish recreation and on-the-line shopping. Weihai Road follows “novel and convenient” office block as a clue to establish the best set-up environment for young makers. Weihai Road perfects supportive infrastructure constructions, realizes full WIFI coverage, takes the lead in trying new technologies including 5G networks, establishes occasional social spaces, increases public green spaces, inspires exchange of ideas, and tries to make itself accords to a low-carbon lifestyle that people in creative industries value by establishing cycle tracks and implementing personalized decorations.


Xikang Road: Based on Jing’an Stadium, a high-level medium of public sports, Xikang Road seizes the opportunity of complete reconstruction of shops on the ground floor, follows “leisure life, happy life” as the vision to establish an international block that themed healthy life. Xikang Road mainly targets white collars in cities, international personage and parent-children families, satisfying their demands for energetic and vigorous lives. Sticking to the design concept of “light and flexible”, Xikang Road expands its connotation in sports and fitness, attracting new modes including shared sports studios and 24/7 fitness center, and offering new activities including TRX, indoor surfing and parkour; it matches them with lines of business including healthy restaurants, shops for sports equipment, sports recreation and sports physiotherapy. Xikang Road sticks to the theme of “vitality and safety” to form the street landscape, using bright lighting to make the street seem more energetic while giving people who conduct night runs or night excises a stronger sense of security. Xikang Road also embeds interesting sports facilities near public infrastructure like street lamps, walls and benches so as to offer a comfortable excising environment for fitness lovers.