Chinese electric carmakers are turning their sights to storefronts in shopping malls as their new homes, providing solace for suffering commercial property developers.
According to Ellen Wei, head of retail for property manager at JLL China, taking up space in malls allows electric carmakers to attract younger people.
Additionally, these firms can spend twice per square meter compared to a name-brand apparel chain.
Wei added that one company has plans to open 400 stores across 20 Chinese cities next year as confidence in the electric automaker industry grows.
“It’s effective because people still eventually want to have a physical location to see the car,” said Raymond Tsang, partner at management consulting firm Bain. “You probably don’t need a full-blown 4S dealership because there’s no service requirement. And you only need a physical touch to make your decision.”
This follows the trend of Chinese commercial property developers seeking out new clients to fill out their space as vacancies continue to grow due to the ongoing pandemic. Some companies have opted to rent out desks across various locations for employees to work.
Landlords have also started opting to partner with coworking operators, such as WeWork China, in order to provide fully-outfitted workspaces.