C&A gears up to reclaim presence in Beijing with new store

Retail clothing giant C&A is poised to make a significant comeback in Beijing with the opening of a new store. Located on the first floor of Beijing’s Huiduogang Shopping Centre, a newly established mall just outside the East Fifth Ring Road, this move marks a major expansion for C&A, as it currently has no presence in the capital city.

Despite its absence in Beijing, C&A has managed to establish a foothold in other Chinese cities, boasting a total of 23 stores in prominent locations such as Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xi’an, Chongqing, Suzhou, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Dalian. However, customer reviews for these stores have been scarce, raising questions about their popularity and performance.

While the exact opening date has yet to be finalized, glimpses of the store’s interior have already been shared on Huiduogang’s official public account. The C&A store appears to be in its final stages of decoration, though the merchandise is yet to be displayed. Notably, a vibrant red stand bearing the words “mid-season sales” has been strategically placed at the front entrance, igniting speculation among netizens.

Some online users have raised doubts about the intentions behind C&A’s return to Beijing. Speculations by some netizens suggest that the store’s opening may serve as a means to clear out excess inventory rather than indicating a full-fledged brand revival. Moreover, online reviews from consumers on platforms like Dianping have highlighted aggressive discounts and promotions at C&A offline stores across various regions, further fueling these suspicions.

Meanwhile, C&A’s online operations have been largely inactive. Despite maintaining official accounts on platforms such as Weibo, Xiaohongshu, WeChat, and Douyin, C&A’s Weibo account has remained dormant since June 2021. In terms of e-commerce, C&A’s Tmall flagship store lacks products, and its WeChat applets and Douyin stores still feature outdated merchandise from autumn-winter 2022 and early spring 2023.

The troubles faced by C&A’s parent company, Xiya Yijia, are also worth noting. The company’s mismanagement appears to have played a pivotal role in C&A’s decline in China. Moreover, the global fast fashion market’s intense competition and the retail industry’s severe setbacks due to the pandemic have further accelerated C&A’s woes. Even beyond China, C&A has faced challenges in the European and American markets, resulting in the closure of numerous stores. As of November 2022, C&A’s store count stood at a mere 1,300 across 17 countries worldwide.

Nevertheless, this development marks the first significant move for C&A since its acquisition by Zhongke Tongrong Investment Fund Management (Beijing) Co., Ltd in August 2020. Whether or not this strategic shift will be able to salvage the struggling company and reverse its downward spiral, only time will tell.


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