China is already a manufacturing mecca for consumer electronics. Now it’s retail’s turn.
A recent visit to the country’s sprawling port city of Qingdao revealed a robust retail scene for CE that rivals, and in some ways exceeds, U.S. stores.
One of the nation’s leading tech and appliance chains is Gome, which in Asian tradition leases out floor space to manufacturers, creating a trade show-like experience.
Another looming presence is Walmart, whose TV wall and aisles of accessories were reminiscent of U.S. stores.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is The MixC, an enclosed luxury shopping mall. Anchored by a street-accessible Apple Store, the six-story shopping center also houses manufacturer showrooms by Lenovo, De’Longhi and floor-care maker Karcher.
But Apple aside, the mall’s reigning CE specialty chain is iGE, which earns its stripes with engaging live displays and a compelling mix of mobile, gaming, personal audio and comic-book collectibles – plus an adjacent attraction featuring VR-experience pods.