|Consumers choose cakes at a bakery corner in the new Bazaar by Lotus store in Shanghai.|
CP Lotus Corporation, a subsidiary of the Charoen Pokphand Group, has kicked off its first upscale retail food brand, Bazaar by Lotus, to cash in on rapid growth in Shanghai's retail industry.
Michael Ross, an executive vice-chairman, said China's most populous city grossed 800 billion baht in retail sales last year and saw 12.9% year-on-year growth in this year's first quarter.
The food centre, which debuted in Xintiandi Style luxury mall, is aimed at capturing the new generation of urban residents with high purchasing power, he said.
It is the newest retail format from the CP Group, which operates 73 CP Lotus Supermarkets on the mainland since opening the first one in Shanghai in 1997.
The group has set up four distribution centres to support its logistics system.
Last year, 300 million consumers spent 60 billion baht in the supermarkets. Bazaar by Lotus has received a good response since opening in May, prompting the group to consider expanding the new food channel in high-potential areas.
China, the world's second-largest economy, enjoyed continued robust growth of 10.3% last year and expects 9.8% this year.
A Thai Research Fund study based on research by McKinsey & Co shows China has 1.6 million ''rich'' households, defined as earning at least 250,000 yuan (1.18 million baht) per year.
The number of rich households will rise to 2.5 million within five years.
Of these, 30% are in four cities _ Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
Mr Ross said Xintiandi Style is a hub for young urban dwellers who are constantly seeking excitement and new places in which to dine, meet and play.
''We share the same vision in bringing international food culture and a cutting- edge retail scene to our discerning food lovers,'' he said, adding this is why the group partnered with the Shui On Group, the developer of Xintiandi Style, to debut Bazaar by Lotus at this location.
Bazaar by Lotus occupies Xintiandi Style's 3,200-square-metre second basement level, offering 7,000 mostly imports.