All I want for Christmas is … an improved Euro Plaza
Welcome to the third edition of beijingkids’ weekly Shunyi Happenings newsletter, where our Shunyi Correspondent Charlotte Moreau brings you all the news and events from beyond the 5th Ring.
This week it seems the entire expat enclave of Shunyi has cleared out for the holidays — most schools are closed for Christmas week and the pickins are slim for things to do. All is not lost and there are fun things throughout the city that can be found in the beijingkids events section here … in the meantime, we bring you Charlotte’s wish list for the mall that anchors the epicenter of expat Shunyi, Europlaza.
Have a Shunyi tip for Charlotte for a future newsletter? Click here to send her the details.
All I want for Christmas is … an improved Euro Plaza
There are a few new stores in there now, but walking the floors of Euro Plaza still leaves much to be desired. It’s a shame, really. The “mall” was built to support the huge International Exhibition Center across the street, and it has the makings for great success being in the middle of at least eight area expat villas. But since it opened three years ago, it has left mostly an unquenched desire by shoppers for more.
More what? Just ask a few people around here and they (okay, we…) could easily give a wish list to the powers that be of who we’d like to see move in at Euro Plaza.
1. Watsons. That’s an easy one. While it’s not technically a drug store as we might know them, it is a great place to get personal essentials, make up and a few other items. I think the closest one is in the Wangjing area; if you’re without a car, it’s just a pain to get there.
2. Kids clothing stores. There is a real need for kids’ clothes that are not baby/toddler sizes, yet are not for young adults. The demand is for kids from six or seven to pre-teen and early teen years. We do have Tots-to-Teens, but there is limited selection there. And many kids around here do not want clothing with Hello Kitty or the Pleasant Goat all over. At the moment, our options for quality kids clothing are a) travel a bit away to get it, b) spend way too much money on it, c) have it tailor made, or d) order online. Having something here in Euro Plaza would be a gem.
3. Movie theater. Wow, would this be HUGE! With so many families around seeking entertainment for all ages, it’d be a huge hit to have a theater here – with English speaking films, that is. I’ll add here that any family-friendly entertainment would be beneficial – bowling lanes, indoor putt-putt miniature golf, game arcade, etc.
4. Office supply/copy center. A la Kinko’s (in America) and other well-known centers, these stores offer copy services (collating, binding, laminating), sell supplies (stationery, packaging materials), and often provide mailing services. Actually, I could make this point an added-extra – would it be worth it to have a China Post in Euro?
5. Appliance/small electronics store. Think Gome or Suning. When you need blenders, vacuums, humidifiers and so much more, this would be the place to go.
6. Gap plus other clothing options. We’d love to see more clothing stores that fit expat sizes closer to home. To fill the need of point #2 as well as adults, this is currently a huge void. I understand the two Beijing locations of Gap have all that’s delightfully expected available in their stores. Other hot spots you see foreigners patronize include Uniqlo, Decathlon, Zara and H&M. Any or all of those would be great here.
7. Baking supplies/cakery. Exquisite Bakery used to be the place to go for baking needs. Since the Chinese don’t typically bake (nor do many have ovens, for that matter), it’s not always easy to find the ingredients you need. With Exquisite gone, it’s even harder. While their cakes were pricey and there are other bakeries around to cover for oft-requested birthday cakes, this addition would likely be very well received.
8. Market stall gifts. We can always travel to markets for the regular purchases of silk items, t-shirts, jewelry and gifts. But it would be sweet to have one storefront with those same offerings and same prices so close and convenient.
9. China Mobile store. Searching area hutongs for SIM cards and trying to find the exact store location where you can get a fa piao for pre-paid cards is a science. With new families moving in the area often and needing immediate connection, a China Mobile store could sell phones, SIM cards, pre-paid cards (or programs) and more!
10. Shoes, shoes, shoes. For men, women and children. Decent quality, decent prices, and decent selection. And in our sizes. What a chore it is to find that nearby now!
What they don’t need at Euro Plaza is any more over-priced, undesirable stores with products that nobody is buying. Examine the neighborhood, see who lives here, and fill the needs of those people. Not all expats are wealthy and not all have over-the-top packages to live here. But we do all want variety, choices, and accessible products and services for our families.
Will any of our wishes be granted? Maybe this posting will reach the right people and some wishes will come true! For those of you that I haven’t represented here, please let us know what you think by posting a message below or on our Forum.