Grocery shopping is a tad more difficult lately if you live in the Wangjing area centered around the Microsoft, Caterpillar, and Daimler buildings (Daimler is the one with the giant rotating Mercedes hood ornament on top). In the span of about one month, two grocery stores have closed. The first to go was the Ito Yokado department store with its attached supermarket in the basement. Despite always being a busy grocery destination in the neighborhood, the other floors of the Japanese chain always felt quiet. The space is reportedly being transformed into corporate offices.
On the other side of the Microsoft building, just across the street from Wangjing SOHO, the Lotus shopping mall has lost its two-story namesake, the Lotus Supermarket. The exodus from this shopping mall is nearly complete as almost all the shops have closed or will be closed soon. Even Mitty Jump and Li Jia Baby are pulling out. With a host of new apartment buildings set to open just blocks away, along with the new SOHO towers, and the new Wangjing East subway station also opening, it does make one question just how bad things must have been to convince so many shops to vacate at once and if more closures in the neighborhood might be on the way as rents continue to increase and more and more consumers turn to online retail.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Lay