Up to 1,500 merchants have until September 16 to vacate their stalls after the mall management notified its tenants on Sunday, June 11, that it will be breaking its rental contract.
As of June 25, Tianyi Mall will no longer be collecting counter fees from its tenants. As well, no rent will be collected from tenants between July 1 to September 15.
Tianyi Market is the latest wholesale market to close in Beijing after Alien Street was shuttered this past February. Beijing is hoping to get rid of all wholesale markets within its Fourth Ring Road by 2020 in order to help keep Beijing’s population under control.
Although this latest closure is in keeping with this year’s city-wide rejuvenation campaign, this development also signifies a change in the way retail sales are being made.
With the advance notice coming as early as last year, some Tianyi Mall sellers have already begun to make the leap to online retailing. A Tianyi seller named Miss Wang told Dazhong Net that she is transitioning to e-commerce. “We can use WeChat to inform customers of our new address, any other news as well as conduct sales,” said Wang.
Savvy shoppers hoping to catch a deal during a clearance sale may have to wait a month’s time. “Business is still normal, we haven’t yet begun the process of clearing our stock,” said Wang.
News of the closure has left some Beijing residents sentimental for the mall famous for selling everything from toys to electronics.
One person reminisced by saying, “I remember I used to come to Tianyi to buy greeting cards for Chinese New Year as a kid,” while another admitted, “From middle school to graduating from university, I bought all my stationary from Tianyi.” Yet another said, “Out of all my childhood memories about toys, half are from Tianyi.”
The closure has made some people happy: nearby residents. “In 10 years of living here, I’ve never been able to sleep in. Once it hits 7am, I’ll be awakened by noise from the market,” said a woman named Lu.