Ladies Street Market (女人街 Nüren Jie), the city’s first boutique street and one of the “must-meet markets,” is scheduled to shut down by September 30.
Identifying itself as a provider specializing in women’s apparel and cosmetics when set up 16 years ago, the market has been the trendsetter for the city’s women, offering some 10,000 commercial varieties, and a haven for shoppers, who returned home laden with purchases.
A big success, the market’s business model was soon copied. Markets catering for women, like Wangfu Women Shopping Mall and Xinshijie Ladies Shopping Center, mushroomed in Beijing. Also, newer and fancier shopping malls, such as Yansha Center and Liangmahe Building, in the neighborhood no doubt cast a shadow over Ladies Street Market.
The main reason for the market’s closure is that the Beijing authorities’ urban rejuvenation policy specifically targeted downtown wholesale markets, which are popular with out-of-town residents to do business.
According to Beijing Business Today, the business model of “catering for women” specifically was as a major attraction in the first place for Ladies Street, but it lost its competitiveness, since new businesses which paid more attention to high quality and uniqueness gradually took its place.
The rising popularity of online shopping was another contributing factor to the Ladies Street Market’s gradual decline, as some, once regular, customers told us.
A fifth of the market’s shops have already closed, with some choosing to relocate to Jiayi Square and Xiushui Street Markets, while the rest plugged away with “Sales”, waiting for bargain hunters, before the era represented by the markets ends.