CHENGDU, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Over the recent years, with China’s thriving pop culture, the one-of-a-kind market has revealed a state of accelerating growth, and led to the emergence of an ever-expanding legion of pop brands – even luxury brands are seeking to ride on the trend. What pillars the country’s booming pop-culture market is the absolute discourse power of Gen Zers, who are not only digital natives, but also natural-born audiences of pop culture, thanks to their unremitting pursuit of distinction and personality. At the same time, their increasingly stronger spending power is making the generation a key engine that propels the surging growth of the pop-culture market as well as the rising sales of the luxury industry.
Traditionally known as a land of abundance that inspires outstanding talents, Chengdu in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province has gradually grown to be one of the most vibrant Chinese cities in terms of youth culture, leading almost all sub-categories in the country’s “Culture of Cool” (hip-hop, sneakers, e-sports, electronic music, Chinese costumes, ACGN, and pop toys). Since its entry into Chengdu seven years ago, Chengdu IFS, occupying a prominent location in the city’s bustling downtown scene, has committed to fostering the harmonious co-existence and inter-complementation between different cultural phenomena. Amid the overwhelming trend of “pop culture”, the prestigious shopping destination best known for its unparalleled collection of luxury brands, is also interpreting pop culture’s deep-level meanings in its own way, and building a new shopping scene that bridges pop trends and cultural innovations.
Building a High Ground for “Culture of Cool” by Innovating Pop Culture-Based Business Format
A key attribute of the “Culture of Cool” is its social feature. Therefore, the prevailing trends behind pop-culture consumption are indispensable from Gen Zers’ shopping needs that are tightly associated with socializing and networking.
So in a society that’s highly sensitive to current trends, what matters is a healthy, influential and vital platform and space that can bring together lovers of pop culture. Based on such a mentality, Chengdu IFS, as a shopping complex that boasts strong influence on fashion and great vitality with trends, has taken the lead in innovating and rejuvenating its business format. In 2020, the mall successfully launched the iconic CHAO, a dedicated space that gathers the in-trend elements of pop culture.
Focusing on novel experiences and diversified formats, the innovative business format has brought to Chengdu IFS Internet-famous brands and limited-edition merchandises from categories such as cultural merchandises, smart gadgets, ACGN toys and high-popularity tea drinks. Upon the completion of an inclusive infrastructure, the pop-culture space has continuously presented a dazzling range of thematic events in forms of street parties, night celebrations and experiential workshops to actively communicate with China’s new-generation consumers – they allow brands to infuse their exclusive genes into diversified youth events and foster colorful consumption scenes associated to the “Culture of Cool”.
But the pop-culture events staged by Chengdu IFS are never limited to offline forms only. When celebrating pop culture over the past year, the prestigious mall also launched a competition for pop-culture livestreaming influencers as well as an AR-powered interactive program, so as to engage more young consumers online, enhance dialogue and interaction with urban youth and present fresh and cool pop-culture experiences to the young-generation consumers.
Becoming a New Urban Force to Seek Cultural Rejuvenation and Diversity
Gradually breaking away from the wave of Consumerism, China’s new-generation consumers are not treating sneaker shoes, street wears and pop toys merely as toys and playthings, but symbols of their tastes, preferences and personalities – such a pop culture-associated consumer mentality suggests a shift from material consumption to symbolic consumption among Chinese youth.
Among the many sub-categories of China’s prominent pop-culture market, sneaker shoes, as optional mid-to-high-end consumer goods, command unique cultural attributes and collection values, slowly becoming a kind of “social currency” for Gen Zers.
In 2020, Chengdu IFS teamed up with Sneaker Con, the world’s largest and most popular sneaker convention show, to co-launch Sneaker Con Museum, arguably the world’s first-ever special exhibition on the sneaker culture, which combined showcase of limited-edition sneakers, sharing of sneaker culture by professional collectors, gathering of engaging interactive experiences and sale of homage-paying vintage footwears. More than these, the museum-style event also brought together respected sneaker collectors and customizers for exclusive sale of new launches and co-branded merchandises.
Admission tickets to the first week of Chengdu IFS’ Sneaker Con Museum were snapped up in minutes after online booking started, and the exhibition’s total visitorship hit nearly an astonishing 200,000 – online, the phenomenal sneaker event’s Weibo posts drew over 10 million clicks, with nearly 30 million visitors watching the event’s livestreaming sessions.
Being one of China’s most disruptive innovators of urban commerce, Chengdu IFS has already established a unique and effective communication mechanism with the young generation, as the mall regards itself as a key member of the youth community. Such a bold mentality has also allowed Chengdu IFS to harvest positive growth of young members – in 2020, the size of its millennial and Gen-Z members grew by 60% and 180% respectively, who now account for over half of the member base; and their rising spending power also contributed an outstanding spike of purchases at Chengdu IFS throughout 2020.
Whether by upgrading its business format or by fostering dedicated information platform and social scene, Chengdu IFS has always cherished its curiosity and creativity. With an unflattering attitude, the fashion landmark in southwestern China is allowing the country’s young generation to fully exercise their freedom and passion with pop culture and creating a fitting cultural space through a variety of crossover events. In the future, Chengdu IFS will for sure become the most desired meeting point of China’s pop culture-adoring young consumers with its complete pop ecosystem that spans knowledge sharing, community gathering and comprehensive collection of elements and resources.