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January 8, 2011

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Versatile venue ideal for global brands

A trade platform with impressive conference and exhibition facilities and tailor-made event planning services has its eye on becoming a fashion industry center. Victoria Fei checks out ShanghaiMart's credentials.

ShanghaiMart is connecting the world's vendors with local buyers with an orientation on textile and fabric, gifts and fashion accessories.

For the next three months, eight Japanese fashion brands will showcase their shoes, clothes, bags and jeans designs to the Chinese market via the platform of ShanghaiMart, one of Asia's largest permanent international trade marts in Shanghai's Changning District.

It is part of the "Tokyo Eye" campaign in which the Japanese vendors can connect with department stores, agents, retailers and investors in China.

Such activities can happen almost all year round at ShanghaiMart and the venue is an ideal platform that satisfies all stakeholders.

Located on Yan'an Road W., ShanghaiMart is only 10 minutes' drive from Hongqiao Airport.

It boasts a conference and exhibition area of 30,000 square meters. From a 20-person trade seminar to a 20,000-visitor large-scale trade fair, the venue caters for three key industries - apparel and textiles, gifts and home decor, and building materials. It also provides the opportunity for buyers to source products and exchange trading information in these industries.

Currently, about 600 enterprises from across the world are represented here.

According to the 12th Five-Year Program for China's Economic and Social Development (2011-2015), China will stick to the strategy of expanding domestic demand.

In view of this, Tian Hao, general manager of ShanghaiMart, says ShanghaiMart is endeavoring to build itself into a fashion industry center.

"To meet the global procurement needs from international and domestic buyers, we have specially designed a full set of customized procurement program packages," Tian says.

"From event planning and attendee invitations to event facility arrangement, we hope to meet our buyers' needs at the lowest cost and the highest efficiency."

Procurement center

ShanghaiMart is building itself into a platform for professional product sourcing to create international trade opportunities for the Chinese textile and fashion industry.

In 2004 the "Textile and Fashion Transnational Showroom Center" was co-founded by China National Textile and Apparel Council and ShanghaiMart. The center, which is located at ShanghaiMart, has attracted many Fortune 500 companies including Wal-Mart, Carrefour and C&A, as well as manufacturers, offices, associations and media within the industry.

The same year, Fashion Valley was set up at the venue. Centering on creativity, an industry chain featuring apparel fabrics processing procurement came into being. It also attracted Fashion Resource, an industry-famous think tank, to provide all-round broker services for more than 100 designers based at ShanghaiMart.

"With the changing export environment and the growing purchase power of Chinese consumers, the domestic consumer market is in demand of individualistic products to differentiate themselves from the others," Tian syas. "It is a way to achieve market segment and raise competitiveness."

In 2008, ShanghaiMart took the initiative to take an import-oriented strategy. By introducing the concept of the Global Luxury Brand Center in 2009, the venue now features showroom centers for fashion brands from China, Japan and South Korea and has created a collective effect in culture, business and fashion.

So far, the Global Luxury Brand Center has been home to more than 200 brands. It also hosts a French brand showroom center and an Italian brand showroom center.

To attract more overseas brands, ShanghaiMart is the host to the Shanghai International Gift and Home Decor Trade Fair in spring and autumn and the Shanghai International Clothing and Textile Expo.

In the near future, the venue will also become a fashion design center and an imported commodity center.

For buyers, ShanghaiMart selects exhibitions and business events from home and abroad and invites them to join in. For the past three years, 20 trips have been organized at home and in Tokyo and Seoul. It has helped the clients to share the latest developments in the industry.

Value-added services

The most valuable service is business matching. In 2008, ShanghaiMart launched the "B-Match" program in order to provide more effective and efficient matching between suppliers and buyers in accordance to their needs and requirements.

It has successfully organized 40 sessions of B-Match events in the past three years, involving garments and apparels, fabrics and textiles, gifts and home décor and building materials.

The events have proven to be beneficial to both buyers and suppliers.

In addition, since 2009, more than 2,000 insiders have attended professional trade seminars and industry forums at ShanghaiMart. The exchange keeps them updated with industry news and trends.

"In the future, the three events will continue to help local enterprises build an international horizon and introduce international vendors," Tian says.

This year, ShanghaiMart will introduce more exhibitions and fairs relating to fashion and lifestyle. On the list are Global Products Show Shanghai, China International Wine Exposition, Top Wine China, NOVO Mania Shanghai International Brand Clothing Fair and 2011 RA (China) Auto Show.

"We hope that with our continuous efforts to introduce imported products, we can create a fashionable lifestyle for all," Tian says.


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