January 2019 Edition 2019年1月號

Innovating for Growth:
An Interview with the
Management Team of
Link’s Mainland Portfolio


Wang Suping, Deputy General
Manager at EC Mall, Beijing

Alan Li, Assistant General Manager - Leasing &
Operations at Metropolitan Plaza, Guangzhou

Behind Link’s string of success in tapping the mainland retail market is a proactive management team constantly striving for innovation. With their wealth of experience and market insights, Wang Suping, Deputy General Manager at EC Mall in Beijing, and Alan Li, Assistant General Manager - Leasing & Operations at Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou, are leading our mainland teams to future-proof our shopping centres and sustain growth momentum with innovative services that meet consumers’ evolving preferences.

With regard to Link’s operational strategy in mainland China, Suping said, “Despite keen competition from new market entrants in Beijing, EC Mall has been enhancing its positioning as a young, trendy metropolitan shopping centre, with its convenient location above a metro station in Beijing’s core district of Zhongguancun. Given the growing trend of customers demanding unique experiences, differentiating one’s service in tangible ways is the key to success. We have therefore introduced eateries featuring experiential dining concepts, such as a restaurant with a boat-like dining setting; brand outlets which are the first in Beijing, Greater China or even the world, as well as innovative offerings such as an oxygen-enhanced fitness centre, personalised movie room, a shopping delivery service, pop-up stores, and the newly refurbished sixth-floor retail zone.”

Alan said, “Metropolitan Plaza’s advantages lie in its proximity to a sizeable residential community and Liwan District’s popular tourist spots, and its strategic location atop an interchange station connecting two major metro lines. Covering the F&B, lifestyle, family, entertainment and education trades, our shop mix is geared towards young families and trendy shoppers. We will continue to enhance our mid- to high-end positioning with fashionable retail brands, and keep readjusting our tenant mix to maintain novelty and drive footfall. As part of our experiential offerings, we have also brought in tenants offering smart home experiences and early childhood education services.”

Responding to the challenge of e-tailing, both malls are extensively deploying social media platforms such as Weixin and Douyin to support their publicity efforts, while using big data technologies to push event- and tenant-related information to targeted customers.

Suping mentioned that the team’s appreciation of consumers’ mindsets is enabling the rollout of trendy marketing activities to boost EC Mall’s popularity and positioning. "We often engage young shoppers by inviting popular social media KOLs to our themed events and hosting celebrity meet-and-greets. Our annual ‘Fight For What’ international contest has also become a well-recognised street dance competition brand. With EC Mall’s e-loyalty programme, members can also enjoy gift redemptions and parking offers.”

Alan said the young team in Guangzhou has a strong market sense and a firm grasp of young customers’ needs and expectations, helping them devise promotional programmes that resonate with this segment. “For instance, the recent interactive teddy bear showcase at Metropolitan Plaza was a KOL-driven, online-to-offline campaign that has helped establish the mall as a hotspot for social media check-ins.”





Suping指出,團隊善於抓住目標客群的消費心理,推出應季市場活動提高商場知名度。「我們不時邀請抖音網紅參與主題活動,並舉辦明星簽售會,增加年輕客人的參與。每年舉辦的『Fight For What』,亦已成為備受推崇的國際街舞賽事品牌。歐美匯亦設有電子會員系統,會員可以享受積分換禮、泊車優惠等,增加顧客粘性。」

Alan說,團隊經過發展階段的洗禮,市場觸覺敏銳,成員不少為年青一代,有助掌握年輕人的需要,推出能夠引起共鳴的推廣活動。「例如早前舉辦華南地區首個POP版的Teddy Bear互動展覽,就是以個性化『網紅』活動,透過線上線下聯動把商場打造成為年輕人打卡熱點。」

Forward-looking Mindsets Underpin Stable Growth
前瞻管理 穩步增長

Forward-looking Mindsets Underpin Stable Growth
前瞻管理  穩步增長 Forward-looking Mindsets Underpin Stable Growth
前瞻管理  穩步增長

The two malls consolidate their position as hotspots for young people through online - to - offline campaigns.

Both Suping and Alan saw the retail industry come under pressure as trade tensions cloud the economic outlook. Both malls have taken measures to strengthen tenant reserves, proactively adjust the tenant mix and step up promotional efforts. Looking ahead, Alan reckoned that the continued rise of middle class and the growth in local residents’ overall spending would help drive retail demand, while a younger customer base would provide further impetus to rental growth in Guangzhou. Suping noted that accurate marketing positioning and distinctive brands, coupled with marketing activities well loved by young customers, will buttress growth in revenue and footfall at EC Mall.

兩人均指出,今年經濟在貿易戰陰霾下穩中有變,面對零售業受壓,商場亦已做好前瞻管理,包括及時儲存客戶、主動調整租戶,以及加大市場宣傳力度。展望未來,Alan指出,中產階級興起及整體居民消費升級對廣州零售需求有正面作用,年輕化消費需求將繼續推動租賃需求穩步增長。Suping 則指出,歐美匯的精準定位以及特色品牌,配合深受年輕消費者歡迎的推廣活動,將可確定穩定的收入及增加客流。