(Yicai Global) July 8 -- In the latest sign that bricks and mortar retail businesses continue to lose out to e-commerce, the Pacific Department Store, operated by Taiwan's Far Eastern Departments Store Ltd., on Shanghai's busy Huaihai Road is to close in January next year after nearly two decades in business.
"The Huaihai Road Pacific Department Store has been in operation for over 10 years. Needless to say, the rental back then was relatively cheap, and it has more than doubled over the years. When the lease expires, the owner will naturally choose a business format that brings more rental revenue," said a member of staff.
Huaihai Road is a premium and historic shopping street in central Shanghai, comparable with London's Regent Street. Over the last six months, more than 10 stores have been shuttered along this road and relatively few customers visit the stores that remain open.
Department stores are struggling to compete against the rising threat of online shopping. Some 114 large stores were closed down in China last year, including several branches of the UK's Marks and Spencer Plc. and Asian-based Parkson Retail Group as well as Beijing's iconic Wangfujing Department Store.
Profits of the 80 member companies of the China Commerce Association for General Merchandise fell 19.53 percent last year, despite a 9.3 percent increase in total sales, according to statistics released by the association.