Explosive grand opening at the Tianjin Hedong Wanda Plaza
According to media reports from Tianjin, it did not feel like winter when the Hedong Wanda Plaza opened for business on the 20th of November. Before 8am in the morning, the Plaza was already surrounded by residents waiting for the opening. Coupled with the warmer temperature, the opening of this new shopping center can only be described as “hot”. On that date, at least 300,000 people patronized Hedong Wanda.
Van’s Department Store brought forward its opening time by an hour
This is Van’s Department Store’s first foray into Tianjin. Even before the official opening time, the entrance was already packed with customers waiting for the doors to open. Even the overhead bridges were packed with people. The mall was slated to open at 10am yesterday morning but taking into consideration safety issues, the opening time was brought forward to 9:08am. Even though business started an hour earlier, the surging crowd filled the elevators and passageways in no time. Taking into consideration the overwhelming customer traffic, Van’s Department Store activated its emergency measures; adding four temporary membership card counters within half an hour to effective channel the customers. Nevertheless, each card counter was still surrounded in layers.
On that day, customer traffic at Van’s Department Store topped 300,000 and coupled with the promotions offered by the mall during this opening period, a Ms Cheng, who lives nearby, told the reporter: “In the past, I have to go all the way to Binjiang Road to shop and the transportation is very inconvenient. Now, there is a shopping mall right at my doorstep, and it has everything. It is very convenient.”
Car parks within a 1km radius were all full
At around 8plus in the morning, the car parks around the Wanda Plaza were already fully packed. Even the car park at the Carrefour Supermarket, which is opposite the Wanda Plaza, and the car park at the Tianjin Furniture Street, were all full to the brim. An employee working at one of the car parks told reporters: “Our car park offers free parking. Before 9am, the nearly 100 parking lots were already occupied. 90% of these car owners are going to the Wanda Plaza opposite to shop and there are no more car parks around this area for cars to park anymore.” Reporters took a walk around Wanda Plaza and found that within a 1km radius, all available parking spaces were occupied by private cars. The people that came subsequently had to park their cars at nearby residential blocks.
CR Supermarket hit by “buying wave”
On Wanda Plaza’s opening day, discounts offered by CR Vanguard’s supermarket attracted the attention of many residents
“The supermarket has varying discounts on their cooking oil, rice and instant noodles, especially cooking oil, which is much cheaper compared to other supermarkets, so I took the opportunity and bought four kegs today.” remarked an excited Mdm Xu who was pushing her full shopping cart along. She further added, “Prices of goods nowadays are so high, to be able to catch such a large-scale discount promotion is already considered a great deal.” Many residents similar to Mdm Xu, who initially just came to “join the crowd”, returned home full of bounty after finding out the mega discounts offered by the supermarket.
Long ticket queues at the cinema and arcade hall
On the opening day, there were also many residents directed at the Wanda Cinema and Super Player. Many people took advantage of the weekend to watch movies and play games with friends and family hence the long queues at these two entertainment outlets. “We originally wanted to go watch a movie at the Wanda Cinema at Heping Road, but frankly speaking it is somewhat far and the to and fro takes a whole day. It is also very packed there and a lot of time is wasted. Since there is such a wonderful cinema right at our doorstep, catching a movie is so convenient. I don’t even have to take a car.” remarked a Ms Lu, who was queuing to buy movie tickets along with her friends. She also said that although it is also quite crowded here but since it is so near her home, the feeling is different. “After watching a movie, we can grab a bite and buy some daily necessities at the supermarket before heading home.” added Ms Lu.
At the Super Player, there were some youths in the queue who looked like students. During the interview with the reporter, they said: “We like video games and now that we have such a huge arcade hall nearby, our parents need not have to worry that we would go far.”
Half hour wait for meals at the F&B outlets
F&B is one of the distinctive features of the Hedong Wanda Plaza because it has a very comprehensive range of F&B outlets with nearly 50 different brands. Nevertheless, due to the large number of customers, many of the F&B outlets saw long queues. At some outlets, customers may need to queue for half an hour before being served. Even some time before noon, outlets such as Macdonald’s, Pizza Hut and Yong He Beancurd inside Wanda Plaza already have a sizeable crowd. A Mr Wang, who was waiting out Pizza Hut, remarked: “We came early in the morning when Wanda Plaza opened and have been shopping around. We want to have something at Pizza Hut but we have been waiting for half an hour and we still can’t go in.” Just as Mr Wang was voicing his grouses to the reporter, a serving staff came and led Mr Wang and his family into Pizza Hut. Macdonald’s was also packed with consumers and there were at least 10 people queuing at each counter. The reporter waited for 10 minutes before being served. When the reporter left, there were still many people streaming into Macdonald’s.
Prices of the surrounding properties rose 10% in half a year
Following the opening of the Wanda Plaza, the new landmark in Hedong, prices of pro