Philippine mall developer SM Prime has opened its fifth shopping centre in China with Friday’s debut of SM City Chongqing. The new mall is located in Yubei district of the western Chinese mega-city and has a gross floor area of 149,080 square meters spread over five floors.
According to an announcement by the developer, SM City Chongqing is already 85 percent leased out with major tenants including Vanguard Supermarket, SM Department Store and Wanda Cinema. Other brands leasing space in the project include Vero Moda, Only, Jack & Jones, Starbucks, Watsons and Kidswant.
In March 2012 SM Prime broke ground on SM Tianjin Shopping Center, which when complete would be the world’s largest mall at 530,000 square meters.
Commenting on the opening, SM Prime president Hans Sy said, “We are very pleased to open our fifth mall in China, SM City Chongqing, as we provide mall-goers with a one-stop shopping, dining and leisure destination. We believe Chongqing is a significant market given the city’s huge population and its attractive growth prospects. As we learn more about the market and gain acceptance in China, we intend to penetrate other cities that show promising economic progress. After Chongqing, the pipeline includes the launching of Zibo and Tianjin in 2014.”
The group’s four earlier shopping malls in China were located in Xiamen and Jinjiang in Fujian province; Chengdu, Sichuan province and Suzhou, Jiangsu province.
SM Prime said that the new mall will serve a population of about 30 million residents in the city of Chongqing and offer a mix of local and international stores.
Chongqing is often mentioned as being among China’s leading emerging cities because of its scale and rapid economic growth. The city’s nominal GDP in 2011 reached RMB 1001.1 billion yuan while registering an annual growth of 16.4%. The municipality also benefits from central government initiatives aimed at transforming Chongqing into the region’s economic, trade, and financial centre and use the municipality as a platform to open up the country’s western interior to further development.
SM City Chongqing is the sixth SM mall to be opened by SM Prime this year along with five other developments in the Philippines. The company now has a total of 51 SM malls in the Philippines and China, with a combined gross floor area of 6.3 million sqm.