Inhwa Chung and Lucy March are currently interning at Danwei. They have spent several weeks researching stores and consumers on one of Beijing’s luxury shopping streets by talking to sales staff and customers.
Jinbao Street screams wealth. Jinbao (金宝) means “gold and treasure” and the name is apt:
The Hong Kong Jockey club squats in the middle of the street, surrounded by stores that sell Bentleys and Ferraris with price tags in the millions (please refer to our previous research for more about the cars and background to Jinbao Street). Private drivers in expensive cars roll up to five-star hotels to pick up their customers. During lunch hour, men and women in designer suits come out from their offices suites and descend upon the street which is lined with stores offering luxury goods.
We asked sales staff at nearly all the stores on Jinbao Street what their most expensive and cheapest items were and for comments about their customer demographics. Some were more talkative than others.
The most expensive item on the whole street is a Pagani sports car that sells at 26 million yuan. Other products with outrageous price tags include:
• A password-protected cabinet with a price tag of 5 million yuan;
• A diamond encrusted watch for 6.6 million yuan;
• A medicinal fungus for 200,000 yuan;
• Men’ suits for a million yuan;
• A cell phone for 840,000 yuan.