If there's one thing you can expect Shanghai to totally nail it’s a massive shopping mall. Malls are serious business here, not only for their size but how many there actually are (we’ve lost count tbh). And, to the joy of every impulse buyer in the city, another just opened a few weeks ago: Taikoo Li Qiantan.
The third of its kind in China (there’s also locations in Chengdu and Beijing), the mall covers a whopping 120,000sqm out by the Oriental Sports Center in Pudong. The area is separated into three sections – stone zone, wood zone and central garden – with surrounding views of the area and the figure of a swanky new Shangri-La looming in the background.
Although home to all the usual stuff you’d encounter in these sorts of huge lifestyle spaces including well-known fashion brands, coffee chains and so on, this colossus does actually bring a lot of newness as well. There’s said to be around 250 venues inside with more planned for the future to wander around, so you shouldn’t have any issues hitting your daily step count. On that note… there’s a jogging track circling the roof of the mall (with AI movement tracing apparently). Currently, it seems to have more photographers on it than runners but it fits the mall’s theme of pushing wellness and keeping green. In general, here's a few things that you can expect.
A greener Starbucks
You’ll find some of that eco-friendly sentiment on ground-floor where Starbucks has opened its only Greener Store outside of the US. A zero-waste concept, half the menu is plant-based, you can get reusable grande cups for your sea salt caramel lattes and parts of the place itself are made with old materials from other Starbucks outposts across the country. There’s also a designated area outside for dogs, who have a ‘secret paw’ menu featuring a zero-shot Americano and a puppuccino (just straight up whipped cream in a small cup).
Lots of food
Photograph: courtesy La Strada
When hunger strikes, you won’t have to look (or walk) far. Eating opportunities are everywhere – that’s no exaggeration. There’re new outposts for Puxi’s European eateries like La Strada, Vesta Bistro, Brownstone Tapas and Le Coq all in the same vicinity.
American food franchise buffs soon face the very real struggle between The Cheesecake Factory (opening Tuesday 2 November) and Shake Shack. There’s also a food court, 7-Eleven with decent seating, another addition to the Din Tai Fung empire, vegan restaurant Green Common, Italian chocolatier and gelato shop Venchi, Hong Kong diner Men Wah Bing Teng and a Gonpachi, a Japanese izakaya made internationally famous in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.
All the shopping
Louis Vuitton pop-up
In terms of what’s around on the retail therapy front, it feels like every big-name luxury label in the game has boarded up on the ground floor (Gucci, Bvlgari, Prada, YSL, etc). Louis Vuitton even has a small pop-up shop shaped like the four-petalled flower seen in its iconic monogram.
Otherwise, there’s the staple sports stores (Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Asics); streetwear (Bape and Y-3); high-end designers (Acne Studios, Rick Owens and Comme des Garçons) as well as a few homegrown names like avant-garde clothes brand ZUCZUG and skate brand AVENUE & SON. There’s also a Niko and… (which sells close to everything) as well a Steiff (an adorable German teddy bear brand for the little’uns).
With many venues still in the rolling out phase, the mall obviously isn’t quite yet complete. Other notable openings pencilled in for November include Shanghai's second iteration of Japanese bookstore Tsutaya (here's a reminder of what first one looked like
And as for getting there? If you’re not grabbing a DiDi or driving, the mall is just off metro lines 6, 8 and 11 at Oriental Sports Center.