Feature Shopping Districts Series— Eastern Shopping District
The Eastern Shopping District experienced a crisis as the number of tourists plummeted. To reinvigorate this shopping district, the Taipei City Government has been working with Taipei Eastern Shopping District Development Association to drive the development of the district, push for improvement of the overall infrastructure, improve the software and hardware, and introduce marketing campaigns to highlight local features. The goal is to create a new look and feel for the Eastern Shopping District so that the public can see it in a new perspective and uncover its unique charm.
The Eastern Shopping District is in the heart of Taipei City. It has a well-connected transportation network and receives a constant flow of visitors. High-profile department stores, restaurants, boutiques, beauty and personal care chain pharmacies are all there. The Eastern Shopping District had always been the trendsetter in Taipei for fashion, culture and gourmet food. In fact, there almost was a shortage of shop spaces at its prime. However, number of shops closeddue to changes in shopping behavior, the drastic reduction of tourists, shops moving into department stores and a shift in business districts.
To bring new life to the Eastern Shopping District, the Taipei City Government initiated the Zhongxiao East District Revitalization Project in 2019 with “One Repositioning, Three Main Strategies”. Since its inception in May 2019, Taipei Eastern Shopping DistrictDevelopment Association has been working with the marketing campaigns initiated by the Taipei City Government. It is hoped that the joint effort from the government and Taipei Eastern Shopping District Development Association can contribute to the prosperity of the Eastern Shopping District. According to the most recent data from Yung-Ching Realty Group, the number of vacant properties in the Eastern Shopping District declined by over 50% from 242 in early 2019 to 118 in April 2021. MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station saw an average of 200,000 passengers in and out per month in 2019 and 2020. The stable traffic flow is a testimony of the effectiveness of collective efforts by the Taipei City Government and Taipei Eastern Shopping District Development Association.
A New Look for the Eastern Shopping District — Transformation into a Better Environment
Within the Eastern Shopping District are six department stores (SOGO Zhongxiao Store/Fuxing Store/Dunhua Store, Dinghao, ZARA, Ming Yao Department Store) and six parks and squares (Liugong Park, Dinghao Square, Yanji Park, Longmen Square, Dunren Park, and Renai Dunhua Circle). The best-known attractions in the Eastern Shopping District in the past were the grill/hotpot/tea street, the Internet auction street, and the sports street, as well as the classic Lane 216 and Yanji Street with mountains of delicacies, still located inside the alleys and gradually developing a new look amid an atmosphere of change. With the ongoing Zhongxiao East District Revitalization Project, Eastern Shopping District is undergoing a transformation!
If you have the chance to visit the Eastern Shopping District any time soon, you will find that things are quite different now! To revitalize the development of the Eastern Shopping District, the Taipei City Office of Commerce launched the Zhongxiao East District Revitalization Project in 2019 with “One Repositioning — repositioning the shopping district” and “Three Main Strategies — more themed spaces, better planning of pedestrian walkways, and regeneration of MRT underground streets”. Support and assistance are provided to improve the software and hardware of the Eastern Shopping District. Feedback from Taipei Eastern Shopping District Development Association, village chiefs and local stores are synthesized and forwarded to the Taipei City Government for cross-department assistance. Support teams are put in place to solidify local consensus and accelerate the building of infrastructure. A total of 17 and 14 projects were completed in 2019 and 2020, respectively, under the masterplan. This included the planning of marked sidewalks, repair of park facilities, beautification of underground street exits, improvement of lighting at Section 1, Daan Road and Liugong Park, installation of smart bus stops, electronic art installations at Dinghao Square, and deployment of Wi-Fi at Liugong Park and Longmen Square. The goal was to gradually improve the overall public space andprovide a comfortable and friendly shopping environment for the public.
Meanwhile, the Taipei City Government organized a “Taipei Shopping District Consulting Group”. Based on the direction of the development of shopping districts and the needs of each phase, the consultants visit, diagnose and assist stores in order to enhance the quality of services and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Tourist Guide for the Eastern Shopping District — 24 Hours Non-Stop
SOGO Department Store on Zhongxiao East Road is the first landmark for shoppers in the Eastern Shopping District. To show the different faces of the Eastern Shopping District to more people, the Taipei City Office of Commerce and Taipei Eastern Shopping District Development Association collaborated for the launch of the Taipei Eastern Shopping District Tourist Guide by sharing the trendiest and most popular shopping destinations. The Eastern Shopping District primarily consists of Daan District’s Guangwu Village, Renai Village, Jianan Village and Jianlun Village. It stretches to Guangfu South Road at the east end, Fuxing South Road at the west end, Renai Road at the south end, and Civil Boulevard at the north end. The Eastern Shopping District can be segmented into nine street blocks. The grilland beer street on Section 4 of Civil Boulevard where skewer BBQ restaurants and izakayas open until late nights are popular with white-collar workers looking to unwind. Alley 5 on Section 1 of Fuxing South Road is the food hunting ground for trendy youths who come for exotic cuisines. For many locals, Daan Night Market next to Dinghao Square is a “pocket kitchen” for inexpensive and delicious street food. The hotpot street on Section 1 of Dunhua South Road is the paradise for hotpot lovers. More than 15 hotpot restaurants are gathered within a distance of 250 meters. The sports street on Section 4 of Zhongxiao East Road is where many flagship stores of international brands are engaged in fierce competition with each other. Not far from there, the Internet auction street on Section 1 of Dunhua South Road offers a wide variety of choices, at a reasonable price and with good quality. Every age group can find the most suitable outfits here. The tea street known for a unique bubble tea culture site on the back of Section 4 of Zhongxiao East Road has been the best option for old locals to hang out and chat. Lane 216 is a culinary hub with delicacies such as Eastern Ice. It is also one of the most popular destinations for socialites to shop for jewelry. Sitting at the outskirt of Eastern Shopping District, Yanji Gourmet street provides the largest variety of restaurants: hotpot, grill, Japanese, Italian and Korean food. It is a great option for those looking for a bite to eat.
The Eastern Shopping District is integral to the lives of the locals and the lifestyles of target customers with its trendsetting culture, taste, and lively nightlife. Its unique charm, food and fun promise to be a worthy experience.
Featured Marketing Campaign — The New Charm of the Eastern Shopping District
As the infrastructure continues to be optimized in the Eastern Shopping District, the streets, alleys and public spaces are given a new lease on life. There are more venues available for art and cultural activities. To create a unique atmosphere inthe Eastern Shopping District, Taipei City Government has been organizing many large events. For example, the Taipei Eastern Shopping District PLUS event mixing music and culture while keeping things clean was hosted for the first time in 2019 in the area around Section 1 of Daan Road, Dinghao Square and Liugong Park. Singers and musicians performed on stage and featured stores provided promotional offerings. The purpose was to showcase the unique charm and the diverse looks of the Eastern Shopping District. The Eastern Shopping District Anniversary was a campaign in conjunction with the anniversary promotion by SOGO Department Store, connecting all the stores offering discounts in the business district. Walking on the Eastern Cloud was an event at Section 1 of Dunhua South Road, Section 4 of Zhongxiao East Road, and in front of Liugong Park. A large cloud-shaped installation art was deployed along with creative lighting decorations to create an atmosphere of relaxation and enjoyment. This was a new and bright spot in the Eastern Shopping District and has become a popular site for photo-taking and check-ins on social media.
Many businesses are optimistic about the potential of the revamped Eastern Shopping District as it remains attractive to young consumers, joint efforts cooperate with Taipei Eastern Shopping District Development Association to hold many topical activities. For instance, KerKer Store’s Creative & Cultural Marketplace and Cinnamon Roll Marketplace have distinctive positioning. Such stores pull in specific consumers to the Eastern Shopping District and develop the diversity of the offerings in the unique atmosphere.
Rentals have been declining noticeably in the Eastern Shopping District over recent years. Leading brands and chain supermarkets have returned. Large development projects have been completed one after another such as the Diamond Towerand Republic Mansion urban renewal projects, the revamp of Eslite Dunnan branch, and the business hotel at the old site of Taipower’s Daan Substation. The revamp of the East Metro Mallwas also completed in May 2021. All these new structures have become new landmarks and new faces of the Eastern Shopping District, to attract more consumers and instill new momentum.