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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Shanghai Shopping
Shanghai Shopping Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Shanghai’s shopping scene befits its economic status and the city has possibly the best shopping in China – by local standards at least. Refugees from Hong Kong or Singapore may still be disappointed, however, as the retail transformation of Shanghai is not yet complete, although this will move faster now that China is a member of the WTO. It is anticipated that accession to the WTO will slowly open China’s retail and other economic sectors to international norms, as tariffs and other obstacles are removed. As changes accelerate, China’s shops will conform more and more to international standards.

There are still plenty of small antiquated local shops dotted around the city, awaiting the arrival of the multinational chains. Huaihai Dong Lu, Shanghai’s Fifth Avenue, has a few, although nowadays is mostly major international stores, with Maison Mode housing outlets for top brands. Parkson and Printemps, on Shanxi Lu, are typical of the international-style department stores in the French Concession area. Further outside town, hypermarkets and mega-malls are popping up on typically Chinese scale, with Ikea and Carrefour opening huge premises. Ikea is at Harvest Building, 585 Long Hua Lu, while 1 of the 6 branches of Carrefour is located at 555 Biyun Lu, Pudong New Area.

For tacky tourist memorabilia, no place is better than Yuyuan Gardens bazaar. Open everyday, from dawn until dusk, the Xiang Yang Fashion and Gift Market, off Huaihai Dong Lu, offers a wide variety of fake brands and curios and is teeming with touts offering pirated DVDs and alike. The most uniquely regional ware from Shanghai is the local blue cloth, with blue and white patterns and is similar to batik cloth.

The Chinese Printed Blue Nankeen Exhibition Hall, at No 24, Lane 637, Changle Lu, is open everyday, 09:00-16:30, and is the highest quality producer of this. Countless minor versions are offered from all around Yuyuan Bazaar, Maoming Nan Lu, Nanjing Dong Lu and other well liked souvenir areas. Silks from Suzhou are also a great gift – Suzhou itself is obviously the best location to buy these, although Jinguan Silk and Woollen Store, 373 Nanjing Dong Lu, also has some fine silks. Good-quality antiques are sold at the many cheap stalls in Yuyuan Bazaar, while the government Shanghai Antique and Curio Store, 218 Guangdong Lu, offers a higher standard.

Visitors should be aware that antiques more than 100 years old are marked with a red wax seal and an export licence must be obtained before taking them out of the country

Normal shopping hours in Shanghai are 10:00-21:00, although some stores, particularly government-run ones, close as early as 18:00. VAT is charged at 17%, which cannot be reclaimed.
Useful travel links
Shanghai list of Shanghai shopping centers
Shanghai Shopping shopping for Shanghai’s Antiques & Art