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China – Shopping

Beijing Shopping/open hours

Groceries and other items
Western food items such as cereals, dairy products, chocolates and coffees are now commonly found in local supermarkets. Beijing also has an increasing number of international supermarket chains like Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart, all of which stock these items in abundance. City Shop supermarkets, with several locations in expat populated areas, is a good choice for hard to find imported items, with a big organic selection. Supermarkets open hours are from 8am to 10pm, many supermarkets in Beijing are in the basement of shopping malls, the close hour are in accordance with the shopping mall‘s hour at 10pm. Some supermarkets may start earlier than shopping mall’s opening time. There is a number of smaller import grocery stores stocking a good range of imported groceries and toiletries, Jenny Lou’s being a particularly popular store. Jenny Lou’s, Jenny Wang, April Gourmet, all expatriate favorites, can be found in most “expatriate-heavy” areas. Those stores normally open from 8am to 10pm, many locations of Jenny Lou’s store opened until mid-night daily.

Fresh fruit and veggies can be found in abundance at open food or local markets. Beijing has a particularly good for fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, grains and spices – San Yuan Li market. Fresh meat is best bought at any of the large supermarkets, or at the French or German butcher, both of which are popular among the Beijing expatriate community. There are also some individual butchers making good sausages without preservatives, additives or MSG and offering the delivery to various collection points across the city.

Beijing has a wide range of clothing options, from local markets (where clothes can be bargained down to cheap prices), to high street chains such as Zara, GAP, UNIQLO, Next, Promd, C&A, H&M, Mango, to luxury designer goods in Beijing’s many high-end malls (think Jimmy Choos, Gucci, Chanel, Guess, Giorgio Armani). Local markets such as the Silk Market and Ya Xiu attract large crowds of tourists who come in droves to get cheap designer knock offs. Although many bargains can be picked up at the markets, do not expect too much in terms of quality or durability. Bargaining is expected in the markets and is in fact part of the experience, but not in shopping malls or department stores where most items have a fixed price. French chain Decathlon is a good store for all things sports related, including sporting clothing and equipment.

For baby clothing and goods, there is a baby/toddler/kids store called Counting Sheep Boutique, which stocks new imported goods from well-known baby brands. For other options, Mothercare, Babygro these stores have several locations, Okaidi – in big malls, Leyou – has everything for newborns and toddlers, the SKP (Shin Kong shopping center), China World Shopping Mall, The Place mall, Solana mall and others have a large selection of children’s shops with everything you might need.

People in China tend to be smaller than people in the West so expect to wear a size or two bigger in China than you would at home, for example, a woman who wears an M at home could change to an XL in Beijing. People with large shoe sizes should bring enough good quality shoes for all seasons, as large shoes can be difficult to find in Beijing.

Furniture and home decor
In Beijing, it’s typical to rent an apartment or house that is at least partially furnished, however, there are many options when it comes to shopping for home décor and furniture. Stores, such as Dara, have an interesting range of furniture, often blending east with west.

Gaobedian in the South-East of the city is a good for people who like Chinese influenced custom made pieces, or just want to have some custom made furniture. There are several streets in this area full of furniture makers. If you’d rather something simple and familiar, Beijing houses two IKEA stores, the second IKEA was opened in 2013. If you need to buy a mattress in Beijing, please be aware of the fact that mattresses tend to be quite hard in China. Illinois Furniture and Casa Pagoda are other, more upscale options. There are several large furniture centers both in the north and south of the city, offering a large selection of modern and traditional furnishings, in a wide range of quality. Cheng Wai Cheng (open hours: 9am to 6pm on week days, 9am to 7pm on weekends), off south 4th ring road, is just one of these options. Similarly, mega-centers exist for lighting and other housing options. Furthermore, B&Q is great for those people who enjoy DIY or are looking to build up a home tool collection.

Alcohol, books, cosmetics, and other stuff are widely available in Beijing, nearly every brand can be found and in any of Beijing shopping malls or department stores, but if you are looking for the western brand, the prices are usually doubled what you would pay back home. Malls normally open 12hours in this city, from 10am to 10pm.

When it comes the end of assignment in this city for expats, thinking to ship back some or small household items to home country could be very troublesome. Expats tend to sell stuff before leaving the city. It is always a nice thing to sell it out to newcomers or someone was in need of some of items and also gets a much cheaper price. In Beijing, the most popular way is to post your list online, on these websites, such as,; city weekend or time out. Trust you will at least find something you need.

Shenzhen – Shopping/Opening Hours

Shenzhen was one of the first Chinese cities to open its doors to the outside world. Influenced by its rich neighbour – HongKong, it is certain that Shenzhen is a prosperous metropolis. As a fast developing metropolis, it has a good selection of department stores and shopping centers, where everything from basic commodities to high-quality brands can be found. Shenzhen actually leads some of the consumption trends on the mainland and the latest fashions and products from Hong Kong and Guangzhou are readily available throughout the city. Electrical appliances, fashionable and reasonable clothing, jewellery and seafood are some of the best choices for you to buy in Shenzhen.

It is easy for you to find a place to do some shopping since Shenzhen is divided distinctly into several zones of shopping centers. It is no wonder that Dongmen Pedestrian Street is the No.1 shopping center of Shenzhen. Various kinds of shops, restaurants and cinemas are open here. In Hua Qiang Bei you will find numerous electrical products. The famous Women’s World, which is an ideal place for purchasing clothing, is also located here. Other shopping zones like Nanshan, Renmin Nan and Shen Nan Zhong respectively have their own characteristics. Apart from these, the Chinese and English Street located in Yantian District attracts lots of visitors since it is under the domination of both Shenzhen and Hong Kong. What’s more, this is also a tax-free street.

Shop Trading Hours
Shop trading hours are from about 9am until anywhere between 7pm and 10pm. Shops are open all week.

Supermarket & Groceries
Supply of western imported food can be found in several small shops located in Shekou. Shekou is home to many foreigners so almost anything can be found there. Shenzhen does have some international supermarket chains, like Tesco, Wal-Mart (more than 10 outlets), Carrefour (8 locations in the city), Metro, Sam’s club super store (for membership only), Jusco (Japanese brand), and local brand supermarket, like Ole Super Market, many imported western food can be found in those stores, as well as different brands of cheese, pasta, spices, cereals, olive oil, and some imported wine. Baby food in jars is also becoming more readily available in Shenzhen.

Fruit and vegetable are available in street markets, small street shops and the supermarkets. Meat is available in small shops and street markets, however, hygiene in such places is very low. We strongly recommend that you buy meat at previously mentioned larger supermarkets.

Imported alcohol is very expensive. The supply of wine is limited, although more and more available. Local beer is of good quality and can be purchased in almost all shops. Imported beer is widely spread as well (Heineken, Carlsberg, Corona, German brand beers, etc). Beverages like cola, sprite, orange water and soda water are easily available. Supply of tonic water, bitter lemon and cola light can easily be found in above mentioned shops with imported goods.

Furniture can be found in the bigger shopping malls. Home Decoration Malls usually have the latest in furnishings. These malls are very easy to spot. Besides western furniture, there is a large supply of Chinese style (antique) furniture. Prices for real antiques are very high. A good place to start would be Select and Order located on gong ye road right next to the SOS Clinic.

Shopping Area / malls / department stores
Shenzhen has a wide range of shopping options, from local market to high-end malls, department stores. Local market places like Huaqiang Bei area is the most prosperous shopping area. It has dozens of market places, for electronic products, home appliances, timepieces, clothing and jewelry . Some market places each house has hundreds of shops, from flagship stores selling big brands to small boutiques where you can bargain. Shenzhen is a shopping paradise for both residents and visitors.

Dong Men area is also a famous shopping district, consisting of department stores, supermarkets, shops and stalls. It is centered on two parallel pedestrian streets with several smaller streets and alleys traversing it, creating a labyrinth in which every available space is used to sell something. Shops range from holes-in-the-wall to retail chains like Baleno, Giordano and the odd foreign brand shop, such as Adidas. Fashion wear, sports wear, jewellery, shoes, handbags, traditional medicine…the list goes on and on.


Whatever you’re in the stores for, Suzhou has the place for you. One of Europe’s largest discount outlet developer, Value Retail, opened its first complex outside Europe in Suzhou. The Village, located on the western shore of Yangcheng Lake offers a number of European luxury shopping experiences such as “hands-free” shopping and fine dining services.
Japanese retailer Aeon opened its largest Chinese shopping mall in Suzhou’s southern Wuzhong district near Taihu. The store is the company’s largest outlet in China. The shopping mall will include 190 specialty stores, restaurants, kids’ play area, a supermarket and a 4D movie theater.

Shops are open from 10am-10pm in most shopping malls.
There are also other places for expats to shop at like book stores, furniture shops, department stores and tailor shops. Here we list a few for your consideration.

Book Store
Foreign Language Book Store
580 Ren Min Lu, OT

Furniture Shop
Coco Mat (Swedish style furniture store)
206 Xinghai Jie, SIP

Department Stores
International Department Store
Shi Lu

Matro Shopping Centre
Guan Qian Jie & Ren Min Lu, OT

Tailor shops
Wuzhijian Western Clothing
12-14 Diyi Tianmen
The Pas Western Clothes
338 Yangyu Xiang


Shopping in Shanghai is a very enjoyable experience. Big brands are setting up branches and small unique shops mushroom at many corners of the city. You can find many international and local brands in Shanghai. There are also many expats runs online shops and markets for imported items from all over the world. Here we will provide a list of stores for expats who want to have a taste of home life or find ease shopping in Shanghai as a foreigner.

Shops are open from 10am-10pm in most shopping malls.

Furniture and Appliances
There are some excellent furniture warehouses in Shanghai, many of them concentrated along Hongqiao Lu on the way to the airport and in western Changning.

Asia View
No. 233 Shaanxi Nan Lu

Markor Furnishing
No. 388 Fushan Lu.

No. 126 Caoxi Lu, by Zhongshan Xi Lu.
No. 550 Linyu Lu, by Hunan Lu.

Books and Magazines
Garden Books
No325 Changle Lu, French concession

Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore
No. 390 Fuzhou Lu

Imported & Organic Food
City Shop
The largest supermarket chain in Shanghai offering a range of imported foods and necessities, from packaged food and drink, to fresh fruit, to toiletries and more.

Green & Safe
An one-stop-for-all organic shop with deli counter that serves a variety of salads, sandwiches, and pasta, as well as a grocery store with a selection of local and imported organic goods.
Xuhui: No. 6 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu.
Changning: No.1438 Hongqiao Lu, near Manao Lu.

Ole supermarket
Imports over 70% of its products from overseas, with a great seafood counter and cheese selection.
Gateway B/F, No.1 Hongqiao Lu