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Crossover: Popular items in old Chinese store

08-20-2012 20:16 BJT

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For more on the old Chinese store, we are now joined in the studio by my colleague Nie Jia.

Q1: I see you've bought some enamel mugs in the end. What are the other popular items in the store?

A1: Well, there are so many, I'll try my best to name just a few. One typical example is Pehchaolin, a very famous hand cream brand in China. And I think the post-80s generation is very familiar with the product because 20 years ago, it was almost synonymous with cosmetics. I remember when I was small; my mother always used the product for her make-up. Sometimes she also put some cream on my face too. It has a very sweet and pleasant smell--which reminds you of your childhood. And in the store, you will also find Huili Shoe. Huili brand sneakers were the hottest shoes in China 30 years ago. They have a very bright and clean design, which was a sharp contrast to the drabness of China in the 1970s. While its name was still well-known in China, it was no longer known as a premier Chinese brand. Instead, Huili Shoe was the shoe of the working class — worn by poor construction workers, and rural citizens looking for a pair of cheap, durable shoes. So in the store, you may have a hard time finding something expensive. Cheap and practical Chinese products are all they’ve got.

Q2: It's really interesting. But nowadays China is getting increasingly commercialized, and most Chinese people want the top overseas brands. They seem to care little about splashing out on the latest products to showcase their status and identity. So does this kind of old store still have an appeal and fascination?

A2: Well, in fact, people today don't just care about fashion. Because fashion comes and goes. What’s also important is to remember your roots and where you come from. Some people come here just to recapture and relive moments of their past. And things in the store stir a sense of nostalgia and carry a strong sentimental value. I ran across a 50-year-old customer in the store. She had travelled from Hebei province to Beijing just to buy an old fashioned torch - the kind her father used to have. So it’s not just about money. And on the other hand, although China’s middle class is expanding rapidly, there is still a strong working class. Cheap and practical things suit their wallet. Shoes and clothes in the store are about 3-4 times cheaper than outside. And the goods they sell are very handy. So people are naturally drawn to the place.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source:

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