Marks and Spencer, the most British of shops, have a 4 storey, glass fronted store on one of Shanghai’s most prominent roads. Nanjing Road is the Shanghai equivalent to London’s Oxford Street or New York’s 5th Avenue. In fact, my office is on the 31st floor of a building at one end of Nanjing Road with a spectacular view across the city.
Today, I took a walk down Nanjing Road to find Marks and Spencers as Owen had said it is the only place he could find squash. My experience of M&S in Oxford Street is that it is usually full of Chinese people buying huge quantities of clothes. Well, M&S on Nanjing Road was mostly full of westerners! Unlike Tesco, who have adapted their stores, contents and stock to the local market, M&S have replicated any store from the UK. While it was comforting for me to walk into a shop and immediately feel at home, I am quite positive that this will not be a good business model in China. They have the Per Una, Autograph, Limited and Indigo fashion lines and the layout was exactly the same as any UK shop. On the plus side, I bought orange squash, lemon and lime squash and blackcurrent squash. On the down side, I bought 6 bottles in total and paid 210 RMB (approx £20/$30)!