IKEA, UNIQLO, Galeries Lafayette reopen in China on large scale
Published: Feb 28, 2020 03:31 PM

Two customers walk out of a shopping mall in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province on February 19. Photo: cnsphotos

Foreign retailers in China, including IKEA and UNIQLO, are reopening on a massive scale as the coronavirus epidemic has in recent days shown signs of abating despite soaring cases in other countries.

Furniture-maker IKEA announced on Thursday that from March 1, some of its stores across Shanghai, Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang Province, and Wuxi in East China’s Jiangsu Province will reopen.

On Wednesday, only 150 stores - or 20 percent - of Japanese retail chain UNIQLO remained closed, according to media reports. When the COVID-19 epidemic was still at its height on February 7, 370 UNIQLO shops were closed. 

French department store Galeries Lafayette has announced that its two stores in Beijing and Shanghai reopened on Thursday, but are operating with shortened business hours. Customers are required to wear masks and pass a temperature test before entering. 

As the deadly virus is gradually coming under control in China, the reopening of stores has signaled that a return to normal economic activity is approaching. Foreign retailers that have been reeling from the COVID-19 fallout for the past month are expected to see stronger sales among Chinese consumers in the near future.

Global Times