Huawei recently opened its largest Huawei flagship store on Shanghai East Nanjing Road with a business area of nearly 5000 square meters.
Huawei, had earlier in the year in Kenya, launched its flagship store at the Sarit Center with an additional store at the Village Market that serves the wider market in the area. The stores are part of the company’s expansion strategy and meeting consumers’ needs.
The Art Deco-style building was built in 1935, by Mr. Silas Aaron Hardoon, a British real estate tycoon. Careful renovation, incorporating modern design and materials, has breathed new life into this historic building, making it a “City Square” where the local community can have fun, learn, share and innovate.
“Huawei has always valued engagement with consumers. Our relationship is not just a buyer-seller relationship. We have a deeper bond with our customers. The flagship store is a place for consumers, customers, and developers to get together”, said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group. “Huawei has also incorporated a Seamless AI Life Zone into this space, giving consumers an opportunity to explore the seamless AI life that ubiquitous connectivity and the Internet of Everything are ushering in.”
A century-old building, reinvigorated through contemporary designs
Designated as a second-grade historic building by the city of Shanghai, the Nanjing Building was once home to the popular Laou Kai Fook & Co in Shanghai. The building has witnessed the ups and downs of Shanghai commercial life over the past 100 years. In its latest reinvention, the Nanjing Building has become Huawei’s “City Square”.
Through respectful renovation and inventive design, Huawei has preserved the original form and function of the Nanjing Building to the fullest possible extent, and retained its original charm. This historic and cultural landmark has been reinvigorated to welcome a new generation of consumers.
The exterior façade, with its brickwork, decorative patterns and wall lamps, has been fully preserved, while modern ceramic glazed paint is used for restoration. To add a modern touch, lighting and LED screens have been added to make the building more eye-catching at night. The original structure of the interior space has been preserved, and materials such as terrazzo have been used to reinforce beams and pillars and pave the ground, giving the historic building a new look.
“Huawei communicated extensively with the historic building protection unit in Shanghai. We respected the original design of the building to the greatest extent, and strived to reproduce its original flavor, creating a social gathering area where consumers can have a rest, communicate, and share”, said Herman Zhu, CMO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group.
The All Product Zone on the first floor of the flagship store is designed with large and highly-transparent glass windows to bring in as much natural light as possible, which not only reduces energy consumption but also breaks down the barriers between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
In the HUAWEI Seamless AI Life Zone on the second floor, Art Deco-style bordering is used to separate different spaces. The suspended ceiling creates layered effect. The air conditioner outlets on the ceiling are decorated with weaving patterns, which is in great harmony with the carved copper lamp plate and ceiling lamp. The ingenious designers have struck a balance between form and function, hiding the air conditioner outlets and access panels.
Seamless AI life
The East Nanjing Road flagship store provides consumers with rich full-scenario experience, enabling every guest to truly experience how ubiquitous connectivity will seamlessly integrate AI into every aspect of their daily life.
“5G and AI technologies make a seamless AI life possible. Words can’t really convey how transformative this will be. Therefore, we want consumers to come to the global flagship store to experience first-hand the convenience of the AI-enhanced lifestyle that is coming in the near future”, Herman Zhu added.
Huawei’s full consumer product range is displayed on the first floor, with tables displaying products individually and wall cabinets exhibiting products based on 12 using scenarios. Here consumers can experience and buy the products, satisfying their needs for life, work, and entertainment.
The second floor showcases smart experience across five scenarios: Smart Home, Mobile Office, Fitness and Health, Easy Travel, and Entertainment. Consumers can get a taste of the smart connected life brought by features such as “one-click switching to the home mode”, “multi-screen collaboration”, “sports data real-time synchronization”, “MeeTime”, and “easy travel”. They can experience the convenience brought by scientific and technological progress.
A welcoming “City Square” for people with similar interests
The flagship store has plenty of public spaces. The patio of the Nanjing Building becomes the atrium, with wide staircases connecting different floors and a ceiling lamp simulating the sunlight. Customers can sit by the stairs and relax or roam around with a friend, chatting and exploring.
Talks will be held in the HUAWEI Community on the first floor. The flagship store has worked together with the Huawei Video team to invite Wang Xiaoshuai, a well-known director in China, to share his stories in film-making during the Grand Opening. The Ecosystem Corridor on the second floor, simultaneously a zone showcasing Huawei’s ecosystem partners and a calming green space, overlooks the hustle and bustle of East Nanjing Road. The Multi-Function Experience Zone on the third floor is used as an exhibition space for films, and paintings, and other forms of visual art.
To celebrate the Grand Opening, a photo exhibition titled “Clairvoyant Proverb” will be hosted in the third floor. Photos from Wangkai Photograph, the well-known photo studio in Shanghai, will be exhibited, as well as contributions from other local photographers, showcasing the charm of the Shanghai Bund and the dynamic, and at times turbulent, history of East Nanjing Road.
The flagship store will host free lectures every day — more than 60 lectures every week — covering topics including video production, programming, fitness, and music. Creators and technology experts from around the world, as well as local artists, will be invited for art salons, sharing meetings, and developer talks every month. Huawei is creating a community of communication and sharing where every consumer can join.
The flagship store will cover the full breadth of Huawei’s consumer product range. What’s more, consumers can communicate with around 220 experience consultants. These are people who come from all walks of life, each of whom brings their own strengths, such as experience in the world of sports, music, dance, or as vloggers. They will share with customers their interests and hobbies in addition to providing customers with suggestions and technical support. They can offer services in around 10 languages, including Shanghai dialect.
Herman Zhu said: “the Global Flagship Store on Shanghai’s East Nanjing Road will give back to the local community. It not only connects consumers, developers, and local artists, but also connects history, art, technology, and the future. This is one of many ‘City Squares’ that Huawei intends to build in major cities around China. We welcome everyone to come and visit.”