As part of Experiential Learning – Asia Pacific Study (RMG 917), a group of 17 TRSM Retail Management students are visiting China for a two-week learning experience exploring the Chinese retail market. The group began their journey in Beijing on Saturday, May 7th.
Here, students Samantha Rondinelli and Lauren Rainville tell us about their final days in China.
Today we started out our second day in Shanghai visiting the Adidas Group Head Office in downtown Shanghai. The building was absolutely amazing and it definitely intrigued the whole group – we all wanted to work there after the presentation. We were given a presentation by an employee in the Human Resources Department on the opportunities and challenges involved with operating in the Asia-Pacific market, as well as touching upon the sportswear industry in the greater China area. She mentioned that Shanghai accounted for 5.5% of their total sales and they predict that by 2020, China will have 10 New York Cities.
We spent our afternoon at former Ryerson University professor Mark Ceolin’s company – Red Gate International Inc. The company focuses on media, retail, and graphic design. He spoke about the opportunities and challenges present in the market in China, and how to successfully and efficiently conduct business here.
We then ended off the day with a tour of a Walmart just outside of the downtown core of Shanghai, where we were warmly greeted by the staff and had the chance to taste delicious and unique foods throughout the store. We then ended off the tour with a presentation by the management team on China’s retail market overview, Walmart China introduction, and some information on the store we visited.
Last Day in Shanghai:
We started off our tour day in Shanghai at a beautiful water village called Zhujiajiao Village, where we saw beautiful watercolour paintings. We also visited a beautiful garden in the village called the Kezhi Garden; “Kezhi” means working hard, reading, and studying, so the garden represents concentration and peace.
We then took a gondola-type boat to the lunch area with restaurants right on the lake and beautiful gift shops. The locals were very friendly and welcoming as we explored the area. We enjoyed a delicious traditional Chinese lunch at an old farmer’s house within the area.
We ended off the night with the much-anticipated Huangpu River Cruise of the Shanghai skyline. It was absolutely breathtaking; we all enjoyed the view and the people we met from around the world during the cruise. We wrapped up our last night in Shanghai by going to a karaoke bar near the hotel with everyone from the group, which was a lot of fun!
Needless to say, Shanghai and the overall trip was amazing and we all learned so much valuable information about the retail operations in China.
Ahhh, the last full day.
After a whirlwind few days in Shanghai, we were ready for some fun and relaxation. We began at Zhujiajiao which is a beautiful water village an hour and a half outside the downtown core. We got to take a boat ride down the river, visit a Buddhist temple, shop for some last-minute souvenirs, and just enjoy the beautiful southern China weather. We moved downtown afterwards for our last dinner together and capped off the night with a cruise on the Huangpu River.
It was the perfect way to end not only this amazing trip, but also my time at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management.
We thought the night was over until Hong surprised us with a booking at a karaoke lounge just around the corner from our hotel. That will definitely go down as one of my favourite parts of the entire trip. At least now I know if a career in retail doesn’t work out, I could definitely try my hand at KTV!