June 4, 2018 by Raj B. Shroff

I am writing this from Shanghai, actually sitting in an Indian restaurant, enjoying some free wi-fi. The lunch crowd has disappeared, the techno music is still blaring, it feels more like my private club now, not a buzzing restaurant. I love Chinese food but after a week, needed a little spice.

I spent last week in Guangzhou and got to check out a newer mall called K11. Having traveled the world and seen lots of high end retail, I was surprised and impressed by the store designs in this mall. At the top of my list was this bookstore, still working on the name.

It was buzzing with shoppers. This store seems new, modern and exciting.

Compared to this, the Amazon Books I saw a few weeks ago in NYC is a dull relic of the past, a Barnes & Noble 1.5.

This bookstore is analog. No bar codes to scan, no member prices to be redirected to. Sure, you can pay quickly, you just use one of the payment apps, no big deal, no fuss, no press releases about their amazing technology, its just the ecosystem here.

The store has a fun kid’s space, a café, an art studio, a plant store and several other small shop-in-shops.

Definitely glad I stumbled upon this gem. And hope this provides some inspiration to my designer friends. Stay tuned for more observations, lessons and thoughts from China. RBS.