Chapter 50: The opening of the mall
From the beginning of the mall’s renovation at the end of June to its imminent opening at the start of August, Xu Tingsheng didn’t really have to help out much with it. Mr Xu took full charge of the project, just asking him to pick a name for the supermarket. Searching the names of the large scale supermarkets that he had the deepest impressions of on the web, he discovered that there were virtually no famous brands which had yet to enter the market.
Of course, famous brands too had only achieved their prominence step by step.
Currently, the Xu Family still lacked the ability to proceed along the direction of chain large scale supermarkets. Therefore, taking a step back, Xu Tingsheng chose a rather more straightforward name: Happy Shoppers(Huangou).Grand Shopping World of Libei.
The little joke here: I am Tesco’s(Legou/Joyful Shoppers) bro.
Within the tiny Libei, the news of the mall’s opening didn’t really have to be advertised on too grand a scale. They need just release the news and wait for it to be spread via word of mouth.
“Have you heard? That ‘Wait for me’ is about to begin operation.”
“Oh, the one with the ‘Guess’, right? I guess that they’ll be selling mobile phones.”
“I guess that they’ll likely be selling clothes, for everyone from the old to the young and for both males and females. With all that, it is indeed possible that they could fill up such a large space.”
The part that they managed to guess correctly was one even Xu Tingsheng had not thought of originally. Mr Xu had ‘stubbornly insisted’ on setting aside an area in the supermarket that they actually felt to be rather small to sell mobile phones in, from Nokia phones to ‘mountain shack’ phones that consisted of various small brands as well as imitations.
The female manager who had come over from Xihu City, Li Xiu, had argued with Mr Xu over this many times. As she saw it, this was really too random and meaningless. However, Mr Xu argued that it was very suitable for their location, because this was Libei. Even if the level of modernity of their supermarket was inferior to those in Xihu, it was already enough for the people of Libei. Meanwhile, mobile phones were currently in the process of rapid development as a highly profitable selling point.
In the end, Li Xiu could only compromise on the matter, though she still clearly retained her views of opposition.
Mr Xu and Xu Tingsheng both felt the same regarding this: appreciation. She truly treated Happy Shoppers as her own enterprise.
On opening day, there were no special gimmicks like the cutting of the ribbon, only the bustling crowds gathered outside the mall.
Mr Xu and Xu Tingsheng wore the exact same formal shirt, western trousers and leather shoes as they simply stood to the side of the door. Beside them were Mrs Xu and Xu Qiuyi, and around them were many relatives as well as former classmates who had come to join in and liven up the atmosphere.
Forming a larger group here were the mall’s ‘little shareholders’. From their perspective, while the amount of shares they held was not clearly defined, having invested their money in, the Xu Family had correspondingly promised them interest as well as possible bonuses. Therefore, this business belonged to them as well. They had been the most passionate ones in the publicising of the mall earlier, and during its opening now, rather than just having come alone, they had also brought along many friends and relatives to boost the crowd and the atmosphere.
Mr Xu took much care of this ‘sense of ownership’ of theirs as well. He arranged them right in the centre, all of them wearing red flowers and looking very satisfied and full of themselves.
The celebratory firecrackers resounded. Father and son moved one to the left and one to the right, each tightly grasping one end of the ‘Guess’ banner that covered the front transparent glass wall of the mall as they simultaneously exerted force from both sides.
The grand stage was unveiled.
Happy Shoppers.Grand Shopping World of Libei was officially presented to the public.
With regard to the mall’s external appearance, the Xu Family had designed a massive transparent glass wall so as to display the interior of the supermarket to the greatest possible extent.
A few little children from some relatives’ families, having already entered the mall earlier on, were currently jumping about happily on the inflatable castles that were the main attraction of the entertainment zone for children here. Now, the grips on the hands of many parents with young children suddenly tightened as their children already couldn’t wait to go join in the fun.
Other than that, on a few massive screens overhead were being broadcasted popular music. Currently, Stefanie Sun was singing <Encounter> on them.
Without needing queue numbers, the residents of Libei County now encountered their first ever modern large scale supermarket.
As a demonstration, Huang Yaming lifted up a five-year-old boy currently playing in the entertainment zone and placed him on the seat of one of the shopping trolleys. Originally having been crying and making a ruckus due to being carried away by a stranger, the little boy was giggling out in joy as he was pushed around on the shopping trolley.
Then, under Li Xiu’s lead, dressed in the same company uniform, the staff of the supermarket made their appearance.
They formed two straight columns by the sides of the corridor, bowing deeply together before shouting out in unison, “Welcome, happy shopping in Happy Shoppers.Grand Shopping World of Libei!”
Then, they scattered in an orderly fashion, taking up their respective positions.
The crowds began flocking towards the inside of the mall.
The most important requirement for a supermarket was being equipped with everything. Happy Shoppers had given the people of Libei their first ever ‘one-stop style’ shopping centre in the truest sense of the term.
The first to be snatched up completely were the shopping trolleys. Those who had not managed to secure one could only grab a shopping basket, which were luckily sufficient in number.
“With such great renovation, perhaps the things here are rather expensive?”
“Being slightly expensive would also be natural.”
The customers had already readied themselves mentally for the prices to be higher. However, they quickly discovered that the prices of goods in Happy Shoppers were even lower than in the small supermarkets and wholesale departments that could be found outside. Abundant in goods and low in price-this was basically what this meant.
Actually, in the year 2003 when Taobao had still yet to rise to prominence, the transparency level of the prices of goods was comparatively lower. The prices in small supermarkets and wholesale departments were all decided upon very casually, earning them great profits. Comparatively possessing a large amount of inflowing goods as well as an advantage in their purchasing costs, Happy Shoppers had determined their own prices after having done some market research in Libei. While virtually all of their goods were sold at lower than the market price, there was actually still around a whopping 38% of revenue to be made.
As the mall’s popularity surged through the roof, a hearty, uninhibited smile could be seen on Mr Xu’s face.
He had silently waited for so long in preparation for this day. As Xu Tingsheng looked at Mr Xu beside him, he could not help but feel emotional as hot tears threatened to spill from his eyes.
Helping his father to re-find himself, finding back the him that he wanted to be, was possibly the greatest act of filial piety ever possible for Xu Tingsheng.
People came over to congratulate them non-stop.
Boss Ye of the Golden City Tower hurriedly came down from his car as he apologised repeatedly, “Sorry, sorry. Boss Xu, I was out overseas for work. Even though I rushed back, I still couldn’t make it in time.”
Mr Xu went forward, shaking Boss Ye’s hand and engaging in a conversation with him.
Looking at Xu Tingsheng by the side, Boss Ye asked Mr Xu, “This is our Libei’s top scholar, right? The one on the big banner?”
Mr Xu nodded proudly.
“Impressive, your Xu Family truly is impressive. Twin heroes in both father and son…Boss Xu, let me tell you, I could already tell last time that this kid is extraordinary. No wonder you even brought him along in your business discussions…”
Within a short time, more and more people came forth to congratulate them. Amongst them were many of the people whom their ‘little shareholders’ had asked to come liven up the atmosphere. However, currently, they could only boost the atmosphere around the doorway. The insides of the supermarket were already packed with jostling crowds.
Currently, those who were carrying shopping baskets were feeling like it was a much wiser choice to be doing so than to be pushing around shopping trolleys.
Similarly placed in a troubling situation were the staff of the supermarket who were pushing around their trolleys. The popularity of sales had surpassed their original expectations. As the shelves were cleaned out time and time again, they could only squeeze past the jostling crowds to lay out fresh stock yet once more.
Of course, they were soon relieved of all this hardship as the customers began directly taking goods off their trolleys.
In Xu Tingsheng’s previous life, he had come for the grand opening of the supermarket that had been established in this very same space. While it had been very bustling and lively that day, it was still rather a far cry from the current popularity of the Xu Family’s supermarket right before his eyes. One reason for this was the superior renovation as well as modernisation extent of Happy Shoppers. Another was the two large banners of ‘Wait for me’ and ‘Guess’ that had enveloped the entire mall having sufficiently attracted the attention and curiosity of the people of Libei.
Additionally, it was also due to the innate allure of the Xu father and son. Mr Xu was famed as one of the first in Libei to have started a factory. Having slumbered amidst the fields and hills for more than ten years, he was now surging back into prominence, having emerged with a major venture as soon as he had made a move. Meanwhile, his son was a legend of Libei Senior High as well as Libei’s latest top scholar for Humanities.
Many people wanted to come and take a look at this legendary father and son duo.
…The popularity of Happy Shoppers surged through the roof.
Xu Tingsheng stood at the doorway with Mr Xu, greeting the customers that were flowing in in an endless stream. There were actually many who came to show their support for them. Old Zhou and Fang Yunyao came, and even Ye Yingjing’s entire family made an appearance.
The two exchanged a few casual lines, but as Mrs Ye was trying to ‘enter a deeper conversation’, she was pulled away by Mr Ye, saying, “They’re busy today; let’s find another day to talk.”
Xu Tingsheng could only smile apologetically. In truth, he hadn’t the time to chat much with anyone today, not even Old Zhou.
Nearing noon, as lunchtime arrived, the number of customers in the supermarket finally decreased somewhat. Just as Mr Xu and Xu Tingsheng were about to arrange for the staff to go for lunch as well as refill the empty shelves, Xu Tingsheng saw some people he had not expected to see.
The four principals of Libei Senior High had come.
They had already long since helped to advertise the mall like they had promised. Grasping the largest student population of Libei and their families by extension, the influence of their advertising would unquestionably be immense.
The principals had arrived with guilt, Principal Xu saying on their behalf, “We’ve been constantly feeling rather guilty over the matter of Tingsheng’s aspirations…we aren’t able to do anything else, but today, we can just raise the atmosphere here all that we can boost it.”
To what extent could a few principals boost the atmosphere?
To a very great extent indeed.
Just as Principal Xu had finished speaking, a massive student body could already be seen flocking over from the distance, someone yelling loudly from far away, “Senior Xu Tingsheng, we’re here to support you!”
It seemed like…there wouldn’t be time for lunch today. They’d best hurry and stack up some goods on the shelves.
Of course, the principals couldn’t have expressly asked or commanded the students to come over here. They had just done one thing. Today, management had been cancelled during the mealtime break of Libei Senior High. The students could freely move about as they wanted.
Happy Shoppers was located but a few hundred metres from Libei Senior High. However, Mr Xu and Xu Tingsheng had originally not thought that they might have to account for these student customers. After all, Libei Senior High underwent enclosed-style management, within which were shut in over a thousand students from various grades that were currently in the midst of summer supplementary lessons.
With a single word from Principal Xu, management was temporarily cancelled, and thereby had resulted this scene.
“You’ve really given us face this time,” Mr Xu grasped Principal Xu’s hand, saying sincerely.