If you are thinking of shopping in Beijing this maybe the answer, Silk Street, now a shopping centre crammed with around 1,700 vendors, 3,000 sales people spread across 7 floors, selling women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories such as belts, shoes, hats, silk fabrics, sports goods, Chinese handicrafts, carpets, calligraphy, antiques, pearl, coral, crystal jewellery, trinkets, home furnishings, toys, paintings even electronics. As shown by the merchandise it is no longer confined to silk. The Silk Street shopping centre attracts 20,000 visitors on week days and around 50 to 60,000 visitors during weekends. Well known restaurants, pharmacies, coffee shops, fast food chains have set up outlets here to cash in and to become an all encompassing one stop shop and the ultimate shopping destination. Visitors can forage all day in the depths of the shopping centre overwhelmed by the array of merchandise. A combination of bargaining skills, shrewdness and patience will be definitely rewarded with an ideal find.
The shopping centre replaced the old Xiushiu outdoor silk market that was demolished in 2005 as it was deemed a fire hazard, had roots going back to the Qing Dynasty when it was a muddy path perhaps with a few shop. The original Xiushiu Silk market was located on Xiushiu Dongjie near the First Embassy and even then was a huge draw with shoppers. It had 410 stalls selling silk products, knockoffs, souvenirs and other knick knacks and had an annual turnover of UDS$ 12.5 million. It was closed down after twenty years of service. The present silk market has been described by the China Daily News as the third best known tourist destination in Beijing.
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