Shanghai is fast becoming the preferred destination for international retail brands to tap into the mainland market, with big names like Uniqlo, Shanghai Tang, Breguet and Ernest Borel launching flagship stores in the city in the first half of this year, Beijing Business Today reported Tuesday. Many brands have opted for a foothold in Shanghai over Hong Kong because rent and labor costs have surged in the southern city. For the six months to June, retail sales rose 9.1 percent year on year in Shanghai, as more retailers expanded here. But Beijing’s retail sales growth was down in the first half, growing just 8.8 percent, 4.2 percentage points lower than the same period last year, the report said.
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