Hardly a week goes by without a new mall or shopping complex opening somewhere in Beijing. While they may be great for providing extra local jobs and contributing to their area's GDP, many seem to just be clones, attracting the same old international brands and chains. The new Indigo Mall on Jiuxianqiao Lu, just down the road from 798 Art District, is by all means also home to familiar names, but there are a couple of things about it that make it stand out from the rest.
It begins with the basics. Indigo is built by Swire Properties – the Hong Kong property company behind the trendy Sanlitun Village and Opposite House. This impressive portfolio shines through in Indigo's design: it too boasts a contemporary façade and spacious interior. But it's not just the architecture that gives the impression that this mall is a notch above the rest, everything from the selection of businesses to the design of their marketing materials stand out. Occupying 86,000 square meters of retail space and another 55,000 square meters dedicated to office space, Indigo is no small fish to jump into the commercial ocean of Beijing. Some 200 retailers are expected to open shop there when the mall officially opens sometime this September. At the time of writing, a number of shops, restaurants, beauty salons and entertainment facilities were already open for business.
Despite being far away from the nearest subway station (a new subway line is already in the works however), Indigo has chosen its home soil wisely, as it is just minutes away from the Upper East Side residential compound and the swanky neighborhoods of Lido. It's also just a 5-minute taxi or bus ride from the entrance of 798, and a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Jiuxianqiao Road.
For the budget-conscious, young fashionistas out there, H&M will probably be the biggest draw. However, other well-known brands include Gap, Calvin Klein Underwear, Crocs, Jack & Jones, Nike, Sephora, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY Jeans, G-Star Raw and more.
Household items/books/entertainment etc.
Page One was already open at the time of writing, and proves to be a million times better stocked that the Foreign Language Store or bookshop in Xidan. About 90% of books sold at Page One are English-language, catering to most interest groups and ages. A range of English magazines are also sold here. Kodo provides dainty household accessories like cute tea cans, cups, containers, photo frames etc. Sephora will also be on site selling their usual range of cosmetics, and a Watsons on the basement level is also there to help out with the usual toiletries and essential items. A swanky looking cinema on the top floor is already operating, with screenings costing between 45 and 100 RMB on average. A number of sweet-smelling stands selling pop-corn, ice cream, confectionary and coffee also do a good job at luring in potential cinema-goers. Herborist Spa, Tony & Guy and a nail salon are already open on the basement level.
Food and drink
Last but not least, the dining options! And options there are a plenty. So far, Food Republic is already attracting a solid crowd of customers each day, with their selection of regional and Asian cuisine on offer. Dig in to anything from 10 RMB takoyaki (Japanese octopus balls) to malatang, dim sum, dumplings, fried noodles, Korean food or teppanyaki. While prices are obviously steeper than a typical hole-in-the-wall, you can still expect to eat your fill for under 30 RMB.
Burger-joint Blue Frog is also open already. With friendly English-speaking staff and happy hour deals on food each day of the week (Mondays is buy-one-get-one-free on all burgers after 16:00; house wines and beers only 25 RMB after 20:00 on Tuesdays; 180 RMB steak + soup and wine on Wednesdays; deals on tea and coffee from 14:00-17:00 every day etc.), this will surely be one of the most popular dining spots in the mall.
Other notable businesses likely to make foodies rejoice include: Hercules (fancy sandwiches), Bibigo (Korean), Cold Stone Creamery, Costa Coffee, Top Cellar, Godiva, Jaya Crepes, Element Fresh and more.
While the majority of retailers have yet to open, the increasing stream of people exploring the enormous complex (which is in its soft opening stage) is already a clear indication that Indigo is doing something right. The exact official opening date is still a mystery however, so stay tuned for more updates.
Indigo颐堤港View In Map
Add: 18 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Getting there: take bus No. 401, 402, 408, 418, 420, 621, 656, 659, 677, 688, 701, 909, 946, 95, 973, 976, 998, 991 or 107 to Jiuxianqiao stop (酒仙桥站)
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Keywords: Indigo mall Beijing trendy malls Beijing new openings Beijing 2012 indigo 798 Beijing
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