China’s new middle class is driving changes in China’s retail landscape. On Saturday, 13 October Shaohaihui, pioneers in the intelligent housing industry, launched their home direct selling platform. Later this year the company will open 2,100 stores around China to give consumers the opportunity to see the over 300 million designer furniture.
Shaohaihui’s design are created to bring appealing designs to middle class families who often live in small apartments due to the lack of affordable housing in China’s metropolis. Designs are focused on utilising space around the home with an appealing minimalist design – a concept also known as “Edge Zero”.
In Shaohaihui’s vision one-bedroom apartment are planned with an “open link”. The four-way design creates 360-degree multi-functional furniture. The three-sided invisible storage ensures that the room has an overall cleanly and spacious appearance – something which can be difficult to achieve in a small living space. The designs not only make use of multi-functional furniture but also new smart features such as smart lights are integrated in this new design approach.
To achieve its ambitious goal to revolutionise the middle-class housing market, Shaohaihui is partnering with upcoming Chinese designers and start-ups to create homes which are centred on the needs of young Chinese consumers. Since 2016 42 upcoming Chinese companies, with an annual output exceeding £1.1 billion have joined to create bring the “Edge Zero” design to all parts of China.
China’s growing middle class has become an important consumer base for many Chinese start-ups. According to a study by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 76 percent of China’s urban population will be considered middle class by 2022. But by 2022, thanks to a growing number of higher-paying high-tech and service industry jobs, 54 percent will be classified as “upper middle” class – meaning they earn between US$16,000 and US$34,000 a year.