St Gobain says closes retail business in Shanghai

Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA), the world's largest building materials company, said it has closed one of its retail operations in Shanghai.

The move comes after U.S. consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) last month shut down its self-branded stores in China and toymaker Mattel Inc's (MAT.O) closure of its flagship Barbie store in Shanghai.

Saint-Gobain will close all seven "La Maison" outlets in Shanghai given dwindling demand for interior settings from individuals, Nicolas Nie, external affairs director at Saint-Gobain China, said.

"More and more housing and apartments sold already come with interior settings so the total market is shrinking," he said.

"China is a new market and we are at a stage where we are evaluating what's a good model for the Chinese market."

La Maison makes up for less than 1 percent of Saint-Gobain's total sales in China and the building materials giant has other retail and wholesale operations in Shanghai and the rest of China, Nie said.

The group, which competes with Owens Illinois (OI.N) and CRH (CRH.I), manufactures and distributes construction products such as pipes, ceramics and flat glass. Its materials were used to build the Louvre Pyramid in Paris and London's Gherkin tower.

Global retailers are eager to tap China's massive consumer market, but getting people in the world's most populous nation to open their wallets is not as easy as it seems.

Best Buy said last month it would focus its business on wholly-owned subsidiary Five Star, which has nearly 170 smaller stores in seven Chinese provinces. [ID:nN2178940]

Mattel confirmed reports on Tuesday that it had shut its six-storey flagship store, saying it wanted to focus on the broader Chinese market rather than just China's commercial hub. [ID:nL3E7E8064] (Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

600450 St Gobain says closes retail business in Shanghai
Date: 14 March 2011

See more news about:

See more from these topics:

Others also read

All pieces of glass needed by the “Tomorrowland” park are produced by NorthGlass.
Growing a valued tradition - The 24th International Congress on Glass took place from 7-11th April 2016 at the Shanghai International Convention Centre and was hosted by the Chinese Ceramic Society working with the International Commission on Glass. 
Aurecon provided facade engineering design for the striking Shanghai Tower, which is now on the official Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) “Current Tallest 20” list.
Fuyao Glass Industry Group, the world's second largest automotive glass manufacturer by sales in 2013, will seek listing approval from the local bourse today for its proposed float of US$700 million (HK$5.46 billion) to US$800 million, sources said.
Another gathering of global glass circles (China Glass 2014) was staged in Shanghai, which runs from 14 to 17 April, 2014 and occupies seven halls of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (E1-E7) with the exhibition area up to 80,000 square metres, drawing 815 exhibitors (185 international companies) from 27 countries, including China, Italy, Germany, the US, France, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Korea, Japan and India.  Almost all leading glass enterprises in the world participated in the show.
Shanghai, China. Siemens will be exhibiting at the China Glass in Shanghai from April 2 – 5, 2012 with a portfolio of products and services designed to improve the energy efficiency of production processes, reduce raw material and energy costs and minimize pollutant emissions in the glass industry.

Add new comment