Speaking of Suzhou Changfa Shopping Mall, first things appear in the minds of those who have long-lived in Suzhou are Shanghai-style apparel and milkcakes, while for new ones, it must be meat mooncakes. In fact, both the nationally well-known Jinjin Dried Bean Curd and the century-old shop Yeshouhe in Guanqian Street also belong to Changfa Group. Although it is a comprehensive shopping mall, Changfa Shopping Mall has become a must-go-to stop in Guanqian Street for visitors from outside of Suzhou in recent years, which is because specialty snacks of Suzhou, like dried curd bean and Suzhou pastry, can be brought back to relatives and friends as presents. The most important thing is, you must buy and eat Changfa meat mooncakes, even if you have to wait in a long queue. When you get the hot and delicious newly-baked meat mooncake, the first thing is not to send it to your mouth while blowing away the heat, but take a photo of it with your cell phone and then post it on MicroBlog and WeChat to prove that you have got the long well-known Changfa meat mooncake.
As the only important hub connecting Pingjiang Historic Street with Guanqian Commercial Street, the Cakes Head Store in Changfa Shopping Mall has been famous for its delicious meat mooncakes which have enjoyed high popularity for a long time. This can be proved by the endless long queues of foodies in front of the store every day. Therefore, Changfa Group not only shoulders the responsibilities of making Guandong famous and revitalizing Guanqian Commercial Zone, but also needs to continuously inherit as well as improve the production techniques of Suzhou pastry, a non-material cultural heritage, to make it more suitable to the tastes and preferences of today’s consumers. Currently, beside the most popular meat mooncakes, there are also various other mooncakes of different flavors, such as yolk with dried meat floss, lentinula, rose and bean paste, durian, turnip strip with fresh meat, shrimp mince, crabmeat with fresh meat, etc.
Changfa Shopping Mall has enjoyed a history of over twenty years since its opening in January, 1995. It had attracted a large number of loyal consumers with its fashionable Shanghai-style apparel in the early time, while in recent years, its business has been mainly focused on female commodities, such as women’s dresses and shoes, gold and jewelry, cosmetics, etc, with high cost performance. For further development, the second-phase expansion eastward and redecoration of the mall has been completed in January, 2015, after which the total area has reached nearly 30, 000 square meters. Furthermore, a new parking lot has been put up on the first floor underground, and the area of the supermarket has been nearly doubled. The brand new decoration and layout gives the space more gradations, dynamics and modern flavor. The mall incorporates international concepts in construction planning, space decoration, category layout and brand introduction, combines cosmetics, gold and jewelry, men’s and women’s fashion, accessories, children’s clothing and beddings, and integrates shopping, leisure, dining as well as other business into a whole, to create a fashionable department store complex with a high-end environment and moderate prices.
Nowadays, an increasing number of young people and out-of-town tourists walk into Changfa while visiting Pingjiang Road and Guanqian Street, ordering a cup of coffee in Starbucks, picking up cosmetics they like in fashionable cosmetic shops, or strolling casually in the comfortable shopping mall to have a look at the newly-arrived seasonal items and feel the joy of being surrounded by fashion. Someone once said, “ we love a city because of a person”, while you will love Changfa “for a city” when you come to Guanqian Street of Suzhou.