The State Council released a circular to promote the innovative transformation of the offline retail sector, in a bid to alleviate pressures from mounting operation costs and the threat from thriving online retailers.
The document set up nine major tasks in the sector’s innovative transformation from the perspective of adjusting commercial structure, innovating development mode, and promoting cross-sector integration.
The circular includes plans to adjust the regional structure of offline retail enterprises by encouraging them to move from eastern areas to the central and western areas, from first- and second-tier cities to spread to third- and fourth-tier cities.
It then called for guiding saturated offline retail sectors such as shopping malls and furniture markets to exit from core business circles in cities, while supporting competitive ones to adjust their operational structures and transfer from traditional sales venues to multi-functional centers.
Offline retail enterprises are also urged to upgrade their product types encompassing such factors as intelligence, fashion, and health, which can appeal to both low-income and middle to high-end consumer groups.
In addition, the government encouraged enterprises to innovate operation mechanisms, business format and customer service, and promote online-offline integration, multi-sector coordination and integration of domestic and foreign trade.
The circular also stressed a scientific network plan with consideration of urban and rural population scale and living and production needs. And related public services, such as industry standard system and evaluation index, should also be improved and strengthened, according to the document.