My wife loves to go shopping!
The temperature in Beijing this day was as high as 34°C. Despite being stuffy and hot, Weibo netizen @赵艾达 was brave enough to go out. Her destination is the 600-year-old Longfu Temple, where a "national tide book market" is in full swing.
▲ Guochao Book Fair, see watermark for picture source
Later that day, Nanjing, the ancient capital of the Six Dynasties, also ushered in its own fashionable night. Vintage lovers, large and small, gather at the Silver Salt Summer Retro Night Market, swing together, and return to the 90s together.
▲ Nanjing Station, Silver Salt Retro Night Market, photo from: Weibo @银盐空间
In the 48-hour weekend that is precious for contemporary people, some people bury their heads in moving bricks, some people blow air-conditioning in their homes to beat the king, and more and more young people choose to "go out to the market" and participate in one after another interesting and soul offline parties. .
The market takes over the city
Summer night, evening breeze, music, slightly drunk.
Buy a ticket ranging from 0 to 100 to enter the venue, and you will see novel and interesting niche brands in front of you. You go shopping happily, when you suddenly find a good heart, ecstasy, pay, and finally leave contentedly, leaving a wave of nine-square check-in and photo-printing.
For most people, the above is enough to constitute an imagination of a market.
How popular is the market? According to the "2020 Annual Report of Commercial Real Estate", according to incomplete observations, in 2020, many shopping malls across the country will hold more than 1,000 market-related themed events.
▲ BFC Bund Maple Trail Weekend Market, photo from: BFC Bund Financial Center
The "going to the market" of young people was once regarded as a niche interest. It was not until the past two years after the epidemic that the market, as an effective form of economic recovery, blossomed everywhere in the city, before it re-entered the public discussion.
To be calculated seriously, this offline transaction form can be traced back to bartering in primitive society, at least 3000 years of history. The north is called "going to the market," and the south is called "successful market." It is full of ancient and market flavors.
The concept of "Creative Market" broke into the Chinese context for the first time because of the 2004 book "Creative Market" of the same name . The author Wang Yiying introduced the Spitalfield's Market flea market in London in detail in the book, and also visited 16 cutting-edge designers and artists who had set up stalls there, opening up new ideas for domestic markets.
▲ Spitalfield's Market in London, pictured from eater.com
After that, literary, fashionable, cutting-edge, roasting, coffee making, environmental protection, vintage selling… market brands with different characteristics have appeared one after another. Later, even commercial real estate wanted to join in and play together.
2006: iMART Creative Market
2010: Beijing Organic Farmers Market
2013: Mahuaxu Flea Market
2015: Wood eats Tok
2016: Fanji Common Rare
2018: Silver Salt Retro Night Market
(The above are only examples of some market brands)
Nishina, the lead singer of the Gojo Band, once mentioned his own experience of renting a few hundred yuan in a village in the city : "The room is small, but the city is my living room."
In his "living room" back then, there were flip flops, DVDs, fantasy Lisa hair salon and wild artists. And the "living room" of this young man may be crowded with vigorous and vigorous markets.
When we go to the market, what are we going to do?
A report by SocialBeta compared the market to the offline version of "Douban Group", where like-minded young people gather and make friends.
Not all markets can do this. But a good market does have a magical magnetic field that can bring souls of the same frequency together.
The well-known Wood Eat Tok in China started out as a food market, but now it is a city carnival label and youth culture icon. Most of the young people they attract are independent, respect the original, and are willing to explore new things. Bian Yu, the founder of Woodstock, summed up these characteristics as "talking about Wood" .
▲The scene of the "Guochao Book Fair", photo from: Wood eats Toke
In contrast, Fangui Common Rare, initiated by two girls, has a much softer temperament. They pay more attention to quality independent brands, adhere to the concept of Small Things Matter, and gather many young people who like illustration art design and pay attention to life aesthetics.
▲ "Together with Fanji" market scene, picture from: Fanji Common Rare
Trace is the manager of the home collection store "UK1KEI2 House" and a heavy bazaar enthusiast. According to his observation, no matter how niche the hobbies are, you can find the same kind in the market that matches the temperament.
What the market creates is actually a sense of group, which brings together people with similar lifestyles. For example, the Mahuaxu market that I often go to recently. Its concept is to regenerate old things. It attracts quite a lot of people who like retro.
▲ Trace communicated with guests at the market, pictures provided by interviewees
More young people go to the market to find freshness and inspiration.
Caca, who claims to be a "cute girl in the Buddhist market", told Ai Faner: "There are all kinds of beautiful and special things in the market! Most of the stall owners' works are original and niche. This is what attracts me the most." Let me say her subtext more bluntly-it's not the kind of stuff like Taobao's explosive models and bad streets!
Caca said that she recently found a lion dance ring she likes very much in the market. The paper-cut style is very special, and the lion dance expression is vivid. The stall owner also shared his creative ideas, interesting people and stories with her on the spot, making this small accessory even more special.
It is different from the soaring adrenaline that is bought online. Here, your senses are all opened, and your eyes, ears, nose and mouth are simultaneously receiving environmental information. Tone, aroma, touch…does not require any high-tech, the market itself is an authentic and immersive experience scene. Caca said that this kind of offline experience cannot be given or replaced by online e-commerce platforms.
▲ Market scene, picture from: Wood eats Toke
Trace has similar ideas:
No one can be completely satisfied with the pure online world, you still need to be inspired and touched in real life. Especially for people like me who are engaged in art design, my life needs nourishment, and the market can be one of the sources of inspiration to support me.
Aside from this, escaping from the migrant work community on weekends and simply strolling around the market is also a pleasant experience in itself.
Da Wen, an urban walker, is still impressed by a chance encounter at a market. It was when the epidemic improved and the home isolation ended. She passed by and found that the market was being held in the open space of the mall. "Seeing everyone relaxing in the evening in the summer." Getting together is a little moving."
Although Dawen occasionally rolls over and tramples on thunder, encountering markets with boring themes, low-quality goods, and people making complaints; but every time she passes by a new market, she will still be attracted like a demon. The atmosphere of the market and the expectation of encountering interesting things always push her into the crowd and open the blind box of life.
You don’t know anything about the “superpowers” of the bazaar
In addition to bringing interesting souls together, don’t forget, the bazaar is also a natural business incubator.
Every year, Evan will take the original handmade leather goods brand "Washe" to participate in 3-4 larger market activities. Her purpose is straightforward: to promote and expand the brand's influence. The sales volume in the market is pretty good, accounting for about 20%-30% of the brand's annual sales.
In contrast, Trace is more like doing market research. In the past six months, he has often taken vinyl records and turntables to "stalls" in different markets in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, hoping to see what young people like nowadays, and to reach more potential customers for his brand.
▲ The vinyl record that Trace took to the market, the picture was provided by the interviewee
Say a cold knowledge. Nowadays, Blue Bottle, a specialty coffee brand with a valuation of hundreds of millions of dollars and known as the "Apple of the coffee world", also started from the market "Liantan" .
In the early days of entrepreneurship, every Saturday, founder James Freeman would bring his own freshly roasted coffee beans to the farmer’s market to set up a stall. Afterwards, every time he talked about this experience, Freeman expressed his gratitude, saying that the bazaar was like his alma mater, think tank, and laboratory to him.
▲ On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Blue Bottle, Freeman "returned to old business" returned to the farmer's market to set up a stall, photo from: blog.bluebottlecoffee.com
Although the small businesses in these markets are not the "aorta" of the city, they can fill the capillaries of the big cities. In a podcast, Yipeng, the co-founder of Big Coffee, described it this way : "It opens up the possibilities of life, opens up a lot of unknown things, and lets you know that coffee is not just the taste of Starbucks."
There are also hot new consumer brands that are "practising stalls" in the market.
The "2021 Domestic Food and Drink Consumption Trend Report" pointed out that the market has become the best choice for new consumer brands to test the water line. Three and a half meals, OATLY oat milk, zero plant meat every week… It is not difficult to have a chance encounter with you at the market.
▲ Shichui Coffee x Wood Tok Limited Gift Box, Picture from: Wood Tok
▲The scene of "20 Artists Occupying Bubble Mart" art exhibition, photo from: Wood eats Toke
Why do some markets make people feel boring, similar, and a bad experience?
Vivian, one of the managers of the Fanji Bazaar, told Ai Faner that the most important thing about the quality of a bazaar is the content presented by the cooperating brands. In order to control this level, Fanji has "forced" himself to become the strictest market in Shanghai.
Fanji’s registration form is very cumbersome and requires the other party to provide information about the brand story, product photos, logo visual design, etc… Every time the registration process, more than 50% of the brands that do not match the tonality will be removed.
According to Vivian, in order to maintain new ideas, about 70% of the brands in each market are previously cooperated, and 30% are newly settled. In addition, special partners will be invited to bring band performances or artists to share, making the market more content and more fun.
▲ Fanji x Nike cross-border creative market. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of "Forrest Gump Shoes", 25 independent brands on the scene incorporated red, white and blue inspirations to launch limited-edition products. Picture from: nikeinc.com.cn
Running a fair is just a basic skill. A mature market brand is no longer just a simple organizer role.
Take Woodcock and Fanji as examples. Now they can not only show their faces and carry out cross-border cooperation with brands, they can also provide planning services behind the scenes, and even have the ability to bring independent brands to play together.
Founder Bian Su said that Woodcuttock has connected 4,000+ innovative brands . Three and a half, Yongpu Coffee, Sweet Teeth, and Zhong Xuegao are all old acquaintances. And Fanji also cooperated with 800+ independent original brands, witnessing the draft CIAOGAO, UNISKIN Youshiyan and other brands to the public.
▲ In the matchmaking of Woodstock, the trendy tooling brand Dickies cooperated with 5 design studios to bring joint creativity. Picture source see watermark
The resurgence of bazaars and the growth of bazaar brands have brought more opportunities for independent brands.
We often talk about "the disappearance of the neighborhood," and this young man is actively constructing a new "nearby."
Today’s bazaar is like a new type of community that young people choose for themselves. There are like-minded souls, there are always fresh ideas, and there is also a small business space, which seems loose and rough, but full of vitality.
Next time you encounter a market at the corner of the street, you might as well take a look at it with the mentality of opening the blind box. Maybe, it can also give you new inspiration (or complaints).
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