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Stallholders bid farewell to capital

Updated: 2016-02-04 07:45
By Hu Yongqi (China Daily)

Stallholders bid farewell to capital

Stragglers prepare to leave the market, which closes on Thursday.[Photos by Feng Yongbin / China Daily]

Wang Xiaoliang, 56, runs a store in Chaoyang district and made her third visit to the market on Wednesday to buy bed linen for 60 yuan ($9.25) each that she can sell for at least 150 yuan at her store.

"I had to buy more items for my store every day. Even though the traffic was challenging my patience, the prices were always attractive," Wang said.

Regarded as the largest trading center for clothes and shoes in North China, the market area near the Beijing Zoo contributed more than 60 million yuan in taxes annually for the district government.

However, the district had to spend at least 100 million yuan on upgrading amenities, and the large number of visitors caused problems such as traffic jams.

In February last year, a massive plan was released to relocate the markets to Tianjin and Hebei for an integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, supported by the country's top leadership.

The number of visitors to the area was reduced to about 10,000 per day last year from 50,000 per day in 2014, apparently easing traffic jams after six markets were closed.

By the end of this year, the last two markets, Shiji Tianle and Dongding Shangcheng, will be closed, meaning an end to all markets in the area.

By then, 30,000 people engaged in the industry will also have moved out of town and the market area will only be a memory.


Timeline of the move

In 2002, Jinkai Lide International Garment Market opened, attracting more than 2,600 businesspeople to a space of 38,000 square meters.

In 2006, the zoo area became the second largest wholesaler, following Guangzhou, in transactions of garments and accessories.

Jan 2015, Tianhaocheng Market was transformed into a financial innovation center.

July 2015, Shishang Tianli Market and Changzheng Logistics Company were moved from the area with more than 150 stores shut down.

Oct 2015, Xinde Shidai Market was closed and more than 300 stores relocated.

Nov 2015, Tebiete Shoes Market was closed.

Dec 2015, Julong Foreign Trade Garment Center and Huitong Yongyuan Garment Market was closed.

Feb 4, Jinkai Lide closes its doors.

The last two markets, Shiji Tianle and Dongding Shangcheng, will be closed by December.

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