V-Depth: The C's and A's of Nanjing's Night Economy

The modern and ancient city of Nanjing has always had an enduring attraction for people, perhaps because of a natural yearning for cultural attractions, or because people have been quietly "planted" by language and history textbooks as early as when they were students. Liu Yuxi's "Wuyi Lane" is the first impression of Nanjing's Fuzi Temple, and Du Mu's "The Smoke and the Fumes" is the most memorable of all. And Du Mu's "Smoke covers the cold water and the moon covers the sand, the night mooring at the Qinhuai River is close to the restaurant" further tells the story of the night Qinhuai River in Nanjing.

In the 2023 China Nighttime Economy Industry Development Research Report released by AiMedia Consulting, Nanjing was ranked among the top ten in the country. After field research, it was found that the power to pull Nanjing's night-time economic activities can be summarized by a C and an A, namely, Culture and Arcade, with the former oriented to foreign tourists and the latter serving local residents. In addition, the capital thrust behind the night economy scenic spots should not be underestimated.

Night Jinling will tell the story of culture

In fact, literature has long been for the Qinhuai River cruise with goods, "August 1923 night, I and Ping Bo with the tour of the Qinhuai River" is Zhu Ziqing "paddle in the shadow of the Qinhuai River," the first sentence of the opening.

The Qinhuai River and the Fuzimiao were originally two separate locations in history, but due to their geographic proximity, the relevant cultural and tourism departments merged them into the Fuzimiao Scenic Area, or "Fuzimiao" in the modern sense of the word. During the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, lanterns are lit along the banks of the Qinhuai River, a tradition that dates back to the Wei, Jin, and North and South Dynasties, and which has led to the tradition of nighttime boat trips to the Fuzimiao Temple for the local population. To this day, the lanterns and boats at Fuzimiao remain a nighttime attraction for tourists from all over the country, and for the 2024 Spring Festival, Fuzimiao will display more than 400,000 lanterns in the core scenic area and invite nearly 30 non-heritage craftsmen to set up stalls along the streets.

The latest "2023 Small and Micro Night Economy Observation Report" released by Netcombank shows that Nanjing Fuzimiao business district, which is characterized by night tours of the Qinhuai River, ranked first in the country in terms of nighttime transaction growth of as much as 66.4% during the 2023 holiday season.2024 During the Spring Festival holiday season, the Fuzimiao once again made its way up the charts of cultural and tourism attractions, and according to the Nanjing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, over the course of the eight-day Spring Festival holiday season Fuzimiao's lanterns attracted a cumulative total of over 3.644 million visitors, ranking among the top in the country.

Nanjing, as a historical and cultural ancient city, is digging deep into the combination of history and culture and the city's night economy.2023 In October, Nanjing released the public opinion draft of the Nanjing Commercial Outlet Plan (2021-2035) (hereinafter referred to as the Plan). In terms of the night economy, the Plan makes it clear that it is necessary to guide the night consumption of residents and travelers around six major themes: food, shopping, entertainment, performance, culture and tourism. In addition, the Plan also points out that Nanjing should create an international consumption center city with symbiosis and integration of "international tide" and "Jinling rhyme", and should shape new consumption scenarios with deep integration of commerce and Jinling culture, landscape, springs and forests, and living habitats, etc., and explore experiential and immersive styles, We will explore experiential, immersive, and distinctive commercial service supply, and create a demonstration place of consumer experience with unique Jinling charm.

In order to create a cultural card for the city at night, Nanjing has launched immersive and interactive dramas such as "Confucius and His Students", "The Sunset Slanting at the Mouth of Wuyi Alley", and "Jinling - The Past of the Royal House" at various attractions such as the Dacheng Hall of Fuzimiao, the Former Residence of Wang Xie, the Former Residence of Qin Daishi, and the Zhan Yuan Garden.

In addition to Late C, there's Late A.

In addition to the pull of culture consumption on the night economy, the Arcade is also an important part of supporting the development of Nanjing's night economy.

At 8:00 p.m. on Sunday night, Xinjiekou, the "No. 1 subway station in Asia," was still crowded. People continue to come out of the station, flocking to Exit 7 - there is the national turnover of the second-ranked Deji Plaza, but also Xinjiekou, "the latest lights out" of the mall. Public financial data show that the sales of Deji Plaza in 2023 reached 23.9 billion yuan, sales revenue second only to SKP in Beijing.

Nanjing's traditional high-end shopping districts, such as Deji and Hexi, mainly play a high-end leading function in the process of building the city's night economy. In the context of the city to build the night economy, the traditional business district, especially some large shopping centers and commercial complexes, the night economy needs to shift to flexibility in the business model to expand the spatial extensibility and flexibility. According to public information, as of February 2023, hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations and headquartered enterprises, as well as more than 650 financial licensees are located in 107 buildings in the Xinjiekou business district. The huge consumer population coupled with the guarantee of spending power brought by high net worth people enables Deji Plaza to top the night economy spending in Nanjing's business circle all year round. Previously, the "luxurious and breathtaking" "Net Red Lavatory" on the sixth floor of Deji Plaza has become a popular spot for many netizens.

In fact, shopping malls all over Nanjing are writing the night economy into their development plans. Another shopping mall in Xinjiekou, Dayang Department Store, is organizing the "Boom Boom Market" in the summer of 2023, selling Chinese costumes, pet baking, handmade crafts, flowers and themed accessories in the style of urban leisure and camping; the South Square of Fuzimiao Water Journey City is holding activities such as cooking tea in the fireplace and tent camping, attracting young people to go there to take pictures; and the Jingfeng in Jiangning is using a sunken plaza to create a community that integrates culture and commerce at night. Jiangning's Jingfeng utilizes a sunken plaza to create a nighttime community that integrates culture and commerce. Today, Nanjing's major shopping malls are through the young people's favorite bazaars, band performances, parties, etc. to build a night gathering place exclusively for young people, which has become the major shopping centers to attract money and customers.

In July 2023, Jiangsu Mobile released the Nanjing Night Economy Big Data Report, which shows that from the point of time distribution of Nanjing residents' nighttime travel, 18:00-19:00 is the active time for residents' nighttime travel, and the amount of travel decreases slowly thereafter. The travel volume of 18:00-0:00 on weekdays is higher than that on weekends and holidays, while the travel volume of 0:00-2:00 on weekends is slightly higher than that on weekdays and holidays. From the distribution of the distance of residents' nighttime trips, the majority of residents' nighttime trips are within 10km, with the highest percentage of trips with a distance of 5-10km, amounting to 38.0%.

Behind the ability of big shopping malls to transform and develop the night economy is a consideration of convenience. Many local residents say that they are more willing to go to shopping centers near their homes or companies to simply relax themselves after work than to spend time traveling to tourist attractions. And it is this spending habit that provides a steady stream of nighttime traffic for shopping malls across Nanjing.

The capital push behind the lights

In addition to consumer demand and industry ecological transformation, the capital force behind the major attractions is also one of the important pushers to help the city of Nanjing to build the night economy.

On December 20, 2019, the listed company Nanfang Stock was approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission to issue shares to purchase the equity of the new third board listed company Qinhuai Scenic 51% and raise matching funds, which will also include the business of the Qinhuai River water sightseeing under the banner of Nanfang Stock.On October 31, 2023, Nanfang Stock changed the existing Chinese name of the company "Nanjing Textile Import & Export Co. On October 31, 2023, Nanfang changed its Chinese name from "Nanjing Textile Import & Export Company Limited" to "Nanjing Commerce and Tourism Company Limited", which is more in line with the company's development strategy of "tourism + commerce". In the second half of 2023, Fuzimiao opened a new immersive night-time water tourism line, which utilizes sound, light, electricity and other technologies along the route to create scenery.

The same business pressure encountered after turning to invest in the night market neighborhoods of Nanjing Century Edge Hotel Group. Century edge group was founded in 1999, headquartered in Nanjing. Public information shows that the company's main business for catering hotels and wedding art, the group's banquet halls more than 320. However, in recent years, the wedding and hotel industry competition is becoming more and more intense, the century edge group also began to focus on the night consumption scene, located in the Gulou District of Nanjing City, Xianguan West Train Theme Cultural Block is the group's first attempt. Century Edge Group in 2023 to focus on building the establishment of cultural and tourism innovation sector, filling the conference, recreation and health, group travel and other industries to stay in the blue sea of the market to compete for the first opportunity.

The participation of capital helps to promote the private economy to find its own position and starting point in innovation and transformation and upgrading, and in the process of building the urban night economy, capital is able to gain full insight into the market and business opportunities, and at the same time, it has a strong innovative power as well as being more grounded. The involvement of capital helps to enrich the industry and business model of the night economy and improve the competitiveness and vitality of the market.

Telling the story of the cultural night economy in cultural ancient cities requires tapping into the resources of the city's history and culture, and organically combining the economic components with the city's history and culture. This is very important for the city to create a distinctive night-time economy and related cultural experiences, thus promoting the survival of the night-time cultural phenomenon.