First RELX flagship retailer opens in Shanghai

RELX's first flagship store in Shanghai

RELX technology recently launched the company's first flagship store in China and announced that it would invest RMB 500 million / £ 55.9 million over the next three years to set up 10,000 stores worldwide.

Although RELX only opened its first own retail store in January 2019, the company already operates more than 1,400 RELX stores in 300 cities in China.

As one of the largest e-cigarette brands in China with a market share of over 60 percent, the company strives to expand its lead by accelerating the retail business.

"RELX is investing heavily in breakthrough technologies to increase franchisees' profit margins and increase customer loyalty as they expand," said Jiang Long, co-founder and sales manager.

"As always, our focus will be on preventing minors from using e-cigarette products and driving the innovation path for the entire industry by developing advanced retail technologies."

The over 18-year-old business in the lively business district of Shanghai is 140 square meters in size and serves as a training room for adult smokers and vapers who deal with RELX steam products.

The flagship store offers an area for brand experiences, an area for consumer education, an interactive zone and device engraving services. According to RELX's Guardian program, all visitors are subject to strict age verification procedures when entering the store or making a purchase.

RELX's Project Sunflower facial recognition technology also ensures that minors who attempt to enter the store are automatically identified and receive no service.

"Consumers prefer an intense shopping experience these days and we want to make this flagship a place where we can not only better communicate with them about our products and values, but also better understand their needs," said Wang Tao, manager of the new retail business of RELX.

"We are always looking for ways to better serve our consumers," said Wang, adding that RELX will open stores in interesting areas in different cities, such as Beijing's 798 Art Hub and Shenzhen's Haigangcheng, to bring avant-garde experiences to those Consumer.

RELX's commitment to preventing access and use by minors will continue to change in the future. The Project Sunflower initiative is in full swing on the flagship: face-recognition cameras alert staff when a suspicious minor enters the store. Customers will undergo another automated verification to ensure that they match the ID provided when they purchased.

The Sunflower project is already being implemented nationwide. RELX plans to install the system in 100 branches within the next three months and in all RELX branches within seven months. As part of an unshakable punitive system, each retailer selling products to minors will be fined RMB 200,000 / over £ 22,000 for first strike offenses, with the possibility of a complete shutdown in the event of future strikes.

"The flagship store shows Project Sunflower's central role in the RELX retail space," said Jiang. "As a visionary company, RELX is ready to take on the responsibility to pave the way for technology-based social responsibility."