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Main Topic: Taiwan Wet Market

Hosts: James Stanworth , Stephen Huang , Clyde Warden

Market Crowd
Crowds at the Market
The crew is out in the field again looking for the exciting retailenvironment of a Chinese wet market. Central Taiwan is our target thistime, with a walk through a Taichung City market in the morning. Thismarket, located on DaYa Road and is actually a large street market witha wet market contained within . Theseshops can be very sophisticated with their sale prices, advertising,relationship building, reference pricing, and much more. Rather than dying out, this market looks more alive and interesting than any sterile hypemarket, and the retailers are constantly adapting to keep their services up-to-date and meet consumer expectations.

Lots of similarities with the Shanghai market, especially the fresh emphasis, the consumer attention to detail and relationship building, as well as that never ending search for a good bargain. This market is big, as in HUGE, covering at least four blocks! Located mostly outside, there is an enclosed component, but the market has grown in an organic way and is not organized under a single owner as in our last visit to Shanghai. This is an exciting show. Our camera gave us some technical difficulties at the start, so hang in there through any sound issues.

Crowded market
Look carefully--old people? I don't think so

Top down organization is not part of the plan here, rather, the market feels like a living, thriving capitalistic system. Very organic. Temples are almost always near or even within markets in Taiwan, being centers of civic activity (another form of retailing that deserves its own show). Unlike Shanghai, poultry was already processed, but still very fresh (see our show about poultry channels in Taiwan). The biggest difference with Shanghai was just the shear size of this market and the range of products on offer.

It is interesting how sympathetic people are because there is that real feeling that people are just trying to make a living.

Listen To The Show (Audio Only):

Length: 16 minutes. Download MP3 6.19MB (Right click->Save As).

On Location

Watch The Show (Video & Audio):

From Taichung, Stephen, James, and Clyde.
Length: 16 minutes.

iPod Download MP4 69.75MB (Right click->Save As).
QuickTime Download MOV 56.93MB (Right click->Save As).
Windows Media Download WMV 59.41MB (Right click->Save As).
High Quality mp4 H.264(640x480) Download high quality mp4 118.99MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Entering the market, which spills out on to the street with the actual wet market inside a building.
Vid. 2) Socialization to the excitement, many choices, smells, and delicious snacks starts early as mothers and grand mothers take children along on the shopping trip. Here a vendor is selling hand bags (almost certainly pirated or gray market). Business was booming with a huge emphasis on the discount, brand name, and lots of renao.
Vid. 3) Just a couple stands down, this hand bag vendor is doing no business at all. Not having brand counterfeits and a lack of renao components all don't help.
Vid. 4) Home made products are marketed along the road near the main market.
Vid. 5) Within the market, product demos make things more exciting.
Vid. 6) Meat vendors offer custom cuts and allow customers to give a close inspection of the goods (very important to Chinese consumers).
Vid. 7) Wet markets have adapted to supermarket competition with fresh ready to eat foods.

Bottom Line:

  • Relationships in the market are very important. Family businesses are the norm.
  • Space for stands is rented from the land owners, who are all different throughout the market.
  • Margins can be higher than in the hypermarkets.
  • The channels distribute directly from the farm to the stands in the market.
  • Not just food. Daily needs, dry goods, and holiday items are common. A true one-stop-shopping location.
  • Pricing and advertising can be very sophisticated, such as using reference price signals.
  • Rather than see modern developments as only being huge buildings, we would be better to see current Taiwan wet markets as modern--with their parking lots, parking guards, service emphasis, take away ready to eat foods, and overall one stop shopping convenience.
  • These areas are easy to miss if you do not know the local market. Local consumers do not find it easy to tell outsiders about these areas because the outsiders never ask and the local consumers also would like to show their modernity emphasis.
  • The whole market's servicescape is a perfect example of the renao effect Clyde has spent years studying, and which is totally missed, even purposely avoided, by Western retailers.
Category: Videocasts

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