In 1980, The Brothers Johnson sang ‘Light Up The Night’ and how well this ditty suits the fabulously glitzy Wanda Plaza in Fuzhou’s Cangshan district. It’s a near certainty that if you live in one of the adjacent apartments it may be possible to forgo light bulbs altogether as the Wanda complex is effectively an inside out discotheque with a non-stop blitz of pulsating colour! Enough to make the tenants of said apartments dizzy! By day of course it’s a little more pedestrian.
Known locally as New Wanda (Fuzhou’s original and almost identical sister plaza lies further down river) the mall caters to both the fashion conscious elite and for those of us who happen to be an occidental fish out of water. In other words it’s home to a Walmart supermarket, an IMAX theatre and McDonald’s as well as H&M, Muji and Zara to name some other western delights; all in all a God-send.
The company was formed in 2002 and now has 28 Plazas across 32 cities in China. The Wanda brand by their own strategic location bring about a resurgence in lesser known, or undeveloped, areas thus creating new urban hubs of commercial and cultural activity. There are also stylish hotels and residential areas that feed off each other and plans are afoot to expand the chain into the international marketplace. Grand designs indeed.