SHANGHAI – Mars Inc. unveiled its flagship store in Shanghai last week, in a move to expand its brand in China, where candy makers are heating up competition in one of the world's fastest-growing chocolate markets, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The 1,600 square-meter, $10 million M&M's department store, located in Shanghai's version of Times Square, is Mars’ first foray into China's retail scene. The store straddles the worlds of retail and entertainment. People dressed in M&M's costumes will dance every hour. Products for sale include pick-and-mix chocolates and novelty items like M&M's-themed cellphone covers and T-shirts, according to the article.
Mars was among the first foreign chocolate players to move into the Chinese market in 1990. But companies including Hershey Co. and Godiva have been expanding there in recent years, stepping up the competition. With this new store, Mars hopes to catch-up to Hershey, which opened a flagship store in Shanghai in 2008.