Yiwu China Commodity City is known throughout the country as a vast shopping destination. From Middle Eastern businessmen buying wholesale goods, to local shoppers picking up clothing, the large shopping city really has it all. The UN, World Bank and Morgan Stanley have called the shopping center, “the world’s largest small commodity wholesale market,” for a reason!
Founded in 1982, the shopping plaza spans over 4 million square meters and employs 200,000 workers. Over 210,000 shoppers browse the merchandise every day. When traveling to or living in Yiwu, the shopping area is worth checking out, despite its overwhelming size. Commodity City is divided into districts: International Trade Mall Districts 1-5 and Huangyuan Clothing Market, together making up the shopping giant. Our advice: this is not a place to shop aimlessly, know what you want and pretend to be a wholesaler.
1) International Trade Mall District 1
District 1 of the International Trade Mall has four floors and a vast array of merchandise. The first floor is home to fake flowers, flower accessories and a wide range of toys. The second floor stocks accessories and jewelry and the third floor houses decorative items including festive decorations, crafts, porcelain, crystal, picture frames and more jewelry. The fourth floor is an outlet center selling high quality ceramics, crystal and glass.
2) International Trade Mall District 2
This district has five stories. Floor 1 contains bags, umbrellas and ponchos. Handymen (and women) should check out the second floor which sells hardware, tools, electronics, locks and car parts. The third floor holds kitchen equipment and small appliances as well as telephone and cell phone related items, and watches. The fourth and fifth floors contain manufacturer outlet centers, specialty boutiques and foreign trade procurement centers.
3) International Trade Mall District 3
With five functioning floors, District 3 sells everything from pens to make-up. The first floor sells pen and ink supplies, glasses, and paper goods. Floor number two contains office and school supplies as well as a sports and leisure section. The third floor sells cosmetics, zippers, buttons and other garment-related accessories. Floor four is the corporate sales center and the fifth holds imported goods from 28 countries including Italy, Japan, Brazil, Africa, Spain and Malaysia.
4) International Trade Mall District 4
Another five story shopping center but specializing in accessories. The first story sells hosiery. Yes, that means there is an entire floor of panty hose. The second floor sells gloves, hats and cotton fabric. Floor three sells shoes, ties, towels and wool fabric and the fourth floor houses bras, underwear, belts and scarves. A variety of vehicles can reach all the floors of the market because of the special elevated lanes, so drive right up to the floor of your choice!
5) International Trade Mall District 5
A bit to the west, District 5’s five floors stock everything from alcohol to hats to knitting needles. The first floor carries jewelry, crafts, food (and alcohol), first-aid and healthcare products, general merchandise, clothing, shoes, hats and important products from Africa. The second floor sells bedding and the third floor houses textiles and knitting materials (yarn). The fourth floor contains car accessories and the fifth floor is a trade service zone.
6) Huangyuan Clothing Market
Opened in April 2011, the Huangyuan Clothing Market (篁园服装市场) has eight whole floors of, you guessed it, clothing. The first floor sells business wear and jeans, the second floor carries men’s clothing and the third floor is all for the ladies. The fourth floor contains sportswear, the fifth floor houses children’s clothing and the sixth floor is a parking lot and food area. Floors seven and eight contain a showcase of local specialty products.
If you are planning to pay Commodity City a visit, note that its main purpose is to function as a wholesale market for businessmen. Because of this, many sellers will not take the time for non-bulk customers, however if you look around and buy a few of each item (get one for the whole family!) you can take advantage of the great deals. If one person won’t sell to you, chances are another salesperson will. Skip the over-priced tourist shopping area and pretend to be a wholesaler for the best deals!
Add: Chengbei Lu (District 1), near Shangcheng Dadao (District 2), near Chouzhou Bei Lu and Yinhai Lu (District 3), near Chengxin Dadao (Districts 4, 5), (Note: The different districts are not far from each other), Yiwu