Around Beijing: Shopping in Early July

The Adidas superstore at the Villages of Sanlitun has finally opened and it has everything any Adidas fan can ask for. The store contains all of Adidas' lines, Y-3, Stella McCartney, Porsche Design, and Adidas Originals, as well as all the regular adidas merchandise. It also contains a large amount of Beijing Olympics merchandise featuring the 3 stripes. This location is bound to become a destination during the Games as its just down the road from Gongti and across from where the (infamous) beer mug used to be, the mugs gone, but Sanlitun's bars are still going strong and are sure to be visited by many Olympics fans. The store also features a number of interactive challenges and games, a DIY area (akin to Nike ID), and a soccer jersey customization area. With less than a month to go and no major announcement yet, is it possible Nike has something up their sleeves to match this store before the start of the Olympics? A big shop at Qianmen maybe (how weird would that be)? Already beat out as official Olympics sponsor, Nike isn't going to allow itself to be topped again, is it? Also, inside the store is the first branch of the popular Shanghai chain, Elements Fresh, unfortunately it only seems to offer its drink options and no food.

Speaking of Nike, it does have a strong presence at Wangfujing and the big store in XinDongAn has undergone some changes recently. No longer do you see Liu Xiang or Yi Jianlian, they've been replaced by a larger than life dunking Kobe Bryant bedecked in his Team USA uniform. Also, inside the store, there are Kobes and LeBrons where there used to be Ah Lians and Yao Mings. Much of the first floor space and all the images have been taken up by the US basketball squad. Its a bit unique and will probably be interesting only to me (or possibly one other person), but the USA replica jerseys have the US flag patch on the upper left chest, just like the one the players will wear, whereas the Chinese replicas for sale don't have a flag patch. Any ideas why this might be?

Also, Li Ning (for the first time in many years NOT the official sponsor of the Chinese Olympic squad) is trying its hand at capitalizing off the Olympics in its own way. First, they offer "retro" track tops and shoes featuring their designs for past Chinese Olympic squads. They are also not completely out of the picture as I believe the Chinese divers will be wearing Li Ning during the Olympics. They've been selling clothes that harken back to past host cities as well and have recently released a line dedicated to some of the different Chinese host cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Qingdao). Unfortunately, the tshirts are infected with a sort of Chinglish problem or strange slogans like "Tianjin! Goal!" or "Qingdao! Heeling!". Granted, heeling is a sailing term, but the idea of that tshirt just seems very strange. What's worse are the tshirts that state on the front "We Host Our Game!" and just to be more confident about that declaration, the back ads "We Do".

Ah, but there's still a month to go, this is only the start...

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