Day 13 – Shanghai Museum in People’s Park, Lowe’s Global Sourcing Visit, Fenxiang Clothing Accessory Market (i.e. Fake Market), Gong De Lin Vegetarian Restaurant

Sean arrived today at noon. He left Athens, Greece the day before and traveled to Shanghai by way of Moscow. While in Europe he visited Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Assisi, Delphi, and Athens. He managed to find the Radisson in Shanghai with no problems.

Prior to Sean’s arrival, I visited the Shanghai Museum in People’s Park.

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To get to the museum, you proceed beneath the park, through a maze of shops. There are many malls underneath the city, where you catch the subway. Below is a picture of the floor in this mall area – a beautiful carving.

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The museum is filled with many high-quality artifacts from China’s long history. The earliest piece I saw was from 3600 BC. There were areas dedicated to jade, calligraphy, furniture, currency, pottery… The museum reminded me of the Smithsonian however it is more elegant. The lighting was optimized for the collection you were viewing. It was very spacious and allowed me the opportunity to casually stroll through the exhibits.

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In the afternoon, we all headed over to Lowe’s Global Sourcing Shanghai Office. We were met by Scott Jenkins, Vice President Asia Sourcing. His LinkedIn profile describes him as

A hard-charging, customer-focused international executive with 20 years of combined retail, global sourcing, and product & vendor development expertise, along with a successful track record and deep knowledge of international office management, restructuring and operations, manufacturing, direct sales, retail sales, merchandising, P&L management, quality assurance and logistics / supply chain functional areas.

Accomplished tactician who clearly understands team development and motivation, private brand product development, product planning and procurement processes (international and US domestic), product launch and post-launch management, channel sales strategies, sales force development and management, national account buyers, merchandising and promotions.

A strategic business architect and negotiator with disciplined oral and written communications abilities.

Enthusiastic, persistent, persuasive and results-driven leader who’s disciplined, focused and dedicated to performance excellence.

This is an accurate description. He did a great job of providing students with honest and sincere answers to their questions. He also told of about his family life. It is evident that he is very happy as an expat in Shanghai.

After learning about dealing with vendor relationships in China, we headed off to the Xiatiandi area (this is the same area Denise and I had visited the previous night). The students strolled through the area determining the best place for happy hour. Denise and I left the group to head back towards the hotel. We decided to walk back (about 25 minutes). I needed a larger handbag to carry around to company visits. We ran into one of our students, CJ, who is a Chinese native. He joined us on our outing to the Fenxiang Clothing Accessory Market (i.e. Fake Market). We were fortunate he was with us because our original directions were incorrect. He was able to ask about its location and after a couple of tries we found the market. Time to Bargain – I ended up paying 50 rmb ($8.00) for a knock off Longchamp bag.

Denise is vegetarian so we have been looking for vegetarian restaurants. This is harder to find that I had imagined. We had passed Gong De Lin Restaurant on our way to the market. It advertized itself as vegetarian and it was. We ordered a variety of vegetables, rice, tea, and tofu. All was good except the tofu. We didn’t realize we had ordered “stinky” tofu – it is worse than its name implies.

Sean was out with the group. I didn’t hear him come in but he said he had a nice time with the students.

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