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Pawnshops re-emerge with friendlier look (6)

(China Daily)

08:32, December 10, 2012

Zhang Yusi, a 28-year-old lawyer from Beijing, says: "I bought two Chanel bags from a pawnshop near Nanluogu-xiang. They are unlikely to be fakes as the lender approved a loan on them. I was able to buy an almost new Chanel bag at a 50 percent discount."

Traditional Chinese pawnshops were single stores, often opened by a husband and wife. Today, most are part of a chain.

"Every year, we open new stores in Beijing," Yang says.

"We locate our shops in commercial areas, usually in a shopping center, because there are still misunderstandings about pawnshops. We want to show potential customers what we're doing and tell them that they should not be embarrassed to visit one."

The industry differs among regions and cities, he says. In Zhejiang province, there are many small- and medium-sized enterprises. And stocks and receivable accounts are more than half of all pawnshop business.

In Beijing, the business is more diversified and international. Customers include a growing number of foreigners, most of whom pawn watches, he says.

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