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'Old clerks' get new role showing rich how to shop

By Xu Junqian  (China Daily)

13:05, March 21, 2013

Qiu Zhengguo, 48, has mastered the art of guiding shoppers in malls to find what their hearts desire. (China Daily/Gao Erqiang )

Qiu Zhengguo is the best-kept secret in the fast-growing fashion and luxury industry for some of the most cash-clad people in Shanghai.

He is a senior guide for a luxury shopping mall. Called Captain of the Housekeeping Department, he is one of the few in the industry.

"The city is full of bright shop windows and up-to-date fashion items, just like in Paris, London and New York," says 48-year-old Qiu. "But what is missing is someone behind the glass who doesn't try to sell, but tells of the beauty of each of these masterpieces like a museum docent."

Last September, the then newly opened Yifeng Galleria on the Bund placed a job advertisement in local newspapers for senior luxury shopping guides. As one of the landmarks in Shanghai, Yifeng houses some of the world's most famous brands including Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Pomellato.

"Yifeng Galleria is special because it houses some very exclusive brands in the market, which some customers may not be familiar with," says Ye Qizheng, editor-in-chief of, one of the leading fashion websites in China. The shopping complex is housed in a century-old building overlooking the Huangpu River.

Qiu says he is not surprised that "old die-hards" like him are well embraced in this fast-growing and emerging industry.

Instead of looking for someone young, energetic, and handsome, the galleria decided to go for someone mature "to match the style of the building".

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