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China retailers take the showroom approach

Mr Li sees the online-only strategy as improving inventory management, a complex exercise in China, where there are about 140 cities with more than one million people.

Hong Kong

CHINESE gymnast Li Ning wowed the world with one of the highest double pikes in Olympic history to clinch a third gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Now a sporting goods retailer, he is counting on another tactic to win fans.

Mr Li is luring customers to his...