Some of the problem has to do with rent. But a greater problem for the area’s retailers is that the foreign and specialty goods that once made Tianmu a destination for shopping (and not just for foreigners) are now widely distributed throughout Taipei. Tianmu just doesn’t get the crowds of shoppers and, well, gawkers it used to. And then there’s the Taipei City Government’s policy of Xinyi über alles, which doesn’t help.
Mainly, though, it’s section 7’s retail that’s hurting. Section 6 is having fewer problems.
There’s a new “Tianmu card”, which offers discounts aimed at luring consumers. I hope it catches on.
As a location for residential housing, however, Tianmu is booming, with more and more high-end apartments being built. (The recent record-setting land sale was for a spot in Tianmu.) Unfortunately, a lot of them are high-rises that are changing the feel of the neighborhood for the worse, IMO. Still, if the people who end up living there shop in Tianmu, then all should be well. But I suspect they’ll just have their drivers take them to the department stores or even just to Xinyi…