A FIVE-storey stainless steel slide has been installed in the middle of a Shanghai shopping mall so consumers can drop from top floor designer stores to ground floor boutiques at death-defying speeds.
The luxurious Printemps department store outlet in Shanghai’s exclusive Pudong District, east China, boasts state of the art amenities, designer brands and a remarkable 150-year Parisian retailing history. But declining sales have prompted the store’s management to think outside the box in a bid to attract more customers.
The meeting of creative minds has resulted in the unveiling of the mammoth dragon-shaped chute, which will be free of charge and is expected to start operating later this month.
Social media users have expressed concern over the slide’s potential to cause serious injury or even death to those who use it. Pudong New area Market Supervision and Management Bureau said the slide does not require official inspection and approval because it doesn’t fall into a “special equipment” category, the Shanghai Dailyreported.
According to the bureau, the store has agreed to have the slide tested to ensure it is safe to use before opening to the public. China is notorious for its lax health and safety rules along with rapid development leading to preventable disastrous accidents.
The trip from top to bottom of the slide reportedly takes just 16 seconds. Those suffering from heart disease or a fear of heights are advised to take the escalators, lifts or stairs instead.
Children need to be over three-foot-tall and at least three years old to use the slide.
Yao Jin, who lives near the mall, told the Shanghai Daily the slide looked “fun” but that she had reservations about it.
“My son was very excited and very interested to have a try, but I still have some concerns about its safety,” Yao Jin said.
Another visitor, Jack Shen, said he would not be giving the slide a try. “It is a stunt of the department store, and the slide seems to be very dangerous,” he said. “Some people will probably get stuck inside it because it looks long and narrow.”
People on China’s popular social media platform Weibo were mostly unimpressed by the pictures released online to promote the upcoming launch of the slide.
Ba dao zong cai rui wrote: “What if there is a loose screw and you fall down? Also the steel will likely be worn out quickly by high heels. I don’t even want to keep thinking.”
Guo pei ming SW chang cheng jiao shou agreed: “I’ll be satisfied if I can put some nails in it.”
Winter kong kong jiang referred to a film that involves death on rides: “As soon as I see it, I think of the movie Final Destination.”
Courtesy of News.com.au By Megan Palin