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Dickson Sezto

Chief Executive & Chairman, Urban Revitalization Force Group

The retailer is redefining the mall experience for China’s Gen-Z with concepts like the TX Huaihai Youth Energy Centre where retailers mingle with nightclubs and galleries.

Biography

Dickson Sezto is the chief executive and chairman of Urban Revitalization Force Group, an ambitious property developer redefining the mall experience for China’s Gen-Z. The group’s first major project was TX Huaihai Youth Energy Center in Shanghai which opened in 2019, and in 2023, it launched The Box in Beijing. Sezto has announced plans to open properties with a similar concept nationwide. His youth-focused and experiential approach bucks conventional wisdom that China’s younger shoppers want to mainly purchase online. Investing in fresh offline retail experiences, his developments are distinct due to their large lifestyle components with as much as half of a property devoted to non-shopping — be it art exhibitions, nightclubs, live events, basketball courts or revolving pop-ups — to help boost foot traffic. Hard-to-find local streetwear brands mingle with sustainability-focused innovation centres and small, open-air shops feature both emerging designers and vintage wear.

The Hong Kong native is a retail veteran with over two decades in the property business including with Kerry Properties and Shui On Land, where he worked on the development of Xintiandi in Shanghai. The latter was a pioneering development at the time because of its open-air concept when most shopping experiences in China were inside malls, and because the mixed dining district still retained some of its historic shikumen architecture. Since focusing on China’s Gen-Z at his own firm, Sezto has given a lot of thought to the consumer behaviour of that demographic. “You have to give them a reason to buy,” Sezto told The Business of Fashion  in 2023. “If you just focus on cheap, it doesn’t work because [that’s] not a good attitude or direction. You have to design and structure something which is cool, very stylish and with lots of personality but the pricing is easy.”

Vital Statistics

Born
27 June 1968
Nationality

China

Location
China
Member since
2023

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.