The baroque-style building complex originally had five floors and was a giant compared to the other one- or two-story shops on Nanking Road.
More than 10,000 products were sold in the 40 departments in the store, even more than in the Hong Kong headquarters. On its opening day, fireworks were heard up and down Nanking Road and Shanghai residents crowded onto the street, wanting to look at the new store. By 1918, there were 1,000 employees working for Sincere.
Sincere was the first of the four to open a rooftop amusement area called The Sincere Paradise, and later the other stores followed suit.
The rooftop offered the public theaters for Chinese opera and variety shows. At first only customers who had spent a certain amount of money at the store were given free admission to the rooftop park. But the shows proved increasingly popular, and with the entertainment industry blossoming in Shanghai, in 1917, the top two floors of the building were turned into an indoor entertainment area with seven theaters showing Peking and Yuju operas, Chinese and Hollywood films and variety shows. People danced in the ballroom and played snooker in the billiard rooms. Fortune-tellers, palm readers and street vendors provided extra color for visitors.
Another groundbreaking movement of the company was..hiring women!
At that stage in China, it was considered very unconventional - most shop assistants were male and most women were housewives.