In the last few years I have seen a handful of feng shui shops, selling feng shui paraphernalia, cures and offering consultation services by their in-house masters, all closed down after a few years of bad business.
Yesterday, I saw another feng shui shop in town area, located in a recently opened shopping mall. I was surprised that the owner chose to open his branch here since the mall is known to be a flop since day 1. There are no customers at all and rental is not going to be cheap in town area. It will probably fold once the lease is up.
All these make me question about the validity of feng shui applications for retail businesses. After doing some extensive research about it, it seems that feng shui theories used for commercial premises is a rather recent development. The earliest record I can find is a theme park in Shanghai built in 1916, where a fengshui master was consulted in the building of the place. In fact, up to the 1960s, feng shui was used solely for Yang Zhai (town planning, residential dwellings, basically buildings for non-commercial basis) and Yin Zhai (burial places). It was only after the Cultural Revolution, in the early 1970s when feng shui became a primary concern of businesses growing during the post-unrest economic boom. So to say, feng shui being applied to retail businesses has less than a century of history and developments.