For many years, this department store was the largest in Asia. The store was originally called the Sun Company (or Dai Sun), and opened in 1936. It was nationalized under the People's Republic. The store still exists. The floor shown here now serves as the perfume department, selling expensive Asian and Western cosmetics.
The escalator was the only one in operation in all of China, and an attraction in itself.
The desk has a friendly attendant, no less than two telephones, and a 'suggestion box' (意见箱, yijianxiang)
On the left below the image is a little rhyme:
In the department store all the products are there,
Beloved goods can be chosen to your heart's content,
Buy whatever you need,
Your life gets better every year.
Baihuo shangdian baihuo quan, xin’ai yongpin jin tiaoxuan, xuyao shenme mai shenme, shenghuo yinian hao yinian.
Translation: Luuk van 't Hoff