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Hong Kong Retail Takes ‘Austere’ Turn

Jul 30, 2020 10:19 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Hong Kong’s retail market took a turn for the worse this month amid the coronavirus’s resurgence, reversing a slight improvement in June, the government cautioned Thursday.

The municipality has entered a third wave of infections, prompting authorities to shut parts of the economy this week in an effort to contain the outbreak.

“With inbound tourism remaining at a standstill and local consumption hit by the surge in local Covid-19 cases in July and the resultant tightening of social-distancing measures, the operating environment for the retail trade has turned more austere again,” a spokesperson for the Hong Kong government said.

Sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts in the territory slumped 57% to HKD 2.5 billion ($322.6 million) in June as tourism and local consumer demand slowed. Sales across all retail categories fell 25% to HKD 26.51 billion ($3.42 billion).

However, the decline was less severe than in February to May as the virus situation eased during June, the government explained. Hong Kong’s luxury market relies heavily on spending by tourists, mainly from mainland China, which plummeted when the global pandemic hit.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts dropped 66% to HKD 14 billion ($1.81 billion) in the first half of 2020, while total retail sales declined 33% to HKD 160.83 billion ($20.75 billion).

Image: The Hong Kong skyline. (Shutterstock)
Tags: China, Hong Kong, Hong Kong government, Jewelry, mainland china, Rapaport News, retail
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