Japanese chains Deicy and Nine make HK debut
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Japanese pop singers Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamasaki and Exile could not make it to Hong Kong for the opening of two top Japanese clothing chains, but they did send flowers.
Deicy and Nine make their debut today at Hysan Place, the city's newest mall in Causeway Bay.
The brands are regularly seen in Japanese magazines and attract a celebrity following. But Toshinari Komura, chief executive of International Trading Company which manages the brands, said it was difficult to set up outlets in Hong Kong. 'Rents are high,' he said. 'But a bigger headache is finding a good location.'
Most established malls were packed, meaning newcomers would have to compete with international brands, he said. The opening of new malls, like Hysan Place, provided opportunities, allowing Deicy and Nine to finally tap the Hong Kong market.
'Hong Kong and the mainland are two developing markets, which show great potential. We would like to score match points here,' Komura said. The group hoped to open another four stores in the city, hopefully with some in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Other Japanese names making their first appearance in Hong Kong in the same mall are Language, Double Standard Clothing and Shel'tter.
The 17-storey mall, which will house more than 120 stores, aims to keep shoppers fed as well as meeting their fashion needs. It has a centralised restaurant booking service on the second floor, where diners can book a maximum of three restaurants in one go. They will receive a numbered ticket indicating their placed in the queue. When a table is available, ticket numbers will appear on screens erected on various floors, alerting shoppers who have booked a place to hurry to the restaurants.
The 'eco-friendly' mall claims to be the city's first building to be pre-certified at the platinum (highest) level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard by the US Green Building Council.
Its ceiling lets in sunlight - reducing the amount of lights needed - and an open area on the fourth floor allows shoppers to breathe fresh air. Smoking, however, is not permitted.