Spotlight falls on Aussie expats sucking wine through a straw

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 June, 2007, 12:00am

The buzz was extraordinary for what in Australia is a regular home fabric and furnishings store. In Kowloon Bay on Tuesday evening, women knocked back sparkling wine in a can through a straw, screeched in delight and told the staff of Australian chain Spotlight, 'Thank God you're here'.

This was the launch party of the curtains and cushions store that's bringing a bit of Australia to Hong Kong.

Four hundred guests, largely Australian expatriate women and a few shell-shocked husbands and boyfriends, stormed the store, kicking off their shoes, quaffing champagne, throwing themselves on beds and revelling in a bit of home.

'It's a well-known brand, especially for Australians,' said general manager of marketing for Spotlight Jono Gelfand. The Antipodean-heavy guest list was due to the huge reaction from the Hong Kong Australian Association.

'We had vintage Kylie [Minogue] playing through the speakers,' as guests trawled the aisles for materials, buttons and sewing machines. 'It's amazing also the way that the local community has embraced it,' said Gelfand. 'We don't officially open until Saturday' but there has been plenty of local interest.

Buttons and bows, crockery and curtains and sparkling wine in a can. Class.