Focus on mainland shoppers criticised

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 April, 2009, 12:00am

Local retailers have become too mainlander-oriented, resulting in a drop in shopping satisfaction for other overseas visitors, according to university research.

A Polytechnic University study based on a survey of 2,656 customers at more than 300 shops in January and February indicated that non-mainland travellers' level of satisfaction with local outlets declined from 5.22 out of seven in the middle of last year to 5.18.

But mainland visitors were more pleased with shops here than before, with their satisfaction level rising from 5.19 to 5.27.

'This may be because retailers know that more customers are coming from the mainland,' said the director of PolyU's Asian Centre for Brand Management, Sherriff Luk Ting-kwong. 'Therefore, they have turned their attention to mainland shoppers ... and have unconsciously neglected other visitors.'

He said some retailers, including cosmetics and jewellery chains, had shifted to mainlander-oriented business models, with staff receiving Putonghua lessons.

'It's a signal or perhaps an alarm, unless we only want to serve Chinese customers,' Dr Luk said.

'For Hong Kong to remain an international shopping paradise, our customer portfolio needs to be international.'