Hong Kong shopping malls record bumper new year sales
The cash registers have been ringing loud and fast at Hong Kong shopping centres, with average sales rising 20 per cent at the start of the Year of the Snake, thanks to an influx of mainland tourists.
Elizabeth Kok, the general manager for retail at Swire Properties, said some retailers at the Pacific Place mall in Admiralty recorded double-digit year-on-year sales growth during the Lunar New Year holiday, with the third and fourth day of the public holiday being the busiest.
"Pacific Place attracted the higher-spending mainland visitors as well as wealthy local shoppers," Kok said.
Retail sales growth for the luxury sector experienced a slower rate from May last year, but it rebounded in December.
"We recorded an impressive sales performance in December," Kok said.
"As there is a limited supply of new space in good locations, there is still impetus to drive rents up in locations where supply is unable to satisfy demand, and Pacific Place is one of those locations."
Sun Hung Kai Properties said sales at its 12 shopping centres saw a year-on-year 15 per cent increase to HK$160 million in the first five days of the Year of the Snake.
Maureen Fung Sau-yim, SHKP's leasing department general manager, said average spending among mainland tourists was HK$4,000 to HK$30,000, higher than the HK$800 to HK$3,000 among local shoppers.
"Shopper arrivals rose 15 per cent year on year to 7.3 million in the first five days of the Lunar New Year," Fung said, referring to the 12 malls under her leasing portfolio. They include the APM Mall in Kwun Tong, Sun Arcade in Tsim Sha Tsui and Tai Po Mega Mall in Tai Po.
She said the firm arranged to bus in 47 mainland tourist groups - more than 2,200 shoppers - from Guangzhou, Dongguan and Foshan to APM, who contributed about HK$13.5 million in sales at the mall.
Retailers selling electronic items registered the biggest sales, with gains as much as 30 per cent compared with the National Day holiday in October last year.
The iPad mini and iPhone were the most popular items on mainlanders' shopping lists, Fung said.
A spokesman for Chinese Estates said sales at its shopping centre, The One, in Tsim Sha Tsui, rose 20 per cent while there was a gain of 22 per cent at its Windsor House mall in Causeway Bay.
Immigration Department figures show inbound mainland tourists in the first three days of the Year of the Snake numbered more than 380,000, a 33 per cent increase from 286,000 in the same period last year.