New store seeks to reinvent Hong Kong’s retail sector with online shopping focus

HKTV’s Ricky Wong says the company aims to open more stores across the city

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 9:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 11:04pm

In what was touted as an effort to reinvent the city’s retail industry and avoid high property costs, Hong Kong Television Network chairman (HKTV) Ricky Wong Wai-kay yesterday opened a store aimed solely at boosting the firm’s online shopping business.

HKTV’s first store opened yesterday in North Point in a space of just 200 sq ft. Wong said four to five salespeople would man the site, helping customers to shop for items on using one of the 50 tablets in-store.

“We want to reach out to people who do not have online shopping experience,” Wong said.

“We are confident that many of them will become returning customers once they have their first experience with us.”

Our competitors are not supermarkets, but the dominating property landlords who determine and dominate the price of goods in the city.
Ricky Wong Wai-kay

He said he hoped to reinvent the traditional retail industry with the concept, and would open more stores across the city soon.

Wong said he launched the stores after HKTV’s online sales increased five-fold to HK$67.46 million during the first half of this year.

“The gloomy economic outlook and retail situation did not affect us,” he claimed.

He said the cost of running an online shopping platform was much lower than supermarkets and convenient stores.

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“Our products are cheaper because we don’t need to pay such high rent,” he said.

“Our competitors are not supermarkets, but the dominating property landlords who determine and dominate the price of goods in the city.”

The company, which first started as a television station in 1992, has focused on expanding its online shopping platform since it’s bid for a free television licence failed in 2013.

Ms Hung, 75, a 40-year resident of North Point, said she did not know of HKTV’s online shopping platform until she passed by the new store yesterday.

She said it was unlikely that she would give it a try, and would instead stick with tried and tested shopping methods.

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“I do not know how to use this stuff [tablets],’’ Hung said. “Buying food from wet markets is also cheap, and fresher too.”

Ms Lee, a housewife from North Point, said she had never shopped online before, but was willing to give it a go.

“I was tempted to try because it seemed convenient, but I was worried that my credit card information would be leaked online. I feel more secure seeing the actual store,” Lee said.