DFS Group, a leading duty-free retailer, has leased 45,000 square feet of retail space at Hysan Place, formerly the Hennessy Centre, in Causeway Bay. The company yesterday said it had reached agreement with Hysan Development to open a concept store at Hysan Place, which was expected to be ready in the second quarter of 2012. DFS will be one of the anchor tenants of the centre. The shop will be designed and stocked to appeal to younger shoppers, with the ground floor featuring an 18,000 sq ft beauty store. Explaining the reasons for picking the location, Ed Brennan, the chairman of DFS, said: 'Causeway Bay is the leading shopping district for local residents in Hong Kong, and a major attraction for tourists.' DFS operates two outlets in Tsim Sha Tsui and a shop at Hong Kong International Airport. The store at Hysan Place will be its first on Hong Kong Island. Hennessy Centre previously was one of the flagship properties in Hysan Development's portfolio. Japanese department store Mitsukoshi was the anchor tenant at the shopping centre for 25 years until Hysan Development demolished the building in 2006 and redeveloped it into Hysan Place. The project, located at 500 Hennessy Road, will be a 40-storey office and retail building, with a gross floor area of 710,000 sq ft. It will provide at least 15 retail floors, which are also scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2012. Helen Mak Hoi-lun, the director of retail services at property consultant Colliers International, said: 'DFS Group has not had stores in Hong Kong for many years.' She said the company's latest expansion in Causeway Bay showed that retailers were optimistic. With the increase in mainland visitors, she said, retail rents had grown every month so far this year. 'Retail rents in the four shopping districts - Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok - have risen 15 to 20 per cent so far this year. Shop rents in prime locations have all increased more than 20 per cent, better than our previous forecast,' she said. Mak expects the growth in retail rents in core shopping areas to continue next year.