Hong Kong’s major mall operators are tempting shoppers with an array of promotions, including discounts of up 70 per cent, after the government announced it would distribute consumption vouchers from Thursday. The battered retail market is expected to receive a much-needed boost, which has suffered since January because of the harsh social distancing measures to contain the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic fuelled by the Omicron variant. Sun Hung Kai Properties, Kerry Properties and Sino Land have come up with promotions to compete for 6.2 million shoppers who will receive the first half of this year’s e-vouchers worth HK$5,000 (US$638) each. SHKP, Hong Kong’s largest developer by market capitalisation, said it would launch the “Consumer Voucher Rewards” campaign at its 12 major shopping malls from April 7 to April 30, while its Yata department stores will offer discounts of up to 70 per cent on electrical appliances and beauty products. “The new round of electronic consumer coupons will greatly stimulate the public’s consumption desire,” said Fiona Chung, director of sales and leasing at Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency. Chung expects sales at the developer’s malls to grow by double digits in the April to June period and footfall to increase, as Covid-19 cases decline. Shoppers spending HK$10,000 at SHKP’s malls including East Point City, Park Central and Harbour North stand to receive up to HK$10,000 worth of gifts or cash coupons. Are the glitziest days over for the world’s most expensive retail strip? Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po on Sunday said the government was ready to issue the first batch of e-vouchers after eligible recipients had renewed their registration and 6.2 million residents had kept their accounts active. “The first batch of the consumption vouchers will be issued on April 7 with an effective period of seven months until October 31,” he wrote on his official blog. Last year’s e-voucher scheme, implemented between August and October, boosted retail sales by 12 per cent in both those months, according to property consultancy JLL. Almost all major retail categories benefited, with sales of clothing, footwear and allied products jumping 40.5 per cent and electronic goods by 52.1 per cent, it said. In Kowloon Bay, shoppers at Mega Box, owned by Kerry Properties, will receive a portable tea and coffee maker on spending HK$6,000 on furniture or lifestyle goods. Spate of gym closures leave Hong Kong landlords with huge hollow to fill Sino Land is enticing shoppers at its six malls, including Tuen Mun Town Plaza and Olympian City, with a chance of receiving cash coupons of as much as HK$350. JLL said that it was difficult to conclude the impact of the consumption voucher scheme on the leasing market but “the scheme certainly encouraged consumers to spend more, which in turn encouraged retailers to commit to more shops, especially at High Streets”.