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The former Louis Vuitton store in the Times Square mall in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Photo: Winson Wong

Louis Vuitton, Fendi stores in upscale Hong Kong mall Times Square close, months after rift with LVMH over rent reduction

  • Louis Vuitton store that has shut was at the centre of a row between LVMH, world’s biggest luxury group, and owner Wharf Reic over store rents
  • Its closure, and that of the Fendi store on the floor above, leave the mall with two of its most prime retail spaces to fill amid a difficult year for retail

The Louis Vuitton and Fendi luxury fashion stores in Hong Kong’s Times Square have shut, months after a reported rift over store rents between owner LVMH and Wharf Real Estate Investment Corporation (Wharf Reic), operator of the upscale mall in the prime retail district of Causeway Bay.

A spokesperson for Louis Vuitton confirmed that its Times Square store has closed, and said all staff had been reassigned to other Louis Vuitton stores in Hong Kong.

Fendi also confirmed that its Times Square store has permanently closed.

As previously reported in the Post, Louis Vuitton had been in negotiations with Wharf Reic to lower the rent on its prime second-floor space, for which it paid an estimated HK$5 million (US$650,000) in monthly rent.

Luxury store closures likely if Hong Kong protests drag on

Besides Louis Vuitton and Fendi, LVMH also operates stores from some of its other top brands, including Dior, Celine, Loewe and Givenchy, in Times Square.

Before closing the Times Square branch, Louis Vuitton operated eight stores in Hong Kong, which mainly catered to inbound travelers from mainland China and other parts of the world coming to the Chinese special administrative region to take advantage of better prices (Hong Kong is a free port and levies no customs tariff on imported goods).

The Fendi store in Times Square that closed. Photo: Martin Chan

However, a series of anti-government protests, which began in the city in June 2019, and strict travel bans imposed on foreign travelers after the coronavirus pandemic have battered the city’s retail scene, causing many stores to close.

Other top luxury brands that have reduced their retail presence in the city in recent months include Prada, Valentino, Chloé and Brunello Cucinelli.

The Post has asked Wharf Reic for comment on the store closures.