Cityplaza shopping centre to get HK$100m facelift

Apita to give up space for more children's wear and cosmetic stores, says mall operator Swire

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 February, 2014, 4:37am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 February, 2014, 4:37am

Cityplaza, in Taikoo Shing, will undergo a HK$100 million makeover to bring in more children's wear and cosmetic brands, with Japanese department store Apita having to lose 27 per cent of its floor space to accommodate the facelift.

The last renovation of the shopping centre, which opened in 1983, was in 2001.

Elizabeth Kok, the retail portfolio director for the mall's owner, Swire Properties, said Apita would lose 50,000 square feet on the first and second floors to make way for more children's wear brands.

"The space to be vacated by Apita will also be renovated into circulation areas to create a more spacious ambience and enhance the shopping experience," Kok said.

Apita, run by Uny, one of the four biggest department store chains in Japan, has been operating in Cityplaza for 27 years. It will retain 120,000 sq ft, with half of that occupied by its supermarket, Kok said.

The facelift would add about 15 doors to the shopping mall, she said.

"None of the tenants are being forced to close down because of the renovation," Kok said. "Some tenants offering services to the community will relocate to shops on the podium. They include a facial salon, a watch company and a photo store."

The six-level mall accommodates 170 shops and restaurants in its 1.11 million square feet of floor space, including retail chains H&M, Marks & Spencer, Muji and Uniqlo, and attracts an average of 170,000 people a day.

Kok said the facelift should be done by December. She declined to comment on rents, apart from saying they rose last year.

Local residents remained Cityplaza's core customers, with tourists accounting for less than 3 per cent of shoppers, she said.

It recorded year-on-year sales growth of just 2.4 per cent last year, according to Swire Properties data.

That contrasts with the fortunes of Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung, in which Swire has a stake, which reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year increase in sales. Tourists account for a third of Citygate shoppers, with 75 per cent from the mainland.

Kok likened managing a mall to being a "a woman who needs to stay young forever".

The design stage of a shopping mall was like a pregnancy, and when it opened for business it was similar to mothering a new born baby that needed a lot of care, she said.

"During its infancy, the mall would take about five to six years to build up its strength in order to cope with future market changes," she said. "When a mall becomes mature [like Cityplaza], it needs to address anti-ageing concerns to stay young."