Retail properties

Mall operators spend big to draw young shoppers this summer

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2017, 4:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 11:55am

Hong Kong’s mall operators seem to be pulling out all the stops to woo young shoppers this summer.

A digital basketball court where you can practise shooting virtual hoops, and a reconstructed classic scene from a Transformers movie are among the elaborate gimmicks being deployed in an attempt to entice children and teenagers to shopping centres.

Sun Hung Kai Properties and Sino Land hope to generate more than HK$2 billion in sales at their malls, APM in Kwun Tong and tmtplaza in Tuen Mun.

This summer, SHKP plans to spend a record HK$8.8 million on promotion, up 10 per cent from a year earlier, with the aim of achieving sales of up to HK$500 million at its APM shopping mall between July 16 and August 31.

We have confidence that our target of more than HK$1.6 billion of sales in July and August will be reached
Jessica Chan, tmtplaza

“Local consumption has improved as retail performance recorded a strong pickup year-on-year,” said Maureen Fung Sau-yim, a director at Sun Hung Kai Properties (China), a wholly owned subsidiary of SHKP. Footfall rose 10 per cent year-on-year to 56 million in the first half of 2017, she said.

In an effort to lure more young shoppers during the summer holiday, APM mall plans to offer a 3,000 square foot digital basketball court, virtual reality boxing, routine “pop-up stores” and an exhibition of rare trainers including one pair said to be worth almost HK$100,000.

“We hope to bring in 13 million people to our mall from July 16 to August 31, up 10 to 18 per cent year -on- year,” said Fung. “Sales are expected to achieve a 10 per cent rise year-on-year to HK$480 million to HK$ 500 million.”

In Tuen Mun, a well known scene from the blockbuster movie Transformers: The Last Knight has been set up inside Sino Land’s tmtplaza mall.

Optimus Prime, the six-metre tall leader of the Autobots, is ready to fight with his much shorter friend, Bumblebee, here. Also present is the cute sidekick Sqweeks.

The eye-catching display is part of Sino Land’s HK$8 million summer promotion as the developer fights for the shopper’s dollar.

“It took the entire week for us to supervise the setting up by a contracted team of a dozen staffers,” said

Jessica Chan, a senior manager for retail marketing and promotion at tmtplaza.

The effort appears to have paid off.

Shoppers, mostly young families, have been lining up to check out the 5,000 square-foot Hollywood scene in person since it opened last week.

“Shoppers traffic has improved and so have sales. We have confidence that our target of more than HK$1.6 billion of sales volume in July and August will be reached,” she said

These impressive targets point to an optimistic outlook in Hong Kong’s summer retail space.

Joe Lin, executive director of retail services at CBRE, said the retail market has already bottomed.

“The slide in rent for the first half of the year stayed at 2.5 per cent, which was much narrower than last year’s plummet of 11 to 12 per cent,” he said.

“So a lot of retailers started to study the trend in rents and the districts worthy of expansion.”

Helen Mak, director of retail planning at Knight Frank, is also optimistic about the outlook for the city’s retail sector.

“More attractions and special events can absolutely help tenants by driving traffic and stimulating spending. Activities targeting youngsters need to be innovative and fun,” she said.

“To relate to customers, digital, innovative and cyber elements, that are expected to be more popular, are included when designing programmes.”