Rents go up in APM mall amid expectations of strong Christmas sales
Mall hopes improvement in economy will generate HK$900m in fourth quarter
Rents at APM, Sun Hung Kai Property’s flagship mall in Kowloon East, have gone up by as much as 15 per cent as leases have come up for renewal this year.
Maureen Fung Sau-yim, the executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties (China), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties, said the company has renewed 71 leases involving 230,000 square feet, or 40 per cent of total space, at APM in Kwun Tong since January.
“Rents for these new leases have risen by 10 per cent to 15 per cent,” she said. At present, average rents at APM range from HK$100 to HK$450 per sq ft.
With the overall improvement in Hong Kong’s economy, she believes retail sales at APM could generate HK$900 million in the fourth quarter.
“It will be about 10 per cent to 12 per cent [more] from a year ago,” she said.
To capitalise on the upcoming Christmas holiday, a traditional peak season for retail, she said the company had set aside a promotional budget of HK$28 million, up 10 per cent from 2016, with the aim of pulling in sales of HK$500 million at APM between November 19 and January 3.
APM has also set up a 6,000 sq ft Star Wars entertainment zone ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December to draw younger shoppers.
In Kowloon Bay, a 28-foot high Christmas castle based on the cartoon character Peppa Pig will be set up inside Megabox, which is owned by Kerry Properties.
Hong Kong’s retail sector has posted its biggest monthly growth in two and a half years, rising 5.6 per cent year on year in September.
Retail sales grew for the seventh consecutive month amid stronger property and stock markets, and the rate at which the sector picked up was its fastest since February 2015, when sales surged by 14.8 per cent owing to Lunar New Year celebrations.
In the first nine months of this year, sales rose 0.9 per cent compared with the same period last year.