DJI to open its largest store for drones in Causeway Bay, boosting Hong Kong’s property market

World’s largest drone maker to move into 10,000 square feet of space on Jaffe Road by the end of September

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 August, 2016, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 8:45am

Da-Jiang Innovations Science & Technology Co., the world’s biggest maker of drones, will open its largest retail store in the heart of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping district, providing a much-needed boost to the city’s ailing market for commercial and retail space.

The Shenzhen company, also marketed as DJI, said it will occupy 10,000 square feet of space over three floors at Tower 535, a 25-storey office and retail building on Jaffe Road in Causeway Bay. The company plans to move in by the end of September.

“As interest around our aerial technologies continues to grow, the expansion of our flagship store business will provide a place for people to see, touch and learn about our products first hand,” DJI’s founder and chief executive Frank Wang Tao said in a statement on Monday, without disclosing rental price.

Stunning drone photography of Hong Kong attracts global attention

Tower 535 sits in the middle of Hong Kong’s most bustling shopping district, where Apple also has a three-storey retail store a few blocks away at Hysan Place.

Hong Kong would mark the third flagship retail location for DJI, following the company’s first store at its home base of Shenzhen in December, and a second outlet in Seoul that opened in March.

Earlier in May, DJI expanded its “Experience Zone” inside Terminal 1 of the Hong Kong International Airport to show travellers the latest aerial photographs and videos taken with the company’s drones around the world.

“Hong Kong is an important market for DJI here in Asia and remains a tourist hot spot for people from around the world,” DJI Hong Kong regional manager Sarah Chuang said.

The Causeway Bay store will display DJI’s full range of products, including its US$899 Zenmuse Z3 camera drone, and feature examples of aerial photography. It will also house a technical support centre and a dedicated space for workshops, seminars and special events.

Research firm Teal Group estimated that global sales of civilian unmanned aerial systems, or consumer drones, will soar to US$10.9 billion in 2025, from US$2.6 billion this year.

While DJI is betting on selling more drones in Hong Kong, spending on luxury watches, jewellery and designer bags is slumping in the city.

“The retail market here is undergoing a structural transformation from one that is highly driven by luxury consumption goods to one that is more reliant on mid-market brands and products,” Tom Gaffney, the managing director for real estate services firm CBRE in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, said in a recent interview.

Gaffney forecast retail rents to hit bottom next year after a further 15 per cent decline this year. Last year, overall retail rents fell by 20 per cent.