Hong Kong’s retail chill shows no signs of thawing in June, as overall sales fell for the 16th consecutive month on weaker local consumer sentiment and fewer visitors.
Retail sales slumped 8.9% on the year to 33.7 billion Hong Kong dollars ($4.34 billion), a decline from the 8.4% fall in May. In the first six months, total retail sales fell 10.5%, according to official data released on Tuesday.
Leading the fall were the sales of consumer durable goods such as smartphones and laptops, which plunged 37.2% in June year-on-year. Sales of jewelry and watches, popular among wealthy mainland visitors, fell for the 22nd straight month and the decline was widened to 20.4%, against an 18.7% drop in May.
Medicines and cosmetics, wines and tobacco were only the few areas showing an increase in sales.
However, some businesses remain optimistic. Belle International, a footwear retailer distributing premier brands including Clarks and Nike across greater China, expects a better second quarter after having recorded a double-digit fall in sales in the first quarter.
Landlord Hysan Development as well, said on Tuesday sales from its retail properties were up 3.8% on the year to HK$986 million. This was despite the group’s 61% net profit decline in the first half of the year. It also maintained an average rental increase of 10% and occupancy rate of 99% across its retail portfolio.
(Source: Nikkei Asian Review)