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International retailers flock to Hong Kong despite slowdown

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Despite slowing expansion, global retailers still see massive market potential in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Asia-Pacific overall, according to a new report by commercial real estate services firm CBRE.

In a survey of more than 300 top international retailers in 61 countries and 191 cities, data revealed Hong Kong to be the top destination in 2015 for new market entrants, rising four places and beating Tokyo, which dropped from first to third place.

In its report titled “How Global is the Business of Retail?” 334 retailers were broken down into categories, with 54 retailers making up the luxury sector, which included men’s and women’s clothing and jewellery.

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Last year, 73 brands launched in Hong Kong, while in Beijing, 37 brands opened shop, putting China’s capital city at number eight.

Hong Kong’s performance in the report seems to contradict its ongoing battle with slumping luxury sales, with many brands closing shop or moving to Macau in hopes of reaching the massive Chinese market there.

However, according to CBRE, lower rents and an eagerness from landlords to “introduce more new players to refresh their tenant mix” have given mid-range brands a chance to move in.

China continues to be in demand in terms of retailers looking to globalize, with 56.9 percent of retailers surveyed having a store there. This puts the country just behind the United Kingdom, which is “the most penetrated market by international retailers.”

And while Beijing is seeing significant growth this year, Shanghai remains in the top spot in terms of presence of international brands—54.4 percent of brands surveyed were there, compared to 45 percent in Hong Kong.

(Source: Jing Daily)

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