DFS, Hong Kong-based travel retailer of luxury products established in 1960, majority owned by the luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) is closing two of its stores in Hong Kong, effective from 9th February till end of the month.
SEE ALSO : Updates on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
DFS’ network consists of duty-free stores located in 11 major airports and 20 downtown Galleria stores, as well as resort locations worldwide.
On 9th February, DFS temporarily closed its historical downtown store in Hong Kong opened in 1968, located in Chinachem Golden Plaza in Tsim Sha Tsui and the newly opened store at MOKO in Mong Kok East. All the other stores in Hong Kong remain open.
The temporary closure of the stores has been announced on the store directory.
A spokesperson from DFS told Retail in Asia:
“In our continued efforts to protect our employees and customers in the current health environment, and to curb the spread of the coronavirus, we have made the decision to temporarily close two of our stores in Hong Kong – namely, T Galleria by DFS, Tsimshatsui East and T Galleria Beauty by DFS MOKO – until the end of February.
This is a purely preventative step which will allow us to focus our resources and efforts on a reduced store footprint while balancing the need to continue to serve our customers. To date, there have been no cases of the coronavirus in any of our store locations and we will continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure our stores remain hygienic and safe environments for all”.
Additionally, DFS stated: “We look forward to serving customers at our T Galleria by DFS, Canton Road or T Galleria Beauty by DFS, Causeway Bay stores, which remain open as usual, or through our Click and Collect service on dfs.com. We apologize for any inconvenience to our loyal customers during the temporary closure of two of our stores. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and we look forward to reopening as soon as possible”.
The news comes at a time retail business in Hong Kong is not going through its best time. The past 7 months have sent Hong Kong into a deepest recession, just when the situation seemed to be registering a light recover, the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) brought a second wave of crisis.
If the social unrest was an event limited to Hong Kong market, this new crisis affects retail sector across the region and globally, being Chinese consumers the major spenders worldwide.
Besides retail, the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has an impact on tourism, entertainment, F&B, supply chain across different factors, and more, and it is not restricted to greater China or Asia only, but has a domino effect globally.
Hong Kong landlords, notorious for their lack of solidarity to the community should reconsider their practice and follow the examples of Chinese landlords which immediately reacted to the crisis.
During the social unrest, a few landlords followed the example given by Swire, being immediately responsive in helping its tenants in Hong Kong.
(Source: DFS Store Directory)