Causeway Bay is set to get a tad darker with the closure of the massive Forever 21 flagship store on Jardine’s Bazaar.
The American fashion retailer first opened their 50,000 square foot flagship store in 2011 when Hong Kong had a steady and high volume of mainland travellers, 30 million of which visited in 2011 with a growth rate of 20 to 30 percent per year. Causeway Bay was also one of their most popular shopping destinations.
But now that the number of mainland Chinese tourists coming to Hong Kong has decreased, “the traffic is much worse than expected, therefore their revenue may not justify the rental cost,” said Jack Chuang, partner from OC&C.
Chuang also referenced the cooling down of the ‘fast fashion’ trend, saying that “quality is perceived to be increasingly important by consumers with regards to apparel.”
“The space for the current location of Forever 21 seems much bigger than needed. However, the size is understandable as it was their first store in HK which served the purpose of brand building. But now that the brand is already established, the investment could be shifting from maintaining that flagship to opening smaller stores.”
Forever 21 recently opened a new store in Mong Kok this year with around 19,000 square feet vs. 50,000 square feet in the current Causeway Bay store. The flagship store is slated to close in September 2017.