Following the recent announcement that the first round of HK$10,000 consumption vouchers will be distributed in April, Hong Kong Retail Management Association’s chairwoman Annie Tse Yau On-yee said during a radio programme on 8th March that the scheme will unlikely bring the market “back to life” and suggested that the government should delay the distribution of the vouchers.
She said consumers were more cautious than they used to be and that the scheme will not help much, especially for retailers selling apparel, cosmetics, and jewelry.
“It will be a stimulus for a while. But overall, it doesn’t really stimulate major growth. Look at last year’s full-year numbers or even just the second half, you don’t really see spectacular growth when you spread the figures out,” said Tse.
Tse also expressed disappointment at the government’s decision not to extend the three-month moratorium on commercial rents, commenting that there will be less incentive for landlords to discuss rent concessions with retailers. She added that few landlords have been willing to reduce the rent.
She urged landlords to reduce rent at least by half, as many retailers saw business volume drop by more than half in the fifth wave of the pandemic.