7000 Hong Kong retail establishments may close down: HKRMA

14 Dec '19
2 min read
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock

Some 7,000 licensed retail establishments out of 64,000 in Hong Kong may close down in the next six months as social unrest and sometimes violent anti-China protests deter tourists, threatening the survival of smaller operators, according to a survey by the Hong Kong Retail Management Association (HKRMA). The survey highlights the dire outlook for retailers there.

Retail sales fell by a quarter in October from a year earlier, the steepest drop on record, while tourist arrivals fell by a whopping 43.7 per cent in the same month, squeezing malls and restaurants, according to a press release from the association.

“We are talking about survival among retailers. It is going to be quite serious,” HKRMA chairwoman Annie Tse Yau On-yee said.

HKRMA said about 97 per cent of survey respondents had recorded losses since the unrest began in June. Of those, 30 per cent said they would be forced to lay off staff in the next six months, losing 10 per cent of employees on average, or more than 5,600 people in total.

The survey, which covered chain stores and small retailers, was conducted between October29 and November 22 and recorded the views of 176 companies, operating 4,310 stores.

HKRMA has urged more support and relief measures from the government while also encouraging landlords to offer rent cuts to help retailers.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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