Date
18 December 2017
Sky Chow and his partners plan to sell merchandise related to the Year of Sheep at a rent-free stall at Metro City Plaza III. Photo: Apple Daily
Sky Chow and his partners plan to sell merchandise related to the Year of Sheep at a rent-free stall at Metro City Plaza III. Photo: Apple Daily

CNY fairs: Giving youth a chance via rent-free stalls

Visiting a Chinese New Year fair is one of the popular activities in Hong Kong during the annual holiday, which falls in February this year. Hoping to cash in on this are several enterprising youth who try to rent stalls and peddle various goods at the fairs.

But now, stall rents have become increasingly prohibitive at prime venues such as Victoria Park and Fa Hui Park. To give an idea how expensive they are, a stall in Victoria Park costs about HK$12,000 (US$1,548) to HK$150,000 this year.

Amid this situation, Metro City Plaza III, a shopping mall in Tsueng Kwan O, has announced a praiseworthy initiative. The mall operator is offering free stalls for students and youngsters to run their own businesses at a special fair.

Among the people who have taken up the offer is a student named Sky Chow.

Chow always wanted to be his own boss. For three years in a row, the form six student from Yuen Long has teamed up with some classmates to participate in the Yuen Long Lunar New Year fair.

With the help of teachers, they made HK$3,000 in the first year. And last year, the profit grew to nearly HK$20,000.

But this time, he does not want to count on teachers. He wants to strike out on his own.

Chow and his partners have invested HK$20,000 together. They plan to sell merchandise related to the Year of Sheep, such as stuffed goat dolls, targeting young people and couples, Sing Pao reported.

To Chow, it’s a great opportunity to apply what he has learnt from text books. First of all, one needs to know and study the foot-traffic in the mall, identify who the target customers are and learn about their consumption habits.

Tseung Kwan O is not a district Chow is familiar with, so he tries not to be too aggressive in setting a goal. “We just hope we can cover the cost,” he said.

Form four student Leung Sin-yung also plans to try her hand in running a business with her father this year at the Metro City Plaza mall.

Leung has been interested in jewelry design since she was young. She took a course in Jewelry software design last year in Shenzhen, putting up with a cross-border commute twice a week for her lessons.

This year, she plans to use three-dimensional printing technology to make and sell jewelry of her own design in her stall. The little stall will bring her a step closer to her dream, which is establishing her own jewelry brand one day.

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RC

EJ Insight writer

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