ParknShop, the supermarket chain controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, has taken preemptive action to prevent a threat to its business from an online TV shopping venture being launched by businessman Ricky Wong.
The retailer, a unit of conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, has launched a mobile shopping app to boost online orders, a move seen by observers as a declaration of war against the new venture from Wong.
Wong has announced plans to set up a 24-hour mobile TV shopping channel, after facing setbacks in other proposed ventures.
ParknShop will from Friday provide a service for customers to shop with their iPhone or Android handsets, it said in an emailed press release Thursday. As many as 10,000 products will be available for online orders.
The announcement came a day after Wong revealed plans to establish an online shopping channel that will focus on mid- and high-end local and overseas products. He will share profits with suppliers, Wong said, adding that his staff had approached 20-30 retailers so far, and that the feedback has been positive.
CEC International (00759.HK) chairman Lam Wai-chun is reported to have been invited by Wong to join the online shopping business. CEC’s share price surged 18 percent on Thursday while Wong’s HKTV saw its stock gain 0.9 percent.
CEC currently operates more than 180 stores across various locations in Hong Kong, selling snacks and necessities.
The HKTV-CEC business model is very much the same as that of AdMart, an online shopping business founded by Apple Daily’s owner Jimmy Lai in 1999. At that time, ParknShop strengthened its marketing schemes to fight off AdMart, which eventually closed down after 17 months and caused a loss of HK$1 billion to Lai.
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