Tuesday’s record pro-democracy march saw a surge in human traffic in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay shopping district but its effect on shopkeepers was as different as it gets.
Some restaurants benefited from the increased flow of people as an estimated 510,000 took to the streets but other shops said it hurt their business, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday, citing its own survey .
The newspaper surveyed eight shops near the intersection of Hennessy Road and Fleming Road, a crucial artery for shoppers and protesters.
Three in five restaurants said the march helped their business. However, a mobile phone retailer, a clothing shop and a drugstore reported sharply lower sales.
Two retail stores along the protest route complained their business fell by up to 90 percent.
“The weather was hot and my restaurant is at a mid-point of the protest route,” a restaurant manager, surnamed Chan, was quoted as saying.
Chan said his restaurant likely recorded a 20 percent increase in revenue.
However, he said the July 1 march in 2003 was more impressive as protesters filled the whole street. “I rescheduled some of the shifts to allow my staff to join the march,” Chan said.
Chan estimates this year’s turnout to have eclipsed previous July 1 rallies.
Staff at the drugstore said customers avoided the area, so they closed before the march began.
Many luxury shops were closed Tuesday, fearing a planned blockade by Occupy Central, a civil disobedience group. No such action happened.
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