The founder of Home of Swallows sold the bird’s nest retailer last month after sales were hit by mainland buyers heeding President Xi Jinping’s call to cut official expenses, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
Founder Frank Pak said sales tumbled after gifts were banned among government officials, with sales to mainland solo visitors falling by at least half.
Pak said in 2012 that mainland tourists accounted for up to 70 percent of its sales after the financial tsunami in 2009. But sales fell by as much as 40 percent after Xi launched the anti-corruption drive two years ago.
Bird’s nest wholesaler Kwong Shun Hong said Home of Swallows has yet to settle a payment of HK$300,000.
Pak said the new owner is restructuring the company’s debt and will pay the wholesaler’s bill.
A Home of Swallows employee refused to comment on the matter.
In 2012, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine banned tourists from taking all but bottled bird’s nest products into the mainland.
The ban compounded Home of Swallows’ problems of rising rent and staff costs. Pak said that together these factors dealt a huge blow to the business, and prompted him to sell.
Home of Swallows was accredited by the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Quality Tourism Services Scheme in 2001, and won a Hong Kong Brand Development Council Hong Kong Top Brand Award in 2005. It has nine shops across Hong Kong, down from 30 in its prime, the report said.
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