Date
22 August 2017
I.T chairman Sham Kar-wai says he hopes the Occupy protests will end peacefully and everything will return to normal soon. Photo: EJ Insight
I.T chairman Sham Kar-wai says he hopes the Occupy protests will end peacefully and everything will return to normal soon. Photo: EJ Insight

I.T suffers big drop in sales due to Occupy protests

Fashion apparel retailer I.T Ltd (00999.HK) has seen a significant drop in sales due to the ongoing Occupy movement.

Stores in the protest-hit areas reported a 30 percent decline in sales on average in the seven-day golden week in early October, while the worst-hit ones saw sales plunging by 70 percent to 80 percent. Nearly half of the I.T shops are in Central, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui.

“I hope that the protests will end peacefully and everything will return to normal soon,” said Sham Kar-wai, chairman and chief executive of I.T, after the company released its interim earnings report.

Sham said it is difficult to see how the pro-democracy movement will evolve as there are too many unknown factors in the unprecedented street occupation.

I.T has no contingency plan to cope with the protests but Sham said he could not close shops just because sales are affected by such an event in one month.

The fashion brand posted a 75.6 percent increase in net profit to HK$49.4 million (US$6.37 million) for the six months ended August 31.

It plans to open new stores in second-tier cities in the mainland before Christmas, but will be prudent about business expansion in Hong Kong owing to rising rent and manpower costs.

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JH/JP/JL

EJ Insight reporter

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