A stronger Hong Kong dollar and a high-profile campaign by activists against parallel goods traders are being blamed for a slump in retail sales in the city during the long Easter weekend.
Sales at Emperor Watch & Jewellery Ltd. (00887.HK) tumbled 40 percent, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday, citing Emperor Group chairman Albert Yeung Sau-shing.
The figure for the full year could decline as much as 30 percent, Yeung said, pointing at the campaign as a key culprit.
Yeung said a roughly 30 percent drop in sales is also evident at rivals Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. (01929.HK) and Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd. (00590.HK).
Another popular jewelry retailer, Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd. (00116.HK), experienced a 10 percent decline in the number of visitors during the Easter period, said Lau Hak-bun, director of sales operations.
Lau did not mention the impact on the company’s sales figures.
A total of 447,000 people visited Hong Kong in the four days up to Monday, compared with 478,000 in the four-day holiday period until April 21 last year, Immigration Department data showed.
Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council, said there were 320 tour groups from mainland China last month, a 30 percent plunge from the same period last year.
The decline was the largest since the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) struck the city in 2003, Tung said.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 8.
Translation by Vey Wong
[Chinese version 中文版]
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