Fewer mainland shoppers are coming to Hong Kong for daily necessities following the protests against rampant smuggling and resultant tightening of travel rules for Shenzhen residents wishing to visit Hong Kong.
Some retailers are not happy about the lost business, but now there is an alternative opportunity for them to keep tapping the demand from mainlanders for Hong Kong goods.
The first phase of the Qianhai Chow Tai Fook Global Goods Shopping Center opened in Shenzhen’s Qianhai special economic zone earlier this month.
Twenty-one Hong Kong retailers signed up as tenants, including cosmetics chain Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd. (00178.HK), fast-food chain Maxim’s MX and apparel vendor Giordano International Ltd. (00709.HK), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
While the first phase of the project is mostly for big players, small and medium-sized enterprises will also be welcome when the second phase is up and running next year.
“We have begun to lease the space,” said Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, executive director of Hong Kong-based property conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd.
“About 100 companies have shown interest.
“We plan to introduce more SMEs as well as creative shops.”
Targeting mainland customers who prefer Hong Kong products for their assured quality, the center can save them the time and trouble crossing the border for their shopping needs.
The center also allows customers to see and touch the product at its physical stores and buy them online to enjoy a lower tax rate.
If it proves to be popular, more such facilities could come on stream in the next few years.
The Qianhai Authority is said to be looking at the possibility of setting up a second such center.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong developers Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (00016.HK) and Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd. (00012.HK) have proposed providing a space for a temporary market near the Lok Ma Chau border to divert mainland shoppers from the city’s urban areas.
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