Some foreign brands seize opportunities as others cut back

July 06, 2015 11:04
Lululemon opened its first Hong Kong store last month at the IFC Mall in Central district. The company now plans another outlet in Causeway Bay. Photo: Bloomberg

Some foreign brands are capitalizing on Hong Kong's retail sector downturn by seizing shop space in prime locations in the city as other players cut back, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Canadian yoga-apparel maker and retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Japanese fast-food chain Hotland Co. are among those capturing the opportunities as others move out of high-cost locations amid reduced spending by mainland tourists, the report said. 

Lululemon, which recently opened its first store in the city in the Central district, plans to open a second outlet in Causeway Bay.

The company's deputy president for Asia, Ken Lee, said Lululemon sees Hong Kong as a key market in business development in Asia, although rents at some locations are even higher than those in Tokyo.

Lee said his company is teaming up with to test the market through online stores and exhibition halls in mainland China. Online initiatives will be tested out, with a focus on Shanghai and Beijing, before Lululemon opens any physical stores in the mainland, he said.

Among other foreign firms, Hotland is planning to start up a new bakery line in Hong Kong with another Japanese partner company. The company plans to open five stores in the next two to three years.

The fast-food brand currently has 13 curry chain outlets in Hong Kong. It, however, will not extend its network to mainland China, founder and chief executive Morio Sase was quoted as saying.

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal