Hong Kong Television Network chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay, pictured, says the multimedia company's online shopping platform HKTV mall has lost HK$200 million a year in its two-year operation, and he does not expect the business to break even for a few years.
Amazon was in a similar situation, said Wong, adding it took seven years to make his broadband business achieve an income-cost balance.
He said the online mall will expand its logistics facilities for increasing orders, including boosting the number of vans to more than 100. It will set up a new warehouse next year and update the logistics system of its warehouses.
It also plans to increasingly diversify the products it provides to counter competition.
"Consumers' shopping habits have been changed by the internet," Wong said. "They are shifting to global e-commerce platforms to seek cheaper goods."HKTV mall boasts one million viewers and 100,000 have bought stuff on it in the past six months. "I have benefited from the convenience of HKTV mall myself," he said. "I have bought 12 pairs of shoes in the past 10 months. Such things never happened before I opened it."
Meanwhile, Wong said the high rents in the SAR may cause it to lose its "shopping heaven" status. He added: "Currently, the rent level in Hong Kong is four times that in Tokyo and double that in Paris, which drives local consumers to purchase overseas.
"A pair of shoes of the same brand sell for HK$3,000-4,000 in Hong Kong, but only HK$2,000 at a British online store. This proves that online platforms can offer a relatively lower price." HKTV mall opened its first physical store in North Point last month for promotion and attracting customers who do not shop online. The store costs include renovation fees of more than HK$100,000 and rent of less than HK$50,000.