Rents worry as retail sales rise

Business | Samantha Wong 4 Jan 2018

The provisional estimated value of total retail sales in November stood at HK$38.7 billion, a 7.5 percent increase over the same period last year.

Despite the growth, high rental levels remain the major challenge facing the local retail industry. A government spokesman said the near-term outlook for retail sales remains positive, as consumer sentiment is buttressed by favorable employment and income situation, and as inbound tourism continues to recover.

The retail market underwent some downward adjustment in the past three years, but overall rentals in shopping malls and street-level shops did not come down accordingly, said Thomson Cheng Wai-hung, chairman of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association.

He said the recovery in the retail market may lead to further increases in rents.

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