Isn’t is awful how this year had specific plans to somehow harm every country in the worst way possible? At some level I agree we did need some sort of punishment for the way we treated our beautiful planet, but now the punishment just feels dragged and unfair. The magnet destination that has been attracting luxury brands from all over the world has now made almost every brand second guess it’s decision. While 2020 hasn’t been good for business for anyone due to the obvious covid19, it feels like Hong Kong has really gotten it’s luck on the down low. The recent imposition of national security law, protests and trade tensions have put the already struggling retail into a grapple. Right from Valentino to Prada, almost all luxury brands have closed shop and are now revaluating their presence altogether. While the tension within Hong Kong and the virus both seem to spread at a rapid speed, tourism is unlikely to recover for a long time. You guys wouldn’t even believe me when I tell you that the sales in the city had declined by 43% in March itself. Infact the clothing, footwear and related product stores had it worse because the slump for them was a much bigger number. The sales for them declined by 66.4%.
While the downturn in sales gave the brands a jolt to reconsider their decision, there’s another aspect to the story too. This aspect of the story includes rents. Covering the commercial rents in Hong Kong is not easy as they are considered one of the most expensive in the world. Infact, Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay is one of the most expensive shopping streets with rents that amount up to $2745 per square foot per year.
Uncertainty is ruling over Hong Kong’s head from all over as the new national security law has also managed to spark political and trade tensions between Mainland China and the US which will make Hong Kong a collateral damage. Guys, do you even think it’s fair anymore? On May 30th, Donald Trump moved to revoke the special status of Hong Kong that grants the country special import tariffs that imply on Mainland China. Although Trump has not commented on any specifics of what exactly will change in practical terms, but knowing trump we all know it will be something radical right? The difference between the import tariffs in Mainland China and Hong Kong made the country an attractive place to shop luxury goods but now Japan, South Korea , Australia and Singapore have become a promising alternative. While Hong Kong is stressing out about its economy, all we can do is pray. Pray for a better tomorrow and a better future. Even though uncertain times bring a gloomy time but all we can do right now is look at the silver lining and that is uncertainty brings people and communities together. At least we are all in it together.