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Hong Kong Retail Continues to Slide in July

Revenue from jewelry, watches and other valuable gifts down 54%.
Sep 1, 2020 9:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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Sales of jewelry and other luxury items in Hong Kong plunged in July amid a continued lack of tourism and a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts slid 54% year on year to HKD 2.55 billion ($328.5 million) for the month. While the figure was an improvement over the previous month, the lingering effects on the trade continued to be challenging, Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department reported Tuesday. Sales in all retail categories dropped 23% to HKD 26.46 billion ($3.41 billion).

“The year-on-year decline in retail sales remained notable in July despite a lower base of comparison, as the surge of local Covid-19 cases, and the resultant tightening of social-distancing measures in that month, further disrupted consumption activities,” a government spokesperson said.

Additionally, in February, the government imposed an indefinite two-week quarantine on tourists from mainland China — an important source of luxury sales — which has deterred many visitors, with the number of arrivals from China falling 99.9% in July. 

“While recent stabilization in the local epidemic situation may help improve consumption sentiment, the business environment of the retail trade will continue to be very difficult in the near term as inbound tourism remains at a standstill,” the spokesperson added.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts slumped 64% to HKD 16.55 billion ($2.14 billion) for the first seven months of the year. Sales in all retail categories declined 32% to HKD 187.32 billion ($24.17 billion) for the January-to-July period.

Image: A shopping district in Hong Kong. (Pikist)
Tags: Census and Statistics Department, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Hong Kong, hong kong retail, Rapaport News
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