RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Mid-price brands outdo luxury retailers in August expansion

Charles & Keith is opening another store in Parker House.

Although sales of luxury goods booked its highest growth in August, posh retailers remained reluctant to fully expand their footholds in Central as mid-priced brands picked up the slack and led prime street expansion, according to real estate consultant Knight Frank.

Mainland jeweller Lao Feng Xiang bucked the trend after renting a 1,000 sqft shop at 24-30 Percival Street for $350,000 monthly, an expansion that gives it a presence in all four core retail districts except Central.

Also read: Retail sales grind to a halt at 2.4% in September

Other than Lao Teng, however, mid-priced brands led activity into Central’s prime streets. For instance, Singapore-based bags-and-shoes chain Charles & Keith is opening a branch in a street-front shop in Parker House on Queen’s Road Central in late October mere months after opening its first shop in New Town Plaza.

“Perhaps this is an indication that not all luxury goods retailers are fully confident in the recovery in the Central retail market,” added Knight Frank.

Tourism-oriented retailers also did their part to boost leasing activity in Q3, according to real estate consultat CBRE. Local cosmetics chain Bonjour snapped up 2,000 sq ft space on Lockhart Road in Causeway Bay whilst US-based NYX Professional Makeup also leased a 1,500 sq ft unit along Sai Yeung Choi Street South. Personal care good retailer Mannings also leased a 4,300 sq ft shop in Lockhart Road for nearly $1m per month and another shop on Pak Sha Road.

Also read: Cosmetics put a glow on Hong Kong's pallid retail scene

“Sales of tourist-oriented goods such as cosmetics, healthcare and watches & jewellery are expected to remain upbeat,” CBRE said in an earlier report. “Retailers operating in these categories will remain active in looking for leasing opportunities in popular tourist locations.”

Photo from Ofawuowime - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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