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Retail sales in Hong Kong continue to recover slowly

(Source: Reuters/Tyrone Siu.)

Retail sales in Hong Kong rose by 7.1 per cent in November, further evidence of a gradual improvement following October’s revised improvement rate of 12.1 per cent. 

According to the Census and Statistics Department, sales for the first 11 months of 2021 rose by 8.3 per cent against 2020.

A government spokesman credited the government’s Consumption Voucher Scheme for aiding the recovery along with an “entrenched economic recovery”.  

“Provided the local epidemic situation remains under control, the improving economic and labour-market conditions should continue to provide support to the retail sector,” the spokesman said. “In order to strengthen the foundation for a faster and broader-based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination and abide by the anti-epidemic measures.”

Sales of electrical goods and other consumer durables had the greatest effect on the increased sales, despite rising by only 0.5 per cent. Commodities in department stores rose by 9.3 per cent, of other consumer goods not classified elsewhere by 25.2 per cent; of jewellery, watches and valuable gifts by 14.4 per cent, and of wearing apparel by 17.9 per cent. 

In contrast, sales in supermarkets fell by 3.2 per cent in November, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, down 3.9 per cent, and of furniture and fixtures by 1 per cent.

Online sales accounted for 11.2 per cent of the territory’s total local retail sales, up by 27.6 per cent compared with the prior November. That followed a 33.9-per-cent share in October. 

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