According to the latest report released by Knight Frank, in May 2011, Hong Kong’s retail sales value increased for the 21st consecutive month, rising 27.8% year on year to HK$33.1 billion. In the first five months of 2011, the total retail sales value grew 8.9% from the comparable period in the previous year. Meanwhile, according to the Rating and Valuation Department, retail rents rose at the faster pace of 4.1% in May – the largest monthly growth since January 1994.Retail prices retained its uptrend for the 28th consecutive month, rising another 0.2% from the previous month. With significant increases in Mainland visitors looking to spend in Hong Kong, Knight Frank expects retail rents to remain strong in the second half of the year, growing by about 20% over 2011.
Mr Thomas Lam, Head of Research at Knight Frank in Greater China says, “with the significant increase in Chinese visitors and spending power, international retailers are keen to invest in Hong Kong. For example, we assisted one of the largest Japanese food and beverage establishment operators COLOWIDE to open their first overseas restaurant, MIYA Japanese Buffet and Grill in Phase 2 of Telford Plaza, Kowloon Bay. COLOWIDE plans to open another three restaurants in 2011 in prime locations in Hong Kong, including Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok. We will also assist them to set up another concept restaurant named Yakiniku Izakaya MIYA at Langham Place in Mong Kok around end of this year.”
Besides, Hysan Place, set to open in the second quarter of 2012, has reportedly pre-leased over 45% of its retail space. American fashion brand Hollister California plans to open its first store in Hong Kong next year in a 20,000-sq-ft space in the mall, at a monthly rent of over HK$1 million, or HK$50–60 per sq ft. Meanwhile, Eslite Bookstore from Taiwan committed to leasing three storeys, totaling 50,000 sq ft of space, in the same mall for its first store in Hong Kong. Mr Lam concludes “these activities signaled that the retail market will remain active and rents are expected to further increase.”