Crisis looms over Hong Kong’s luxury market

Following the recent protest in Hong Kong, commercial real estate owners in the prime districts of Central and Admiralty are being urged by Italian brands to offer short-term rent cuts as foot traffic has been hit by the prolonged Occupy Central protests, according to the president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce. “Some of our members are suffering,” said chamber president Fabio De Rosa. De Rosa said most landlords were not prepared to respond to the request but Hongkong Land was trying to hear tenants’ concerns.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce has 260 members, which include top brands such as Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci. De Rosa has said that some of his chamber’s members had seen a 30 to 40 per cent fall in foot traffic between the end of September and October, although the situation has slightly improved in the tail end of October.

Hongkong Land has turned down a rent cut request but will provide marketing support to the affected tenants to boost sales,” a source said. Hongkong Land declined to comment.

Colliers International recently confirmed that luxury retail sales had been declining since the beginning of the year due to Beijing’s anti-extravagance rules, which had curbed luxury consumption in Hong Kong. The Occupy Central movement further soured sentiment in a slowing sector.

Armani Casa flagship store in Hong Kong at Lee Gardens