21 Mar 2019
The Government released the latest retail sales figures of January 2019, which registered a 7.1% growth to HK$48.1 billion. This reasonably good growth was mainly due to an earlier Lunar New Year holiday in the first week of February. When combining sales of January and February, we anticipate the sales figure to be comparable to last year's. Depending on the sales performance in the first quarter, our member companies maintain the annual forecast at low single-digit growth for 2019 as a whole.
At the start of 2019, the Association has already kick-started a series of initiatives and activities for our members. The foremost event was our first ever Green Hackathon that ended with a high note on 24 February. With the support and participation from 20 retail brands, 12 start-up teams, and over 80 university students, this 3-day programme provided youngsters invaluable opportunities to interact with retailers and green groups. During the event, they did not only learn more about the retail industry's latest development, they also offered innovative solutions to some of the green challenges faced by retail stores. I am pleased to inform you that the winning teams' proposals will be uploaded on our website for viewing. Looking forward, our Sustainability Task Force will strive to stimulate more communications between retailers and young people through exciting events, and to promote energy management and waste reduction among retailers.
In addition, we renewed our ties with the government officials and other stakeholders during this period including meetings with the Secretary for Environment, Mr. Wong Kam Sing, and the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr. Nicholas Yang. In February, our E-Commerce Sub-Committee hosted the first meeting with our E-Commerce Advisory Panel, which consists of 13 external experts from key e-players and stakeholders of different areas. They had given us invaluable advice on how to assist member retailers to speed up the development of e-tailing business, and improve our "Quality E-shop Recognition Scheme" to suit the industry's needs better.
Last but not least, I would like to remind members to register for the Retail Summit to be held on 17 May. The theme of this year's Summit is "Retail Reinvention: Success in the Disruptive Age". You will be able to acquire inspiring insights and wisdom from 20 heavyweight speakers who are retail leaders in a wide array of trade, and network with over 700 industry participants. I encourage all of you to join me in this Retail Summit. Please do not miss the membership discount and the early bird offer ending on 18 April!