Retail Sales dropped by 1.6% in January & February
Retailers need to transform to attract spending
15 Apr 2019

The Government released the latest retail sales figures of February, which marked a significant drop of 10.1% against that of last year to HK$40.6 billion. Combining January and February's figures to eliminate the effect of the Lunar New Year holiday, the retail sales value still declined by 1.6%. Member companies reflected that the sales performance in March was similar to last year's, and therefore a mild drop is forecasted for the first quarter.

Despite a strong growth of 16.6% in visitor arrivals in January and February, the retail market remained sluggish. It is evident that retail sales performance is no longer linked to visitor growth. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board's latest report, mainland visitors now spend less in shopping, but are more interested in sightseeing and gaining new traveling experience. In order to capitalize on the current traveling industry's development and the increasing use of technology by customers, retailers must transform their business for stimulating customers' spending and staying competitive.

The Association has been working hard to drive smart retail transformation in Hong Kong. For allowing members to understand the latest market information in this aspect, our e-newsletter will feature a special focus on "Smart Retailing" starting from this month on a quarterly basis. A section with similar information will also be set up on our website. The Association will invite members of our E-Commerce Advisory Panel and other renowned service providers who are key players in different aspects of e-tailing to contribute articles and reports on market insights and best practice. We believe that such platform will promote knowledge sharing and foster stronger connections among retailers and key players in this evolving e-tailing ecosystem.

Our annual Retail Summit with the theme "Retail Reinvention: Success in the Disruptive Age" will soon be held on 17 May. If you have not yet reserved your seats for this important event, please act fast and grab the last chance to register. I look forward to seeing you at the Summit.