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The View from Hong Kong-Hong Kong Market
It has been a tough road for Hong Kong, with USChina Trade War, pro-democracy protests and finally, coronavirus. But thanks to the indefatigable spirit of Hong Kongers, the city has managed to beat the virus. In the same spirit, with the support of the Government that believes in the business capability of its small and medium scale entrepreneurs, the jewellery industry will come out of this crisis says Vijetha Rangabashyam
By: Diamond World News Service
Jul 22 2020 11:57AM
Reference: 25048  


I know of a retailer who has created a bench jeweller concept for consumers to build, repair, and/ or polish their rings as a touch of personalization. These are creative ways in which retailers are expanding beyond conventional methods Harsh Maheshwari, Kunming DiamondsJewellers are working on pending orders as parts of U.S. are opening up. However, India opening up remains crucial to Hong Kong jewellery industry’s health as it is the sourcing hub – if India doesn’t open up, it will heavily affect the supply chain and operation will not be smooth.

Retail needs resurgence
Closure of Mainland border due to Covid-19 has affected retail sales in Hong Kong to a large extent as the city largely depends on inflow of tourists from China and anywhere else in the world. Jewellery and watch sales plummeted by 69.7 per cent to HKD 2.02 billion ($261 million) in May. HK’s largest jeweller Chow Tai Fook reported a 36.6% drop in profit but is still optimistic about demand in Mainland China. The retail giant is planning to close at least 10-15 stores in HK and Macau, however, as demand from China seems to be steady, the company plans to expand using the franchise model, aiming to open 400- 450 more points of sales by the end March 2021. Retailer Luk Fook is also struggling. The decline of same-store sales in the first three weeks narrowed to around 60 percent, while overall shops in the mainland market showed progressive improvements with a less than 20-percent decline in June as compared to the 20-per-cent drop in April to May and 40-per-cent drop in March. The retailer will close five stores in Hong Kong and open two in Macau.

Many retailers have negotiated with their landlords – their rents have been significantly cut to tide through the current period. “For most retailers around the world, things are looking bad and Hong Kong is no different. When we ask for payments they want to return the goods. But we are cooperating with them. We are being patient and extending the credit by six months. I do believe that nothing will change before second quarter of 2021. So, if retailers don’t get support from suppliers and owners of the place they are renting, they won’t be able to survive,” says Nigam.

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