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Hong Kong Luxury Sales Slide in March

May 6, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich
Hong Kong luxury retail image

Hong Kong retail sales fell in March as tourism returned to normal levels following a resurgence last year when the border reopened. 

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts declined 18% year on year to HKD 4.18 billion ($534.2 million) for the month, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported last week. Sales in all retail categories dropped 7% to HKD 31.19 billion ($3.99 billion). Those figures compare to a slip in February of 3.7% year on year for hard luxury and a 1.9% increase overall. 

The downturn in jewelry comes after several months of growth for the category. It is the result of a weak comparison with the same period last year, when the reopening of the border between China and Hong Kong at the start of 2023 buoyed tourism. The municipality derives a large portion of its luxury revenue from visitors — primarily from the mainland — who come to purchase goods. A recent shift by Chinese buyers away from diamond jewelry toward plain gold has also affected jewelry.  

Hard-luxury sales grew slipped 0.5% year on year to HKD 14.43 billion ($1.85 billion) for the first three months of 2024. Sales in all retail categories fell 1.3% to HKD 101.47 billion ($12.98 billion) for the quarter. 

“The value of total retail sales turned to a fall in March, partly due to a high base of comparison for visitor spending and the Easter holidays,” a government spokesperson said. “Looking ahead, the revival of inbound tourism and rising household income should remain supportive to the retail sector. The government’s efforts to promote a mega-event economy and boost sentiment should also help. Yet the changing consumption patterns of visitors and residents may continue to pose challenges.” 

Image: The Mong Kok shopping district in Hong Kong. (Shutterstock)

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Hong Kong luxury retail image Hong Kong Luxury Sales Slide in March

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