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Hong Kong Luxury Sales Slip in February

April 3, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich
Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong jewelry retail 1280 USED 040324

Hong Kong retail sales grew modestly in February amid a continued recovery in tourism, even as luxury sales faltered.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts fell 3.6% year on year to HKD 4.83 billion ($616.3 million) for the month, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported Wednesday. Sales across all retail categories rose 1.9% to HKD 33.76 billion ($4.31 billion). Those figures compare to a rise in January of 23% year on year for hard luxury and a 0.9% increase overall.

The downturn in jewelry follows several months of growth for the category following the reopening of the border between China and Hong Kong at the start of 2023. The municipality derives a large portion of its luxury revenue from visitors — primarily from the mainland — who come to purchase goods. However, Chinese buyers have been shunning diamond jewelry over the past few months, purchasing more gold, which is valued at a lower price point.

In February, 4 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong, compared to 1.4 million during the same month of 2023. Of those, 3.2 million were from China, versus 1.1 million the year before.

Hard-luxury sales grew 9% year on year to HKD 10.26 billion ($1.31 billion) for the first two months of 2023, as consumers purchased for the Lunar New Year, which took place on February 10. Sales in all retail categories were up 1.4% to HKD 70.28 billion ($8.98 billion) for the two months.

“Looking ahead, as handling capacity continues to recover and more mega events are staged [by the Hong Kong government], inbound tourism is expected to revive further and benefit the retail sector,” a government spokesperson said. “Rising household income and the government’s initiatives in boosting consumption sentiment should also provide support, though changes in consumption patterns of residents and visitors will continue to pose challenges.”

Main image: Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district in Hong Kong. (Shutterstock)

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Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong jewelry retail 1280 USED 040324 Hong Kong Luxury Sales Slip in February

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