Hong Kong retailing market update - where to look for new paths to retail growth

Fashion & Luxury Retail Supply Chain Leaders Round Table

Speaking engagement

3 March 2017, Hong Kong

The economic environment for retailers continues to be challenging due to numerous factors: slow economic growth in China, impact of strong US dollar, various uncertainties surrounding global trade and policies. Amidst disruption from slumping economic growth, shifting demographics and rising online shopping trends, it is important for industry players to know where to look for new paths to retail growth.


On 3 March 2017, Michael Cheng, PwC Asia Pacific and Hong Kong/China Retail & Consumer Leader, being one of the keynote speakers, shared insights on the Hong Kong retail market and growth strategies at the "Fashion & Luxury Retail Supply Chain Leaders Round Table 2017". The event was attended by over 80 decision-makers and c-suite executives from leading Hong Kong retailers.

Michael mentioned that 2016 was the most difficult year in the last decade for the Hong Kong retail and consumer products sector. The Hong Kong retail market, characterised by the slow growth of local population and domestic consumption, is strongly influenced by the mainland tourists coupled with China and Hong Kong government policies. He reminded retailers to remain vigilant to the challenges ahead, including slumping economic growth, heavy reliance on mainland visitors and their shopping habit, currency fluctuation and aging population.


Michael, nevertheless, noted that 2017 is off to a better start supported by a further improved economic outlook in Hong Kong, rebound in the number of mainland tourists, increased diversity in retail offering, and enhanced transportation network. The outlook for retailers is still favourable as the local retail market is forecast to rebound in 2018. He also provided updates on different sectors including luxury, clothing and apparel, as well as beauty and personal care.


He then concluded with insights on seven strategies for retailers regarding where to look for new paths to retail growth, namely:

  • "Coopetition" and M&A – achieve a "win-win" solution through collaboration between business competitors; move up value chain segment of the business, enter new markets and acquire new competitive capabilities through M&A
  • Innovation and data analytics – retailers should accelerate the pace of digital change to make the shopping experience simple, convenient, personal, and engaging; and improve customer experience and operational efficiency through the use of data analytics
  • Trusted platform – ensure a secured, always-accessible, easy-to-use technology platform
  • Pricing – retailers compete not just on pricing but on speed, variety, and convenience
  • Loyalty – brand loyalty, while hard-won, is not easy to shake
  • Assortment – provide the right mix of physical and digital offerings and entice customers to interact with them
  • Fulfilment – speedy delivery is the key

Contact us

Michael Cheng

Asia Pacific & Hong Kong/China Consumer Markets Leader, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 1033

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