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Retail Atelier Vol 2 2015: Retailers sink their teeth into F&B

Hong Kong retailers are operating in a challenging environment for growth. A tourism slowdown, lagging external demand and a structural shift in mainland Chinese spending habits are all impacting retail sales, which hit an eight-month skid in October, retreating 3.0% year-on-year. Local consumption, however, remains strong, as evidenced by an increase in restaurant receipts, particularly in fast food shops and non-Chinese restaurants.

Such demand is encouraging F&B operators like Cali-Mex​ and Dim Sum Icon to remain aggressive in their expansion plans, while both shopping centre landlords and lifestyle retailers are increasingly looking for new ways to incorporate food and beverage elements into their portfolios. Overseas F&B operators continue to flock to the city to tap into the city's vibrant culinary scene and test the waters for future expansion plans across the region.

As the economic landscape causes rents drop and luxury brands to surrender their leases, opportunities for F&B operators abound in prime locations that were previously unaffordable.​

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