Commentary

Japanese retailers look to set up shop in Hong Kong

Japanese corporates, particularly those in the retail sector, account for the largest groups of foreign companies in Hong Kong. In 2018, most new retailers (22%) entering Hong Kong came from Japan, per JLL data.

April 29, 2019

Japanese culture had always had a strong following among Hongkongers – ever since the 1980s when many Japanese pop songs were localised into Cantopop – but commercial ties between the two nations are closer then ever.

Japan was Hong Kong’s fourth-largest trading partner after mainland China, the United States and Taiwan, with trade amounting to HKD382 billion (USD49 billion), according to statistics from the Hong Kong government’s Trade and Industry Department.

Simultaneously, Japanese corporates, particularly those in the retail sector, account for the largest groups of foreign companies in Hong Kong. In 2018, most new retailers (22%) entering Hong Kong came from Japan, per JLL data. 

“Hong Kong is a natural choice for Japanese retailers, given the popularity of Japanese culture in the city. Japanese retailers will focus their attention on finding shop space in the traditional shopping districts of Causeway Bay, Central, Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui,” says Jeannette Chan, Regional Director of Retail Leasing at JLL.

The goods and services that they sell range from food and beverage, fashion apparel and accessories, as well as cosmetics.

“More same-day visitors or day-trippers arriving from mainland China to Hong Kong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. These day-trippers focus on purchasing daily consumer goods, which are exactly what the Japanese retailers in Hong Kong are offering on their shelves,” Chan added. 

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