Hong Kong Retailers Suffer From Slump in Chinese New Year Sales

  • Chow Tai Fook's same-store sales sank 28% from year earlier
  • Jewelry retailer warns of worse sales in current quarter

Pedestrians pass a mural in the Lan Kwai Fong area in Hong Kong.

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

Hong Kong retailers Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. and Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd. reported slumping sales over Chinese New Year as the number of mainland tourist visitors tumbled.

Same-store sales over Jan. 25-Feb. 14 was 28 percent lower than the new-year period in 2015, Chow Tai Fook said in a Hong Kong exchange statement on Wednesday, as it warned of a worse performance in the current quarter compared with the previous one. Sa Sa reported a 19 percent decline in sales as the number of transactions by Chinese tourists sank 18 percent, according to a separate statement.

China’s economic slowdown and campaigns against graft and extravagance have hurt luxury retailers in Hong Kong and Macau, as Chinese tourists avoided those cities. The number of mainland visitors to Hong Kong slumped about 16 percent from a year earlier in November and December, capping seven months of declines, according to latest figures from the city’s tourism board.

Chow Tai Fook’s management “anticipates the retail business environment will continue to be challenging for the fourth quarter and the sales performance will be worse than that of the third quarter,” the company said in its statement. The jewelry retailer’s financial year ends in March.

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