While government numbers indicated that Hong Kong’s retail sales by value shrank by 24.3% year-on-year in October, this might not be the worse for the sector.
A survey by the Hong Kong Retail Management Association shows more than 5,600 retail jobs could be lost and thousands of stores might be closed over the next six months.
The association interviewed 176 retailers, covering 4,310 stores and 89,700 employees, having released the survey results on Monday.
About 30% of respondents said they will cut their headcount and 43% mentioned they can’t continue to operate beyond six months.
“This will be the worst ever in [Hong Kong’s] history,” said Annie Tse, association’s chairperson.
“If cash flow doesn’t improve and landlords don’t help, there will be a wave of layoffs and business shutdowns.”
Annie Tse, association’s chairwoman said in a press briefing Monday. “This will be the worst ever in history.”
While December is the typical peak season for retailers, Tse said retail sales for the current month is likely to look like the record low levels in October at best and drop further at worst.
She added that the sector is not positive about the situation in January either.