Fashion and Clothing Sector

An Expert's View about Textiles, Apparel and Accessories in Hong Kong SAR

Posted on: 24 Aug 2012

Due to its geographical location at the heart of Asia Pacific, Hong Kong also serves as a re-export hub for China and Asian markets.

Fashion and Clothing Sector in Hong Kong Hong Kong is a wealthy, cosmopolitan city, with many popular malls and shopping districts. Shopping is a major pastime in Hong Kong and one of the main draws for visitors from Mainland China. Macao has a thriving hospitality industry with several 5 star resort hotels with malls attached. Market overview Hong Kong has one of the highest GDPs in Asia and Hong Kong consumers are amongst the most discerning and wealthy in the world. Hong Kong & Macao have no sales tax which keeps prices competitive compared to elsewhere in the region. Although, prices in Hong Kong tend to be slightly higher than in Europe to compensate for high rents due to retail space being at a premium. Retail sales grew 25% in 2011, with jewellery, watches, clothing, footwear and leather goods sales accounting for 39% of all retail sales. Many international brands have flagship stores in Hong Kong. People of Hong Kong tend to be very style conscious and are keen buyers of luxury brands. UK brands tend to be very well received here. Although big names dominate the market, there is a growing number of smaller select shops and boutiques, reflecting a gradual maturing of the market and rise in demand for more unique offerings. Smaller labels with a celebrity following – such as A list Hollywood stars – can find quick success in Hong Kong. Tourists from Mainland China are also a key audience for retailers in Hong Kong and Macao– especially for well-known luxury goods brands such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. They are attracted by the tax free shopping, the authenticity and wider selection of merchandise. There is also a large, diverse expatriate population in the territory. Heritage British brands such as Aquascutum, Daks and Dunhill do very well here as do more contemporary labels such as Vivienne Westwood. Burberry is extremely popular with 17 stores in Hong Kong, compared to 11 in London where the brand is headquartered. There is a largely conservative approach to global fashion trends in terms of colour, print and cut, and being a service based economy, there are a great many professionals and office workers to dress. Marks and Spencer is one of the largest UK clothes retailers in Hong Kong and brands such as Thomas Pink, Ted Baker and French Connection all have standalone stores here. Jack Wills opened its first two stores in Hong Kong in late 2011 and the brand has quickly established popularity. Due to its geographical location at the heart of Asia Pacific, Hong Kong also serves as a re- export hub for China and Asian markets. This brings potential to reach far beyond Hong Kong’s 7 million consumers. Macao is smaller than Hong Kong and has been developing rapidly for a number of years. The liberalisation of the gaming industry has been a catalyst for rapid growth in the luxury clothing and accessories industry. Key opportunities ξ Fast mass market fashion labels ξ Mid range smart/casual labels ξ High quality and unique luxury products with unusual USPs ξ Office wear and tailoring ξ Wedding related attire – especially women’s ξ Heritage brands ξ High end luxury design Latest export opportunities – Clothing, Footwear & Fashion Latest export opportunities Hong Kong Getting into the market Hong Kong has been labelled one of the freest economies in the world. It is a duty free port, and import and export licence requirements are minimal. The law in Hong Kong is similar in some aspects to UK law – IP protection is well developed and is a lot less risky than some other Asian markets. English is freely spoken and the cosmopolitan nature of this SAR means that it is easier to communicate and do business here than various other markets. Brands looking to open standalone stores can do this without a local partner if this is the preferred option. Most brands do work with a local brand operator, typically on a joint venture or franchise basis. There are various options regarding route to market for brands wishing to be stocked in existing stores. Some brand operators also act as distributors, though they tend to favour bigger, well known labels. Some stores, in particular department and multi label stores, as well as small boutiques, do buy direct from the UK. It is very important to fully understand the positioning of your brand in what is a very competitive market. If seen in the right place or sold through the right partner Hong Kong can work out to be a very lucrative and accessible market. There are also opportunities for brands to use Hong Kong as a springboard into the China market - one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. More about doing business in Hong Kong Contacts Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country - or contact your local international trade team. ξ Caroline Sprod, Assistant Trade Commissioner, British Consulate-General Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2901 3360 or email: ξ Kate Strutt, Senior Trade Adviser, British Consulate-General Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2901 3464 or email: Contact your local international trade team UKTI Events UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows. Latest events – Clothing, Footwear and Fashion Major Events Hong Kong Fashion Week Date: January 2013 Website address: General_Information/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-Fashion-Week-For-Fall-Winter/Fair-Details.html HKTDC World Boutique Hong Kong Date: January 2013 Website address: Hong-Kong.html Useful links More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters
Posted: 24 August 2012

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