In September 2015, a CBRE Research Major Report entitled The Changing Retail Landscape – How to Survive the Slowdown in Hong Kong explained how the Hong Kong retail sector is undergoing a structural transformation that will result in a more balanced and sustainable market.

Total retail sales in Hong Kong have registered a y-o-y decline in almost every month since late-2014, with sales of big-ticket items such as watch and jewellery recording a double-digit fall for 22 out of the past 30 months. Luxury brands and tourist-oriented retail trades have scaled back their operations, but mid-market retailers and non-consumption goods-driven retail trades have continued to expand. Shop landlords have become increasingly flexible, with prime street shop rents falling by an average of 23% since the market peaked in Q3 2014.  

In contrast to other retail trades, the food and beverage (F&B) segment has weathered the slowdown well, and retailers in this segment retain a positive outlook towards expansion. This major report explains why the F&B sector has been so resilient; how the real estate sector has responded to growing demand from F&B retailers; and provides advice for retail landlords and F&B tenants on how to unlock opportunities in what will continue to be a very challenging market.