Tourism Troubles Remove Hong Kong from the Number One Luxury Shopping Location

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Home to some of the most unrelenting Covid strictures, Hong Kong is grappling with the downturn. Hong Kong no longer holds the world’s most expensive retail district title, as rents fell due to Covid curbs and visitor restrictions. Visitation numbers have plummeted due to the closed border with mainland China. Just three years ago, China received 56 million arrivals as the year’s total, compared to a sparse 250,000 people from the top of 2022. 

Manhattan’s Upper Fifth Avenue is now the priciest street globally for shopping, according to a survey by commercial property firm Cushman & Wakefield Plc. This survey tracks top retail districts across 92 cities and ranks them by price, considering excellent rental value. With a 14 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels, yearly rents for Upper Fifth Avenue shops averaged $2,000 per square foot. 

Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district holds a second place as rents in Kowloon fell 41 percent to $1,436 per square foot. Italy’s Via Montenapoleone follows Hong Kong in Milan, where rents rose 9 percent to $1,380. London’s New Bond Street slid to fourth place, with average rents down 11 percent. The Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris came in fifth after they fell an average of 18 percent, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

The report further states that The United States has been the most buoyant, with average rents coming in at 15 percent above pre-pandemic levels. On the contrary, Asia’s rent has dropped an average of 17 percent- the aftermath of a Covid-inflicted chain reaction. While hotel quarantines have subsided, visitors are still required to undergo an extensive set of tests and restrictions. Though Hong Kong has lost its number one spot, the retail sector is gradually recovering from the pandemic. More than 70 new stores have been opened at Harbour City, and roughly 100 new stores are set to open in the mall by the end of this year, including retail and food. Some of these brands include but are not limited to, A. Lange & Söhne, LANVIN, Parisine, MALIN+GOETZ, and Patek Philippe. This is mainly due to increased retail sales that were higher than expected, given covid restrictions.

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