Hong Kong Still the Place to be for Retailers

Experian FootFall Index shows shopper numbers increase in Hong Kong but decrease in the UK for two consecutive months

Hong Kong Still The Place To Be For Retailers

Experian FootFall Index shows shopper numbers increase in Hong Kong but decrease in the UK for two consecutive months

Experian Hong Kong FootFall Index:

Year-on-year change (October 2008 vs October 2007):                   + 6.6 per cent 

Year-on-year change (September 2008 vs September 2007):          + 8.0 per cent


Experian UK FootFall Index:

Year-on-year change (October 2008 vs October 2007):                   - 2.2 per cent  

Year-on-year change (September 2008 vs September 2007):          - 0.9 per cent

Hong Kong, November 27, 2008  — Consumer sentiment has been more positive in Hong Kong than the UK despite the volatile economic climate, as a year-on-year increase in shopper visits is recorded in Hong Kong since September this year, according to the latest figures from Experian® company FootFall.  October indicated a rise of 6.6 per cent in shopper numbers in Hong Kong whereas a decline of 2.2 per cent in the UK compared with the same month last year. The continual upward footfall trends in Hong Kong are set to continue in the run-up to Christmas.

The figures are taken from Experian’s Hong Kong FootFall Index (FI) and the UK FI, which measure the change in visitor numbers to shopping centres in Hong Kong and the UK respectively.

The optimistic retail outlook in Hong Kong is also reflected in the figures for the 12 weeks period from September 1 to November 23 with shopper numbers up by an average of 7.1 per cent per week over the corresponding period in 2007.

“Looking at the footfall analysis by location, a perceptible decline in consumer sentiment driven by the global credit crunch and escalating fears of a global economic recession already surfaced in the UK as we could tell from the sixth year-on-year monthly drop in shopper traffic in October. Hong Kong had relatively much better show in shopping centers with shopper numbers increasing 12 weeks in row since September and exceeding the September and October footfall levels last year,” said Yannick Kennel, Director, FootFall of Experian Asia Pacific.

“The impacts the global financial climate is now posing in the Asian retail market are more on consumers’ psychological thinking rather than their actual spending power, and thereby have not changed the traditional shopping habits in the region. In Hong Kong, retail sales in September remained optimistic with sales value increasing by 6.9 per cent and sales volume by 1.8 per cent over a year earlier. It is, therefore, not surprising to see the high turnover in shopping centers.”

According to Experian’s Hong Kong FI, the year 2008 has proven to be an exceptional year for retailers in Hong Kong with footfall figures for the year-to-date up 5.7 per cent over 2007, which is also an extremely prosperous year for the retail industry.

“The growth in shopper numbers in Hong Kong enjoyed by retailers since September is expected to continue to Christmas but in a moderate degree. We are already seeing a slowdown in the retail market growth as the double-digital increase in both sales value and volume in March gradually shifted to a single-digital rise in September. While shoppers are coming out in greater numbers this year, their festive spending will be less than last year in terms of both sales value and volume,” said Yannick.

With one month away from Christmas, Yannick advised local retailers to capitalise on the upbeat consumer sentiment and get prepared for the peak shopping season in December. Apart from more promotions and better packages, offerings with lower entry price points are key to appeal price-conscious consumers. Retailers are able to finish this year on a positive note with the right products.

Commenting on the local retail outlook for 2009, Yannick believed the knock-on effects of the global financial crisis will begin to be reflected in the local market after the Chinese New Year next year, which means a tougher year 2009 for retailers.

~ Ends ~

Table 1: Year-on-Year Comparison for the Weekly Shopper Numbers of Experian’s Hong Kong FootFall Index

Week number

Year-on-year change

(compared to same week in 2007)

Week 36 (w/c 01/09/2008)

+ 9.5 per cent

Week 37 (w/c 08/09/2008)

+ 7.7 per cent

Week 38 (w/c 15/09/2008)

+ 2.7 per cent

Week 39 (w/c 22/09/2008)

+ 6.6 per cent

Week 40 (w/c 29/09/2008)

+ 5.4 per cent

Week 41 (w/c 06/10/2008)

+ 2.4 per cent

Week 42 (w/c 13/10/2008)

+ 12.2 per cent

Week 43 (w/c 20/10/2008)

+ 9.4 per cent

Week 44 (w/c 27/10/2008)

+ 4.9 per cent

Week 45 (w/c 03/11/2008)

+ 7.7 per cent

Week 46 (w/c 10/11/2008)

+ 9.4 per cent

Week 47 (w/c 17/11/2008)

+7.2 per cent

Table 2: Experian Hong Kong FootFall Index from Year 2006 to Year 2008

Table 3: Experian UK FootFall Index from Year 2006 to Year 2008

Margaret Lam
Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific
+852 2839 5276

Notes to Editors

Please note, all information presented in this press release and references to the FootFall Index is owned by FootFall, an Experian company. By issuing this release, FootFall is allowing the use of this statistical information in either printed, spoken or written format. However, the source of this information must be attributed to FootFall, an Experian company, and the use of statistics to the FootFall Index.

About FootFall Index (FI)

The FootFall Index gives a true representation of the change in visitor numbers to shopping centres. The FI is created to allow the retail and retail property industries to access week-on-week, month-on-month and year-on-year changes in the shopper numbers on a percentage basis.

(International FI)

FI is available internationally in nine locations—France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

About Experian plc

Experian is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organisations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organisations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.

For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organisations from financial services, retail and catalogue, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.  Experian has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and has operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK.  The Group employs approximately 15,500 people in 38 countries worldwide, supporting clients in over 65 countries around the world. Continuing sales for the year ended 31 March 2008 were $4,059m (£2,020m / €2,858m).

For more information, visit the Group’s website on www.experianplc.com.

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