Hong Kong Shopper Numbers Slump to the Lowest Level in Six Months During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Experian Hong Kong FootFall Index suggests room for shopper visits to improve in September

Hong Kong Shopper Numbers Slump to the Lowest Level in Six Months During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Experian Hong Kong FootFall Index suggests room for shopper visits to improve in September

Key Findings of Experian Hong Kong FootFall Index:

The first week of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
(Monday 4 August 2008 – Sunday 10 August 2008)1

Week-on-week change:
Year-on-year change:

- 11.9 per cent
- 4.7 per cent


The second week of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
(Monday 11 August 2008 – Sunday 17 August 2008)

Week-on-week change:
Year-on-year change:

+  3.8 per cent
+  0.5 per cent


The third week of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
(Monday 18 August 2008 – Sunday 24 August 2008) 2

Week-on-week change:
Year-on-year change:

- 8.1 per cent
- 4.1 per cent

Hong Kong, August 28, 2008  — The Hong Kong retail market was sluggish in August with a slump in shopper numbers, according to the latest figures from Experian® company FootFall. Shopper numbers in Hong Kong in the first week of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games dropped 11.9 per cent week-on-week, the steepest fall in six months. Although the second week of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games saw shopper numbers rebound by 3.8 per cent over the previous week, the third week of the Olympics recorded a further week-on-week decline of 8.1 per cent in shopper numbers, resulting in the lowest level of footfall since February this year.

The figures are taken from Experian’s Hong Kong FootFall Index (FI), which measures the change in visitor numbers to shopping centres in Hong Kong. Seventy per cent of the Hong Kong population aged 15 and 64 have visited the shopping centres that form the index.

“Retailers in Hong Kong shopping centres experienced an exceptionally quiet month in August,” said Yannick Kennel, Director of FootFall at Experian Asia Pacific. “The adverse weather conditions were one of the major reasons contributing to the low turnover in the first and the third weeks of the Olympics. The territory was struck by two strong storms in August with a typhoon signal No. 8 and No. 9 being hoisted on August 6 and August 22 respectively. During weather extremes, transport difficulties and government warnings dissuaded consumers from making any shopping trips.”

“Experian’s Hong Kong FootFall Index suggests that the relatively poor show in the shopping centres in August is also due to the Olympics rather than declines in consumer spending. Despite the recent fragile financial market, rising consumer prices and uncertain global economy, consumer sentiment in 2008 has so far has been positive with cumulative shopper numbers up 5.2 per cent year-to-date. Shopper visits during the summer holidays in June and July rose consistently until a drastic drop when the Olympics kicked off in August.”

“The Olympics kept people at home watching the Games, which attracted hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide. Besides, some people flocked to Shatin to watch the Olympic Equestrian Events and some even travelled to Beijing for the Games. So, although the weather in the second week of the Olympics was good, shopper numbers in that week improved slightly and the increase did not boost the footfall figures back to the peak level in June and July.”

Yannick comments: “Shopper behaviour in September will be firmly under the microscope. There are chances that retailers will experience a boost in footfall in September as the Olympics’ influence is over and shoppers might make up for missed trips in August. However, the impact of an unstable macro-economy cannot be underestimated. Retailers should continue to monitor trends of shopper visits and react to external and internal factors by implementing effective marketing and operational decisions.”

1: Typhoon signal No. 8 was hoisted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
2: Typhoon signal No. 9 was hoisted on Friday, August 22, 2008

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

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).

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