The months of political unrest in Hong Kong is leading up to losses in the retail sector according to a survey by the Hong Kong Retail Management Association.
The survey covered 176 businesses with 4,310 stores which employed 33 percent of Hong Kong’s retail sector.
Results reported that 5,600 job redundancies and 7,000 company closures are projected in the coming six months as Hong Kong takes the blow from more than half a year of political and social unrest.
Thirty percent of the 176 companies also said that they plan to lay off 10 percent of their staff in the coming months. These companies reportedly employed 21 percent or 5,600 people of the retail industry’s work force.
The Hong Kong Retail Management Association said that, “When these families have lower or no income, their spending power will be hurt and their mortgage repayments will be affected, too.”
Eleven percent of polled companies said they would fold their businesses within six months. An estimate of 97 percent of the companies said they were losing money.
A few retailers reportedly obtained lower rent from landlords.
While the extradition bill has been withdrawn, protests against the government still continue and some of which lead to riots in the streets.
The South China Morning Post reported that the protests have reached over to commercial, tourist, and residential areas such as Causeway Bay and others.
Tourism has also been impacted, with tourist arrivals at an all time low dipping at 43.7 percent in October.
Despite the suggestion of lawmakers for the government to issue “consumer coupons” worth HK$10,000 to each Hong Kong resident, the survey found that the retail industry still prioritized cutting costs./TISG