A.S. Watson Group hosts the first ever retail-themed Big Data Hackathon in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, 2018-Jan-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — A.S. Watson Group (ASW), the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, hosted the first ever retail-themed Big Data Hackathon in Hong Kong. The 36-hour non-stop Hackathon attracted over 110 professionals in technology and data science to solve real-life business problems in retail and recommend how to enhance customer experience.

Malina Ngai, ASW Group Chief Operating Officer said, “For retailers, big data is a game-changer. A.S. Watson Group is adopting a data-first strategy towards understanding customer shopping behaviour, mapping them to our selection of products, shop floor space planning, marketing strategy and selection of store locations. We organised this Hackathon to enable the local startup communities, data scientist and programmers to bring their creative ideas to life, and provide solutions to enable retailers to become smarter and faster.”

Let Entrepreneurial Spirits Soar
During the two-day Hackathon, the 110 participants were grouped into 16 teams. The challenge they were given was how to detect certain imminent health incidences, develop algorithm for prediction, assortment planning, pricing and personalisation of offers to customers. The winners were decided based on three judging criteria, including innovation of the technical solution, business impact and quality of the pitch.

Through the Hackathon, these talented young people were able to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit and awareness of an ever-changing market, whilst unleashing their creativity and imagination. What’s more is that, as ASW is the only retailer in Hong Kong to provide gigabytes of business data for use in a Hackathon, participants gained exposure to real-world business scenarios and had an opportunity to play a significant role in finding fresh approaches to tackling them.

Unearthing Tech Talents for Hong Kong
Retail is one of the key contributors to economic growth in Hong Kong. The challenge for retailers is to find innovative, efficient and effective ways to draw insights from the ever-increasing amount of structured and unstructured information available about shoppers’ behaviours. However, in Hong Kong, the academic subject of data science and big data technology is relatively new and awareness is still low. It is important that this profession be urgently promoted in order to advance Hong Kong retail to the next level.

Ngai commented, “Data Science is one of the fastest-growing jobs today around the world. I hope the ASW Hackathon provided a unique opportunity for Hong Kong talents not only to gain a better understanding in retail, but also to arouse interests in the application of big data in retail. We encourage more companies to organise similar activities to promote the advancement of big data and data science in Hong Kong.

“Data and analytics will never replace the experience and judgment in running a retail business, but it can definitely provide us the tools to perform better. Big data will play a major role in shaping the future of retail industry.

“Congratulations to all the winning teams! They have demonstrated excellent stamina, teamwork, and innovative problem-solving technology.”

Judges of the ASW Hackathon include:

1. Malina Ngai, Group Chief Operating Officer of A.S. Watson Group
2. Dominic Wong, Managing Director of PARKnSHOP Hong Kong
3. Tony Verb, Managing Partner of GreaterBay Ventures & Advisors
4. Donald Tang, Private Investor, Former CEO of D.E. Shaw & Co. (Asia Pacific)
5. Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong & Macau
6. Jack Lau, Chairman, Swanland. AI & Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Electronic and Computer Engineering, HKUST

Winners of the Hackathon:

Champion – Dr. Watson
Winning Team Members: Jeffrey Leung, Amy Lau, Eugene Choi, Justin Yek and Jaclyn Tsui
Project Description:
The champion of the A.S. Watson Hackathon Dr. Watson is a concept that uses machine learning algorithm and integrates weather, search keyword, product information and translate to better customer experience. The health & beauty module can be used on the Watsons mobile app to recommend health tips and contents utilising collaborative filtering logic to provide personalized information and product recommendations. The AI engine correlates product sales against season and temperature, and seasonal products are recommended to customers based on individual’s profile.

Winning team representative Jeffrey Leung who currently works with A.S. Watson eLab is excited to have won, “Big data enables retailers to predict and personalize customer needs accurately, this is especially useful when it comes to improving health and wellbeing of customers.”

1st Runner-up – Trendmate
Winning Team Members: Larry Wong, Will Chiu, Winnie Yueng, Chris Kam, Annie Chan and Mandy So

Project Description:

“Trendmate” is an innovative module enhancement to the current Watsons mobile app to enhance the in-store experience of customers by providing personalized and targeted product recommendation, as well as in-app contents related to both the interests of the customers and the latest hot topics in the market, right at the moment when they enter the store.

Trendmate potentially increases the average transaction frequency of loyal customers and also attracts more customers to sign up the membership programme.

Larry Wong, who is a student majoring in data science in local tertiary institution, said “Thanks A.S. Watson who hosted this first retail-themed hackathon in the city! It gives us a valuable chance to get to know more about the science behind retail business, it is far more complicated than we expected!”

2nd Runner-up – 10 Fold Cross Validator
Winning Team Members: Hamilton Le, Aaron Chan, Tom Li, Xiangdong Gu, Leo Xie and Duncan Mak

Project Description:
The team has come up with an app feature called “Scan as You Go” which enables customers to scan items in-store and get comprehensive product information as well as personalised offers and discounts immediately. This app feature can help Watsons understand customer behaviour and find out the optimal discount it can offer.

“We just knew each other yesterday but we’ve worked closely for more than 36 hours. ASW Hackathon gave us an opportunity for like-minded professionals to get together and work out an innovative yet feasible solution in such a short period of time. Teamwork is one of the keys to our success,” said Xiangdong Gu who is a data scientist in an insurance company.

Aaron Chan, a data analyst, was very excited about winning the award, “ASW is one of the very few companies in Hong Kong which is so data-focused and willing to support tech innovation in Hong Kong with so many resources. The Hackathon encouraged us to think out of the box and breathe new life into retail industry.”

Source: A.S. Watson Group (ASW)

Russian food retailer X5 opens its trade representative office in Hong Kong

Moscow, 2017-Nov-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — X5 Retail Group N.V. (“X5” or the “Company”), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE ticker: “FIVE”), announces the opening of its trade representative office in Hong Kong. A permanent presence in Hong Kong, the business getaway to South-Eastern Asia, will enable X5’s procurement team to improve purchasing terms and build up the share of direct imports in a number of product categories, primarily fruit, vegetables, seafood and non-food goods.

The Hong Kong office is X5’s first trade representative office abroad. Looking forward, X5 is also considering opportunities to establish similar trade offices in Central Asia and South America. Direct engagement with foreign suppliers, bypassing distributors, will enhance the quality of X5’s offering to customers, by enhancing its control over production standards and mitigating risks of supply shortages.

Ramping up direct imports of goods that are not produced in Russia and seasonal products has been among X5’s top priorities since 2016. In 2017, the number of countries where X5 has direct relationships with suppliers reached 27. Direct imports already account for almost 50% of supplied fruit and berries. In the 18 months after the launch of the direct import programme, the total number of direct suppliers reached 200.

In 2017–2018, X5 intends to establish direct imports from another six countries – Bosnia, Mexico, Namibia, Madagascar, New Zealand and Iran. The Company is open to cooperation with producers from other countries looking to tap into the Russian market and is ready to offer favourable procurement terms.​

For further details please contact:
Maxim Novikov
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +7 (495) 502-9783
e-mail: Maxim.Novikov@x5.ru

Andrey Vasin
Investor Relations Officer
Tel.:+7 (495) 662-88-88 ext. 21-456
e-mail: Andrey.Vasin@x5.ru

SOURCE: X5 Retail Group N.V.

Marks & Spencer in franchise talks with Al-Futtaim for M&S’s retail business in Hong Kong and Macau

London, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announced it has opened talks with its long-established franchise partner Al-Futtaim, for the potential purchase and franchising of M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau. A successful conclusion to these discussions would see Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for M&S in Hong Kong and Macau.

Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with M&S since 1998 when it opened the first M&S store in Dubai. Today, Al-Futtaim operates 43 Marks & Spencer stores across seven markets in the Middle East, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia. Most recently Al-Futtaim has extended the reach of M&S’s popular chilled food to three markets, and will shortly be opening the first standalone M&S Food store in the Middle East.

The talks follow M&S’s strategic review of its International business in November 2016, where M&S proposed to have a greater focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and operate with fewer wholly-owned markets. In Hong Kong, where M&S has traded since 1988, the business is profitable, has strong brand awareness, an established store estate of 27 stores and a loyal customer base.

M&S and Al-Futtaim have now entered into discussions on the potential purchase and franchise which includes commencing a period of due diligence, which is expected to take several months to complete. M&S employees will be kept informed of any developments throughout the process and M&S stores in Hong Kong and Macau will continue to trade as normal.

Paul Friston, Marks & Spencer’s International Director, said: “In November we set out our plans to create a more sustainable, profitable and customer-centric International business for M&S by focussing on our established partnerships. Al-Futtaim is a key partner to M&S in Asia and the Middle East and we are both committed to putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. With significant scale and retail expertise in the region, we are looking forward to discussing the potential extension of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau as we continue to grow and develop our business together.”

Stephen Rayfield, Senior Managing Director – Fashion & Lifestyle Division at Al-Futtaim said: “As long-term partners of Marks & Spencer, I’m delighted that we are now working together to explore the potential expansion of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau.

“M&S and Al-Futtaim share values, and an approach that focuses the customer at the heart of our businesses. Al-Futtaim looks forward to building on our solid foundations as we continue to enrich our customers’ lives and aspirations through the provision of quality products and services in Hong Kong and Macau – these are among Marks & Spencer’s most successful and important international markets.”

Notes to Editors

  • Marks & Spencer entered Hong Kong in 1988 and now has 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.
  • The potential purchase relates to M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau only. M&S’s Hong Kong sourcing based operation will remain wholly-owned.

About Marks & Spencer

  • Established in 1884, Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers.
  • Marks & Spencer is committed to making every moment special for its customers, through its high quality, own-brand food, clothing and home products that it offers in over 1,400 Marks & Spencer stores worldwide and online.
  • Internationally, Marks & Spencer trades in 50 markets, with over 400 stores and an online presence in 25 markets.
  • For more information please visit: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/

About Al-Futtaim

  • Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1998 and operates 27 M&S stores in the Middle East region and 16 in South East Asia.
  • Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim is one of the most progressive regional business houses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Al-Futtaim operates through more than 200 companies across four operational divisions: automotive, financial services, real estate and retail, and employs in excess of 42,000 people across 29 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
  • Al-Futtaim has also acquired a strategic interest in RSH Limited which operates in the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East.
  • Since 2008, Al-Futtaim has also owned Robinson Group, Singapore’s signature department store chain and specialty stores.
  • For more information please visit: www.alfuttaim.com 

For further information, please contact:

M&S Corporate Press Office
+44208 718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

McDonald’s completes partnership with CITIC and Carlyle to operate and manage McDonald’s businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong

OAK BROOK, IL and SHANGHAI, CHINA and HONG KONG, CHINA, 2017-Aug-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) (“McDonald’s”) today (Aug 8, 2017) announced the successful completion of a strategic partnership with CITIC Limited (SEHK: 00267) (“CITIC”), CITIC Capital Partners (“CITIC Capital”), and The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) (“Carlyle”). Ramping up a new era of growth and innovation, the partnership will operate and manage McDonald’s businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong, leveraging combined expertise and strength to drive an expansion strategy.

The transaction has obtained China’s regulatory approval and was completed on July 31, 2017, creating the largest McDonald’s franchisee outside of the United States. The sale to the new McDonald’s China franchisee includes McDonald’s existing businesses in Mainland China (approximately 2,500 restaurants) and Hong Kong (approximately 240 restaurants).

The new partnership today announced a series of development initiatives for mainland China. Termed “Vision 2022,” this strategy aims to drive double-digit sales growth in each of the next five years by increasing the number of restaurants from 2,500 to 4,500, including delivery hub coverage of over 75% of restaurants, by the end of 2022, bringing unparalleled convenience to Chinese customers. Opening pace of new McDonald’s restaurants in mainland China is expected to progressively ramp up from approximately 250 per year in 2017 to 500 per year in 2022 under the new partnership. In addition, Vision 2022 includes plans to increase significantly McDonald’s restaurant portfolio mix in tier 3-4 cities to approximately 45% of all McDonald’s restaurants in China. Vision 2022 also includes an increase of “Experience of the Future” restaurants to over 90%, which will enable the brand to offer digitalized and personalized dining experience to more customers.

With innovation hubs located in Hong Kong and Shanghai, McDonald’s will strengthen its brand leadership by enhancing the customer experience using menu innovation and advanced digital retail experience.

“China will soon become our largest market outside of the United States. We are excited to join forces with CITIC and Carlyle for better localized decision-making to meet changing customer demands in this dynamic market,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO. “Mainland China and Hong Kong are leading the global system in capturing new consumer trends such as delivery and digitalization and its driving strong performance and growth momentum. I have great confidence in our new partnership to unlock the full growth potential of China. McDonald’s Corporation will continue to play an active part in the China growth journey through our remaining interest and participation on the China Board.”

Zhang Yichen, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the new McDonald’s China, commented: “The partnership will strengthen McDonald’s China’s entrepreneurial spirit, driven by ownership at the local level. It will also help us ensure first-class customer service and food safety while accelerating our growth in mainland China and Hong Kong. We believe this is a winning formula that fuses McDonald’s global quality standards and branding with CITIC and Carlyle’s extensive resources and market expertise in real estate, finance, supply chains, consumer & retail, and technology.”

About McDonald’s
McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 37,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 90% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

Source: McDonald’s

CBRE’s new Global Prime Office Rents survey: Hong Kong is the world’s highest-priced office market

Los Angeles, 2017-Mar-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hong Kong is the world’s highest-priced office market, according to CBRE Group, Inc.’s new Global Prime Office Rents survey. European markets showed the most consistent growth in prime office rent, mostly due to a lack of supply. Belfast (up 25 percent year-over-year) led the way among the 121 cities surveyed.

Hong Kong had two of the top three most expensive office markets. Hong Kong’s (Central) held the top spot with prime office rent of US$264 per sq. ft. per year and Hong Kong (West Kowloon) (US$163 per sq. ft.) was third.  Rounding out the top five were two Chinese markets — Beijing (Finance Street) (US$179 per sq. ft.) at #2 and Beijing (Central Business District (CBD)) (US$156 per sq. ft.) at #4 — and London’s West End (US$146 per sq. ft.).  The most expensive market in North America was New York (Midtown Manhattan), number six on the global list, with a prime office rent of US$144 per sq. ft.

Global prime office rents—which reflect rent, excluding local taxes and service charges for the highest-quality, “prime” office properties—rose 2.3 percent compared with a year-earlier for the 12 months ended [December 31, 2016], with EMEA up 3.7 percent and Asia Pacific and the Americas each up 1.8 percent.

Four of the top five fastest-growing (prime office rents) markets were in Europe, with Stockholm, Berlin and Dublin joining Belfast on the list. Chicago (Downtown), with rent growth of 19.9 percent was the top market in the Americas and was number two on the global list.  Hong Kong (West Kowloon) with a rent rise of 9.3 percent was the top growth market in Asia.

“We expect the global economy to pick up momentum with growth boosted by fiscal expansion in the U.S.,” said Richard Barkham, global chief economist, CBRE. “Growth was underpinned by positive monetary conditions in Europe and increased government spending in China, both of which are expected to continue.”

CBRE tracks office rents for prime office space in 121 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 “most expensive” markets, 20 were in Asia Pacific, 19 were in EMEA and 11 were in the Americas.

Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
Europe has seen the strongest rent increase due to low supply and high demand. Stockholm, Berlin and Dublin had significant rent growth. However, rents in London’s West End fell by 6.3 percent as activity waned in the wake of the Brexit referendum. In Istanbul, rents fell by 11.1 percent, largely due to political instability in the area.

30 of the 56 EMEA markets recorded a year-over-year increases in prime office rents.

Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific led the list of most expensive prime office rents with seven of the top 10 most expensive markets—Hong Kong (Central), Beijing (Finance Street), Hong Kong (West Kowloon), Beijing (CBD), Tokyo (Marunouchi/Otemachi), Shanghai (Pudong) and New Delhi (Connaught Place – CBD).

Prime rent growth in Asia Pacific averaged 1.8 percent and was strongest in gateway cities. Hong Kong (West Kowloon) led the way at 9.3 percent due to strong demand from Chinese companies for premium locations and very tight supply conditions. Technology start-ups have played a key role in the fastest-growing markets in Asia Pacific, such as Bangalore, Sydney, Bangkok and Auckland.

The most expensive market in the global ranking from the Pacific Region was Sydney (US$78 per sq. ft.), in 20th place.

Americas
In the Americas, three markets—Chicago (Downtown), Seattle (Suburban) and Seattle (Downtown) showed double-digit growth in prime office rents year-over-year, due to a lack of new construction in Chicago and technology growth in Seattle.

Several markets dependent on the oil and gas industry experienced lowered prime office rents, including Calgary (Downtown and Suburban), Houston (Downtown) and Denver (Downtown).

Overall, office rents increased in 19 out of 34 U.S. markets covered in this survey.

Mexico City was the most expensive market in Latin America, with prime office rent of US$50 per sq. ft. and ranking as the 40th most expensive market globally. Prime office rents in São Paulo declined but Buenos Aires saw a modest increase.

Note: The full Top 50 Most Expensive Markets chart is located at the end of this press release.

Notes
1.    The Global Prime Office Rents report is a survey of office rents for prime office space in 121 cities worldwide.
2.    The survey provides data on office rents as of December 31, 2016.
3.    The Largest Annual Changes rankings are based upon occupancy costs in local currency and measure. The Most Expensive ranking is based upon occupancy costs in US$ per sq. ft. per annum.
4.    The figures given in this release refer to office rents. This represents rent on a net-basis (exclusive of service charges and taxes). The office rent figures have also been adjusted to reflect different measurement practices from market to market.
5.    Due to methodology changes, comparisons with figures in previously released reports are not valid.
6.    To obtain a full copy of the report or to arrange to speak with a CBRE expert, please contact Robert McGrath (robert.mcgrath@cbre.com).

global prime office rents

CBRE’s Global Prime Office Rents survey is performed semi-annually.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2016 revenue). The company has more than 75,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Robert McGrath
Senior Director, Global Media Relations
+1 212 9848267

Source:  CBRE Group, Inc.

Starbucks Launches New Digital Platform to Hong Kong and India

Starbucks Launches New Digital Platform to Hong Kong and India

 

Seattle, 2017-Mar-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks offers the largest and most robust mobile ecosystem of any retailer in the world, with more than 12 million Starbucks Rewards™ members, eight million mobile paying customers with one out of three now using Mobile Order & Pay, and more than $6 billion loaded onto prepaid Starbucks Cards in North America during the past year alone.

Starbucks has now extended its digital platform to the company’s China and Asia Pacific region with the recent launch of the Mobile Order and Pay program in Hong Kong and today (March 15) offering the mobile app system to customers in India.

A first in India

Tata Starbucks Private Limited introduced the Starbucks® India mobile app across the country giving customers a fast and convenient way to pay for in-store purchases and earn Stars through the loyalty program using their mobile device. The move makes Tata Starbucks the first major retailer in India to offer customers a mobile payment option linked to a loyalty program and further expands Starbucks robust global digital ecosystem.

Available for download on iPhone® and Android™ devices, the Starbucks® India app offers customers the convenience of paying for their favorite Starbucks® beverages with their mobile device by scanning a bar code linked to their registered Starbucks Card. Customers also can register multiple Starbucks Cards onto their account within the Starbucks mobile app.

In addition to mobile payment, the app allows customers to register for the My Starbucks Rewards® program, track their rewards, manage their accounts, and gain access to new product information and promotions, all within one convenient app.

“We are proud to introduce the Starbucks India mobile app to customers in India which will help us meet their needs while serving them seamlessly on our already highly successful My Starbucks Rewards™ program that benefits our loyal customers,” said Mr. Sumitro Ghosh, ceo, Tata Starbucks Private Limited. “This digital innovation underscores our continued commitment to drive innovation and provide an exceptional and convenient customer experience in our stores across the country.”

Meeting the needs of customers in Hong Kong

Starbucks Hong Kong launched Mobile Order & Pay, a new feature of the popular Starbucks Hong Kong mobile app, at participating stores on March 11. Starbucks is the first retailer in Hong Kong to launch mobile ordering feature using its mobile payment technology combined with a deep loyalty program.

The Mobile Order & Pay feature allows customers to choose a store from a map view, browse, select and customize beverage and food items, including the option to modify size, number of espresso shots and dairy selections, view the estimated pick up times, and pre-pay for the order – all within the Starbucks mobile app. Every order is freshly prepared and ready for pick-up in the beverage handoff area. Members can easily collect Stars and earn rewards with Starbucks Rewards™ loyalty program.

“Hong Kong is one of the busiest cities in the world and our customers have a very high expectation of convenience,” said Norbert Tan, executive director, Starbucks Hong Kong and Macau. “Starbucks is committed to exploring digital innovations which deliver meaningful value and convenience that enhance the Starbucks Experience.”

The Mobile Order & Pay feature will be accessible through an update to the Starbucks Hong Kong mobile app. For customers who do not yet have the Starbucks Hong Kong Mobile app, they can download it from the App Store or Google Play. For current customers with the Starbucks Hong Kong app, when the new version is available, the app will prompt an update.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Global
Phone: 206 318 7100
Email: press@starbucks.com

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

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CITIC Limited, CITIC Capital, The Carlyle Group and McDonald’s create company that will act as McDonald’s Franchisee in mainland China and Hong Kong

New Partnership Will Become the Largest McDonald’s Franchisee Outside the United States

OAK BROOK, IL, 2017-Jan-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — CITIC Limited (SEHK: 00267) (“CITIC”), CITIC Capital Holdings (“CITIC Capital”), The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) (“Carlyle”) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) (“McDonald’s”) today (Jan 8, 2017) announced the formation of a partnership and company that will act as the master franchisee responsible for McDonald’s businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong for a term of 20 years.

The total consideration payable by the new company to acquire McDonald’s mainland China and Hong Kong business is up to US$2.08 billion (approximately HK$16.14 billion). The consideration will be settled by cash and by new shares in the company issued to McDonald’s. After completion of the transaction, CITIC and CITIC Capital will have a controlling stake of 52%, while Carlyle and McDonald’s will have interests of 28% and 20%, respectively.

The partnership will use its combined expertise and resources to accelerate growth in McDonald’s business through new restaurant openings, particularly in tier 3 and 4 cities, and to improve sales performance in existing restaurants. The focus will be on key areas such as menu innovation, enhanced restaurant convenience, retail digital leadership and delivery. It intends to add over 1,500 restaurants in China and Hong Kong over the next five years.

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said, “China and Hong Kong represent an enormous growth opportunity for McDonald’s. This new partnership will combine one of the world’s most powerful brands and our unparalleled quality standards with partners who have an unmatched understanding of the local markets and bring enhanced capabilities and new partnerships, all with a proven record of success. By working together, we will unlock even faster growth and be closer to the customers and communities we serve as McDonald’s works to be the leading Quick Service Restaurant across the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.”

China’s consumer sector is growing rapidly, benefiting from continued urbanisation, an expanding middle class and increasing disposable household incomes. China’s working population is larger than those of the US and Europe combined, yet spending levels of China’s middle class are a small fraction of those in more developed countries. As disposable incomes rise, people will continue to spend more on leisure and dining out, particularly in tier 3 and 4 cities where there is great growth potential. As such, the market for Western Quick Service Restaurants is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

For CITIC, this investment offers a chance to deepen its exposure to the consumer sector, which is poised to be the main driver of China’s economy for decades to come. This transaction is another step in CITIC’s efforts to better balance its financial and non-financial businesses. CITIC also sees opportunities for synergies with its existing businesses.

Mr Chang Zhenming, Chairman of CITIC Limited, commented: “We believe CITIC’s unique platform and its extensive resources will enable us to help realise McDonald’s full potential in China. Together with our partners, we will devote ourselves to continue upholding McDonald’s extremely high standards of food quality and service. Importantly, this is also a strategic opportunity for CITIC to invest in the expanding Chinese consumer sector. McDonald’s extensive network and consumer base will provide us with invaluable insights, which we will leverage to the benefit of our existing businesses.”

For Carlyle, this investment offers the chance to partner with an iconic brand with sizeable market share and growth potential in China. Carlyle has years of strong investment and operating experience in the global consumer and retail sector, and is well positioned to drive further growth of the new company. Equity for this transaction will come from Carlyle Asia Partners IV. Carlyle has invested more than US$7 billion of equity in approximately 90 transactions in China, as of 30 September 2016.

Mr X.D. Yang, Managing Director and Co-Head of the Asia buyout team of The Carlyle Group, will serve as Vice Chairman of the board of the new company. He said, “Carlyle and CITIC have a strong history of partnering together. Today, we are pleased to cooperate with CITIC again, alongside McDonald’s, on one of our largest deals in China. This substantial investment demonstrates our confidence in the strength of the Chinese consumer.”

Mr Yichen Zhang, Chairman and CEO of CITIC Capital, will serve as Chairman of the board of the new company. He said, “McDonald’s core business proposition and potential in China is clear. We will work closely with the existing management team and partners, including Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group, to respond to local market expectations and continue to expand and improve the business to meet the needs of the Chinese consumer.”

As part of its turnaround plan announced in May of 2015, McDonald’s committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018, with the long-term goal of becoming 95% franchised. As a result of this transaction, McDonald’s is refranchising more than 1,750 company-owned stores in China and Hong Kong.

As of 31 December 2016, McDonald’s operates and franchises over 2,400 restaurants in mainland China and more than 240 restaurants in Hong Kong. It has built one of the strongest brand names and most robust systems in the region over the past three decades. Currently employing over 120,000 staff and serving over one billion customers annually in China, McDonald’s is the second largest Quick Service Restaurant chain in China and the largest in Hong Kong.

Upon completion of the transaction, the new company will have a board of directors with representatives from CITIC, CITIC Capital, Carlyle and McDonald’s. McDonald’s existing management team will continue to lead the business.

The deal is contingent upon relevant regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close in mid-2017.

This press release should be read in conjunction with the full text of the HKEX Announcement dated 9 January 2017, which is available on www.hkex.com.hk.

About CITIC Limited

CITIC Limited is China’s largest conglomerate operating domestically and overseas, with businesses in financial services, resources and energy, manufacturing, engineering contracting and real estate as well as others. CITIC’s rich history, diverse platform and strong corporate culture across all businesses ensure that CITIC Limited is unrivalled in capturing opportunities arising from China’s continued growth. CITIC Limited is listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK: 00267), where it is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index. CITIC Group, a Chinese state owned enterprise, owns 58% of CITIC Limited. For more information about CITIC Limited, please visit the company website at www.citic.com.

About CITIC Capital

Founded in 2002, CITIC Capital is an alternative investment management and advisory company. The firm manages over US$8 billion of capital from a diverse group of international and Chinese investors. Core businesses include Private Equity, Real Estate, Structured Investment and Finance, Asset Management and Venture. CITIC Capital currently employs over 200 staff members throughout its offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Tokyo and New York. The firm combines a deep knowledge of the Chinese business and financial markets with world-class investment expertise to create and maximize value for its investors.

About The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with US$169 billion of assets under management across 125 funds and 177 fund of funds vehicles as of 30 September 2016. Carlyle is one of the largest investors in China, having pursued approximately 90 investments over almost 20 years in China. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments — Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions — in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including aerospace, defence & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,625 people in 35 offices across six continents.

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

Media enquiries:

For CITIC Limited, CITIC Capital and Carlyle
Ms. Jasmine Yap
Tel: +852 3103 0108
Mobile: +852 9325 3363
jasmine.yap@citigate.com.hk

For McDonald’s Corporation
Ms. Terri Hickey
Mobile: +1 773-655-3035
Terri.Hickey@us.mcd.com

For McDonald’s China
Ms. Regina Hui
Mobile: +86 138 1109 0306
Regina.hui@cn.mcd.com

For McDonald’s Hong Kong
Ms. Wendy Lam
Mobile: +852 64608981
Wendy.lam@hk.mcd.com

Source: McDonald’s

Japanese casual fashion brand GU to open two stores in Hong Kong in spring 2017

Japanese casual fashion brand GU to open two stores in Hong Kong in spring 2017
Japanese casual fashion brand GU to open two stores in Hong Kong in spring 2017

 

HongKong, 2016-Oct-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — GU, the Japanese casual fashion brand, today (2016.10.17) announces plans to open two stores in Hong Kong in spring 2017, marking the brand’s first entry into the market. The stores will be located at the popular visitor destinations of Miramar Shopping Centre, in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula and Windsor House shopping mall in Causeway Bay in the heart of Hong Kong Island.

“I am delighted that just ten years after the launch of the GU brand in Japan, we are able to announce the spring 2017 opening of our first stores in Hong Kong,” said Osamu Yunoki, CEO, GU Co., Ltd. “The continuing growth and success of GU has been due to the marketing expertise and powerful retail platform created by our parent Fast Retailing Group. The launch of our business in Hong Kong is a huge step forward for GU’s global expansion. We are fully committed to bringing the latest fashion trends and exceptional customer service to Hong Kong’s residents and visitors,” Yunoki said.

Fast Retailing launched its mainstay brand UNIQLO in Hong Kong in 2005, which has demonstrated its popularity with customers. Currently, UNIQLO has 25 stores in Hong Kong and Macau. Following on the success of UNIQLO, GU sees its first two store openings as a foothold in the market, before expanding further over the longer term in its mission to provide customers all over Hong Kong with a truly exceptional shopping experience.

GU Stores in Hong Kong

(1)  Opening Date: Spring 2017 (planned)
Address: First Floor, Miramar Shopping Centre, No.132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Sales Area: Approx. 1,000 square meters/ 10,800 square feet

(2)  Opening Date: Spring 2017 (planned)
Address: Basement Floor, Windsor House, No.311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay
Sales Area: Approx. 870 square meters/ 9,400 square feet

Source: FAST RETAILING CO., LTD.

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A.S. Watson Group’s (ASW) philanthropy programme Project LOL recognized by the PR industry in Hong Kong

A.S. Watson Group’s (ASW) philanthropy programme Project LOL recognised by the PR industry in Hong Kong
A.S. Watson Group’s (ASW) philanthropy programme Project LOL recognised by the PR industry in Hong Kong

 

HONG KONG, 2016-Oct-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — A.S. Watson Group’s (ASW) philanthropy programme Project LOL has been recognized in an important occasion of the PR industry in Hong Kong. Organised by the Marketing Magazine, the PR Awards 2016 showcased the best practices and appraised the professional standards of public relations. ASW’s innovative usage of technology and quality community programmes stood out from over 300 entries, which are considered the best of the best in the PR and Marketing industry.

In celebration of the Group’s 175th anniversary, Project LOL has spread happiness and support to the community, which claimed the title of Best PR Campaign – Corporate Social Responsibility (Silver).

On the other hand, the digital initiative created to support Project LOL called “WeSmile” has won the Best Use of Digital (Silver). General public in Hong Kong can upload their happy selfies which will be rated by face-recognition artificial intelligence, encouraging Hong Kong people to live a happy life, and “WeSmile” has exceeded the 1 million smile index milestone in just 3 months.

Contact:

Tel: +852 2606 8833
Fax: +852 2690 2836
Email: grouppr@aswatson.com

Source: A.S. Watson Group

Prada expands and completely renovates its store in Canton Road, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, 2016-Jul-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Prada is expanding and completely renovating its store in Hong Kong situated on Canton Road, the city’s main shopping street. The two-storey space occupies a total area of more than 1,300 square metres, with a secondary internal access from Harbour City.

The external façade pays homage to the Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez* with an optical geometric pattern. The internal front, in black Marquina marble, is opened by the display windows and the entrance, giving great visibility to the spaces within.

The Canton Road entrance introduces a room defined by signature elements of the brand, such as the black and white checkerboard floor and the walls in light green encaustic and marble. Exquisite glass display cases with bottoms in green marble alternate with shelving systems. The beamed ceiling is a contemporary interpretation – in Prada green – of the typical ceilings of historic Italian buildings.

The new concept deftly combines the tradition and history of Prada with the continuous research and evolution that has always characterized the brand. New materials are paired with 1950’s design; technology works hand in hand with a new approach to retail that puts clients and their comfort at the centre.

Seating elements of different forms and colors create intimate salons, arranged with low tables to create original spatial geometries. Classic materials like velvet are juxtaposed with modern materials like plexiglas and marble.

The footwear area on the ground floor interprets these themes, emphasizing their femininity: the checkerboard marble floor becomes a soft carpet; the green of the walls is covered in velvet, in harmony with the green velvet chairs by Osvaldo Borsani, an exclusive edition for Prada.

The Mall entrance has an imposing yet sophisticated presence. Black marble – the main theme – extends through a room that appears to be a giant display window. A special display niche, an iconic Prada feature, is interpreted here with black marble and a video screen on the back panel, representing the contamination between history and modernity. Spaces in green encaustic and black marble dedicated to leather and women’s accessories alternate with salons in red and green velvet with geometrically patterned carpets.

The concept of intimacy is conveyed by the interior of the clothing area: the green velvet walls and beamed ceiling, also covered in velvet, provide a counterpoint to the a video wall that broadcasts innovative imagery. The green velvet Borsani chairs, the light plexiglas furnishings and the polished steel racks compete the decor.

Another room, dedicated to women’s leather goods, features green encaustic panels. The stairway – a volume completely sheathed in green marble accompanied along its entire height by a steel and glass display case – leads to the basement floor. Here is the area dedicate to the men’s collections and a special selection of clothing and footwear for women. A black and white marble floor, a beamed ceiling and green encaustic walls are the predominant elements.

The men’s area is distinguished by the use of tall furnishings in black iron and glass, blue ostrich skin chairs and aviator blue and grey carpeting with geometric patterns. A special room – dedicated to clothing – features a dark wood floor of narrow boards, walls covered in aviator blue velvet and chairs in grey velvet with wooden arms, creating a more intimate and masculine atmosphere.

*PRADA PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE ART OF CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ
Prada wishes to express its admiration for French-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, one of the leaders of the kinetic art movement, an innovative form of dynamic expression with a strong visual impact. Having always greatly appreciated Carlos Cruz-Diez and his contribution to this artistic genre, Prada wishes to publicly pay homage to his artwork, which served as a starting point for the design of the façade of the Prada store on Hong Kong’s Canton Road.

For further information:
Prada Press Office
Tel. +39.02.541921
e-mail: ufficio.stampa@prada.com

Source: Prada

CBRE: Hong Kong becomes the world’s highest-priced office market

LOS ANGELES , CA, 2016-Jun-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hong Kong has become the world’s highest-priced office market and Asia continued to top the list of the world’s most expensive office locations, accounting for four of the top five markets, according to CBRE Research’s  latest semi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey.

Hong Kong’s (Central) overall prime occupancy costs of US$290 per sq. ft. per year topped the “most expensive” list, displacing London’s West End (US$262 per sq. ft.). Beijing (Finance Street) (US$188 per sq. ft.), Beijing (Central Business District (CBD)) (US$182 per sq. ft.) and Hong Kong (West Kowloon) (US$179 per sq. ft.) rounded out the top five.

The study also found that the real estate recovery in Ireland continued to gain momentum, with Dublin, which experienced a 50 percent drop in rents during the downturn, showing the second-largest year-over-year prime occupancy cost increase among the 126 cities surveyed (up 16.6 percent year-over-year)—second only to Hong Kong West Kowloon (up 19.5 percent year-over-year). In North America, real estate fundamentals saw steady improvement with both Atlanta (Downtown) and Seattle (Downtown) among the 10 markets with the fastest growing prime occupancy costs.

Global prime office occupancy costs—which reflect rent, plus local taxes and service charges for the highest-quality, “prime” office properties—rose 2.4 percent year-over-year, with the Americas up 2.3 percent, EMEA up 2.1 percent and Asia Pacific up 2.7 percent.

“We expect the global economy to keep growing, and the global service sector, the primary occupier of prime office properties, will continue to expand through periods of volatility, “ said Richard Barkham, global chief economist, CBRE. “Since inflation is low, the growth in prime office occupancy costs is significant for both users and investors.”

CBRE tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 126 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 “most expensive” markets, 20 were in Asia Pacific, 20 were in EMEA and 10 were in the Americas.

Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
Europe is benefitting from a cyclical pick-up in consumer spending and business investment, as well as a very competitive currency and intense monetary stimulus, which helped to make Dublin, Stockholm and Barcelona the fastest-growing markets in the region. Most Central and Eastern European markets were down year-over-year, including Moscow, which is still in the midst of a recession. Costs accelerated quickly in South Africa, with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban all seeing increases of at least 6.9 percent from year-ago levels.

Only 11 out of 56 EMEA markets recorded a year-over-year decline in prime office occupancy costs.

In addition to London West End, the other market from the region in the global top 10 was London City (US$145 per sq. ft.).

Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific was home to seven of the top 10 most expensive markets—Hong Kong (Central), Beijing (Finance Street), Beijing (CBD), Hong Kong (West Kowloon), Tokyo (Marunouchi/Otemachi), New Delhi (Connaught Place – CBD), and Shanghai (Pudong).

The service sector will show particularly strong growth in Asia as pensions and insurance products gain market share. So occupancy cost growth will continue to trend upwards at a moderate pace.

Hong Kong (Central) is the only market in the world—other than London’s West End—with a prime occupancy cost exceeding US$200 per sq. ft. Hong Kong Central’s double-digit growth in occupancy costs was fuelled by two factors: an ultra-low vacancy rate due to lack of new development and continued demand for high-quality space in prime locations by mainland Chinese companies.

The most expensive market in the global ranking from the Pacific Region was Sydney (US$93 per sq. ft.), in 22nd place.

A few key Southeast Asian markets registered decreases, including Singapore and Jakarta.

Americas
In the Americas, four markets—Monterrey, Atlanta (Downtown), Seattle (Downtown) and Atlanta (Suburban)—recorded double-digit percentage gains year-over-year.

New York Midtown, number nine on the global list, remained the most expensive market in the Americas, with a prime office occupancy cost of US$137 per sq. ft.

Several energy-centric markets experienced material drops in occupancy costs, including Calgary (Downtown and Suburban), Houston (Suburban) and Denver (Suburban).

In the U.S., economic growth is expected to pick up in the next several quarters following a turbulent opening quarter. Overall, occupier activity sustained last year’s momentum, leading to an increase in occupancy costs in 17 out of 22 U.S. markets covered in this survey.

Mexico City remained the most expensive market in Latin America, posting an office occupancy cost of US$65 per sq. ft. and ranking as the 39th most expensive market globally. Both Brazilian markets, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, saw declines.

Microsoft Word - Press release - POOC June 2016_FINAL.docx
Note: The full Top 50 Most Expensive Markets chart is located at the end of this press release.

Notes

  1. The Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs report is a survey of office occupancy costs for prime office space in 126 cities worldwide.
  2. The latest survey provides data on office rents and occupancy costs as of March 31, 2016.
  3. The Largest Annual Changes rankings are based upon occupancy costs in local currency and measure. The Most Expensive ranking is based upon occupancy costs in US$ per sq. ft. per annum.
  4. The figures given in this release refer to occupancy cost. This represents rent, plus local taxes and service charges. The occupation cost figures have also been adjusted to reflect different measurement practices from market to market.
  5. Due to methodology changes, comparisons with figures in previously released reports are not valid.
  6. To obtain a full copy of the report or to arrange to speak with a CBRE expert, please contact Robert McGrath (robert.mcgrath@cbre.com).

Microsoft Word - Press release - POOC June 2016_FINAL.docx

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2015 revenue). The Company has more than 70,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 400 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Robert McGrath
Senior Director, Global Media Relations
+1 212 9848267
email

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Hong Kong: A.S. Watson Group Celebrates its 175th Anniversary

Mrs. Carrie Lam, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration, Hong Kong SAR Government congratulated the A.S. Watson Group at its 175th Anniversary cocktail on being one of the longest-standing companies in Hong Kong, and on its world-leading position in retail.

Mrs. Carrie Lam, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration, Hong Kong SAR Government congratulated the A.S. Watson Group at its 175th Anniversary cocktail on being one of the longest-standing companies in Hong Kong, and on its world-leading position in retail.

 

Hong Kong, 2015-12-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — 175 years ago, a small dispensary opened in Hong Kong as one of the very first pharmacies in the city. Today, this Hong Kong-based dispensary, the forerunner of A.S. Watson Group (the “Group”), has grown into the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, with over 12,000 stores operating in 24 markets in Asia and Europe. Established in 1841, the Group will celebrate its momentous 175th anniversary in 2016. The celebrations kicked off with a cocktail event today officiated by Mrs Carrie Lam, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration, Hong Kong SAR Government and Mr Wu Siu-hong, MH, Champion of the 51st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.

Mr Dominic Lai, Group Managing Director of A.S. Watson, remarked on the journey of one of the longest standing companies in the city. “We were the 15th company registered officially in Hong Kong. Over the years, the Group has grown from a small local dispensary to the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer. We are proud to have taken a Hong Kong-based company to a leading position on the world retail landscape.”

“We were growing along Hong Kong as it transformed itself from a fishing village to a truly global city and a hub of international trade. A.S. Watson has been part of Hong Kong’s history, and will definitely be part of Hong Kong’s future.”

According to the Deloitte Annual Global Power of Retailing Report, the Group ranked 48th last year amongst all retail companies in the world. In Hong Kong, the Group operates over 620 stores and is one of the largest employers with over 12,000 employees across its retail and manufacturing businesses.

As well as contributing to the city’s economic development, the Group is also one of the most active companies in social responsibility in Hong Kong. In the last two years alone, the Group has invested more than $24 million in the areas of youth education, health and caring community activities. Our commitment to the community has gained widespread recognition; the Group won the Asia’s Best Employer Brand Award, has been named Distinguished Family-friendly Employer, and won the Social Capital Builder Award and the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2015 – Social Empowerment.

In celebration of the 175th anniversary milestone and to support the government’s “Appreciate Hong Kong” campaign, the Group will launch Project LOL, a philanthropy programme focusing on supporting the society in three areas – health, education and caring community. Project LOL is about bringing “Lots of Laugh, Lots of Love” to the people of Hong Kong. It is also about encouraging people to show appreciation to each other and to be positive and energetic in helping make Hong Kong, our home city, a better place. The programme will be kicked off with a large-scale care for elderly activity in April 2016 when the Group will mobilise the commercial sector to join forces in visiting and bringing love to 1,750 singleton elderly.

Officiating at the launch of the Project LOL, Mr Wu Siu-hong, the first Hong Kong athlete to win the 51st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup said, “A.S. Watson Group has a long history of supporting sports development in Hong Kong. Its Watsons Water is also a strong supporter for tenpin bowling events. I’m so glad to see the launch of this Project LOL to bring lots of laugh and love to the city and to serve more needy in the community.”

In addition, to mark the occasion of the Group’s Anniversary, a special edition $175 gift coupon was unveiled. The coupon is specially designed with an illustration showing one of the first Watson’s The Chemist stores, in Alexandra House, Central. The coupon has value as a memento, and can also be used across all of the Group’s retail outlets in Hong Kong, including Watsons, PARKnSHOP, Fortress and Watson’s Wine. The quantity of the special edition gift coupon on sale will be limited to 30,000 and will be opened for sale in January 2016 in all of the Group’s retail outlets in Hong Kong. Another 3,000 coupons will be given away to our customers via social media and activities to thank their support over the years. The full collection of historical sketches is available on our corporate website: www.aswatson.com/175.

The Group’s 175th Anniversary celebration will begin in January 2016 and will last for the full year. In Hong Kong, specially designed collectable bottles of Watsons Water will hit the market in February; Watsons will also offer customers free trips to selected markets in which the Group operates as lucky draw prizes, and over 200 happy customers will enjoy free shopping every week in April. Special loyalty club member promotions will be available from all of our retail brands, including Watsons, Fortress, PARKnSHOP and Watsons Wine, throughout the year. Over 240 celebration activities have been planned across the globe in all the Group’s 24 operating markets, to recognise the support of our customers, employees, business partners and the communities in which we operate.

SOURCE: A.S. Watson Group

A.S. Watson Retail (HK) Ltd
hongKongIcons Contact

Watson House, 1-5 Wo Liu Hang Road, Fo Tan,Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
+852 2606 8833
+852 2690 2836
grouppr@aswatson.com

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Hong Kong: Futuristic new Fortress flagship store opens in Times Square

HONG KONG, 2015-9-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — A futuristic new Fortress flagship store has opened in Times Square, bringing Hong Kong consumers the latest technology from new and trusted brands in a high-tech hub where they can try, buy and browse. Our dedication to innovation is behind this pioneering new store format, which includes more than 2,300 fantastic products and provides Hong Kong’s digitally savvy shoppers with a destination for discovery.

“We know that today’s consumers don’t just want to buy the best and most cutting-edge products, they want to immerse themselves in an interactive shopping experience,” said Fortress General Manager Ms. Clarice Au. “Fortress has always put consumers’ evolving needs at the heart of our innovation, and the new Times Square store is a digital paradise, linking the shopping experience with shoppers’ connected lives.”

Open-plan design promotes interaction and discovery
Located on the 8th and 9th floors of Times Square, in Causeway Bay, the flagship store embraces the clean lines and minimalist design of some our customers’ favourite brands and products, and the open-plan format encourages shoppers to move easily throughout more than 10,000 square feet of retail space.

The store is divided into lifestyle zones featuring products such as audio-visual equipment, computers and household appliances, sourced from both new and long-established brands and featuring the latest in technological innovation. Shoppers can try out some of our most cutting-edge products, such as camera drones and 3-D printers, with our specialists on hand to guide them.

Personalised service
Customers are encouraged to enjoy the Dolby Surround Sound private cinema in our audio-visual zone, selecting from the latest digital movies and music and soaking up the experience in surroundings that have been finely tuned by Fortress experts to bring out the best of this market-leading equipment. Personal consultations are available in which Fortress specialists can advise and tailor audio-visual set-ups to meet the specific needs of individual customers.

World-renowned chefs will regularly take up guest cooking spots in the Fortress multi-purpose kitchen zone, which is configured to give consumers a real sense of how products will feel in the home and fit in with their lifestyles. A vast range of the latest ovens, steamers, refrigerators and other kitchen appliances are installed in a way that makes browsing and comparing a pleasure. And, if shoppers feel like a short break while exploring the new store, they are welcome to enjoy freshly brewed coffee and free Wi-Fi at our Coffee Corner on the 9th floor.

SOURCE: A.S. Watson Group

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The 10,000 square-foot store includes more than 100 world-renowned brands and 2,300 fantastic products. The store is divided into lifestyle zones, offering a spacious environment for interaction with customers.

The 10,000 square-foot store includes more than 100 world-renowned brands and 2,300 fantastic products. The store is divided into lifestyle zones, offering a spacious environment for interaction with customers.