After Tiffany &Co confirmed it had shut its shop on Hong Kong’s Canton Road, Valentino has become the second top luxury label to close a flagship store in the same location, effective immediately. Canton Road, along with Russell Street in the neighbourhood of Causeway Bay, was until recently one of the world’s most important locations for luxury brands worldwide.
The retail strip is one of the main commercial arteries in Tsim Sha Tsui at the tip of the Kowloon peninsula, and has long attracted wealthy shoppers from China who, until recently, were lining up outside the boutiques of luxury giants such as Hermès, Chanel and Gucci. The Italian luxury brand announced the closure on Monday.
Retailers are now struggling even more amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has kept travellers away from Hong Kong and caused the government to implement measures such as banning gatherings of more than four people.
Last week the Hong Kong government reported a record drop in retail sales of 44 per cent year on year in February, to HK$22.7 billion (US$2.93 billion). The luxury sector was particularly affected, with sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts down 58.6 per cent in January and February compared to the same period last year.
The Post has subsequently learned that Louis Vuitton has been in talks with Wharf Reic to negotiate a rental reduction of up to 40 per cent for the Times Square store. Luxury giant LVMH had said its Louis Vuitton fashion store in Times Square would shut because the landlord, Wharf Real Estate Investment Company, would not lower the rent. The two sides are now in talks on a rental reduction.
Following the closure of its Canton Road store, Valentino will have six retail outlets in Hong Kong.
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