Hong Kong (10/12). The ongoing civil unrest has impacted the retail industry since June 2019. More unemployment and business closures are expected to plague the industry in the near future. Members of Hong Kong Retail Management Association comprising 8,000 retail businesses make up 50% of the total retail industry in the city.
97% of the respondents in a survey conducted recently expressed that their businesses have been making losses, the worst since 1992. The situation has not improved as most landlords have been reluctant in reducing rentals. If the situation does not improve, at least 5,600 retail staff will be retrenched and 7,000 retail shops will close down eventually.
30% of the respondents expressed that they will retrench at least 50% of their staff. Most are worried that the retail sales in December will be disappointing. The ongoing civil unrest has dampened consumer sentiment and with regards to pro-Beijing camp’s proposal to distribute HK$10,000 free cash to the public to stimulate spending, spokesperson for the Association felt that the money should be given after the civil unrest is resolved.
The down turn as a result of the riots by the Black Bloc raises questions on how the newly voted powers are going to reverse the economic disaster. Infrastructures are destroyed, fire bombings, arson attacks on civilian citizens, murders of innocent bystanders and discovered terror cells do not promote Hong Kong new found vigour of the pro-democratic movement.
The burden are usually borne by the average citizen. The lack of firm governance and proactive police leadership compounded the looming economic disaster.