We should do these Tuesday-Friday working arrangements more often. Anyway, after an agreeably not-too-long four days of semi-hard-ish slog, what a delight to read the latest wonderful and cheery news from Hong Kong’s luxury retail sector. Dickson Concepts saw its net profit plummet from HK$155 million in 2013 to a scintillating minus HK$110 million for 2014. Whoops.
Boss Dickson Poon predictably blames Occupy Central and moans about the one-visit-per-week cap on Shenzhen residents (which has barely taken effect even now, two months after the end of his company’s reporting period). He doesn’t explain how the Glorious Umbrella Uprising damaged his stores’ business in Singapore. Nor does he mention Chairman Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption purge on the Mainland, which has especially affected regional sales of pricy watches, pens and other Harvey Nichols-type baubles traditionally used as palm-greasing gift-bribes by Chinese cadres.
He does, however, go into Major Mope Mode over Hongkongers’ failure to share his adoration of Mainland shoppers. Why would shoppers come here, he asks, if they’re going to get insulted? (More to the point: why are so many of them still coming here despite it?)
Of course, he does not ask why many Hong Kong people find the Mainland shopper phenomenon so irksome that some are driven to protest and even insult. It could be he has no idea that residents are suffering as their streets and transport facilities are swamped and their neighbourhood stores driven out or forced to raise prices.
Maybe he thinks we all own distribution rights to designer labels. That would explain his puzzlement. Yes, that must be it.
The anti-corruption purge (or Umbrella Revolution, for that matter) only took serious effect in the second half of the last financial year. The 2015-16 period will quite possibly be bad for the luxury tat market for the full 12 months, especially if, say, Mainlanders get wiped out on the stock market. If so, glitzy retail chains have a lot more red ink to come. What a heartwarming note on which to declare the weekend open!
And it gets even better. If it’s too hot or wet to go out, I can recommend The Execution of Gary Glitter, which I think is brilliantly funny (though I have a nagging feeling we’re supposed to take it seriously).