Luxury swiss watch sales slow down in Hong Kong

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Anti-government protests in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic will have heavily affected Hong Kong’s tourism industry, – and by domino effect – the sale of Swiss watches, now faces an uncertain future.

 

 

Waiting for mainland tourists

 

Fewer and fewer mainland Chinese are travelling to Hong Kong for tourism or business. Yet they are the biggest spenders in the city’s luxury shops. In particular, they are the most important and biggest spenders in watch shops, which are suffering from their absence. Experts in the luxury watch market are also divided on whether these customers will ever return to Hong Kong‘s streets in large numbers.

 

And the decline in sales of Swiss luxury watches is more than marked. In the first quarter of 2021, retail sales of watches and jewellery amounted to $2.5 billion in Hong Kong, compared to $5.7 billion in the same period of 2018.

 

Without the many tourists from mainland China, Hong Kong watch retailers have had to turn to local buyers. The latter now prefer to spend at home, making China the leading export market for Swiss luxury watches. With the new quarantine in Hong Kong on September 15, this trend is unlikely to be reversed.

 

The recovery of the tourist flow from mainland China is therefore essential to the vitality of the Swiss luxury watch sector in the city. Although Hong Kong‘s affluent population is among the world’s most insatiable watch buyers, they will not allow the market to recover, and industry experts fear that it will never regain its status as the top destination for Swiss watch exports and a hub for watch re-exports to mainland China.

 

Hope for recovery

 

There is still room for improvement. According to the 2022 edition of Euromonitor Travel’s data, assuming the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Hong Kong remains stable and the global vaccination rate continues to rise, the level of tourists visiting Hong Kong is expected to return to its 2019 level by 2024. As for Chinese visitors, they could be back a year early, with 16.2 million arrivals expected by 2023.

 

Sales of Swiss luxury watches could therefore return to their 2019 levels in the next few years. However, caution is advised, as such a scenario relies on a large number of highly volatile and difficult-to-predict variables. Major political, social and economic crises could disrupt the recovery of the Swiss luxury watch market in Hong Kong.

 

Read also > THE GLOBAL LUXURY WATCH MARKET IS EXPECTED TO REACH $51.31 BILLION BY 2027

 

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Anti-government protests in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic will have heavily affected Hong Kong’s tourism industry, – and by domino effect – the sale of Swiss watches, now faces an uncertain future.

Waiting for mainland tourists

 

Fewer and fewer mainland Chinese are travelling to Hong Kong for tourism or business. Yet they are the biggest spenders in the city’s luxury shops. In particular, they are the most important and biggest spenders in watch shops, which are suffering from their absence. Experts in the luxury watch market are also divided on whether these customers will ever return to Hong Kong‘s streets in large numbers.

 

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Anti-government protests in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic will have heavily affected Hong Kong’s tourism industry, – and by domino effect – the sale of Swiss watches, now faces an uncertain future.

 

Waiting for mainland tourists

 

Fewer and fewer mainland Chinese are travelling to Hong Kong for tourism or business. Yet they are the biggest spenders in the city’s luxury shops. In particular, they are the most important and biggest spenders in watch shops, which are suffering from their absence. Experts in the luxury watch market are also divided on whether these customers will ever return to Hong Kong‘s streets in large numbers.

 

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Thanks to its extensive knowledge of these sectors, the Luxus + editorial team deciphers for its readers the main economic and technological stakes in fashion, watchmaking, jewelry, gastronomy, perfumes and cosmetics, hotels, and prestigious real estate.

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