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The global fashion business journal

Oct 29, 20206:00pm

Strikes hit fashion: retail sales in Hong Kong, Chile and Paris plummet amidst political crisis

Hong Kong retail sales fell 24% in the last period, Paris dropped its retail sales 30% to 50% whereas Chile dropped them by 27%. The three regions are immersed in political crises that are directly affecting their results.

Jan 10, 2020 — 9:00am
Daniela García
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Strikes hit fashion: retail sales in Hong Kong, Chile and Paris plumped amidst political crisis

 

 

Global strikes hit fashion. 2020 kicked off and some of the main fashion regions in the world have started the year just as they finished it, convulsing. Paris, Hong Kong and Chile, are immersed in local political crises that directly affect their retail sales. Even the Christmas season couldn’t help fashion retailers to get their numbers up.  

 

Hong Kong retail sales fell 24% in the last period, its worst decline on record, according to the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. Historically, the region is known for being one of the key markets for luxury in the world, according to UBS, it represents approximately 5% of the of the sales with a higher-than-average profitability for luxury groups.  

 

But some of the main fashion groups are fearful. The ongoing prodemocratic protests in the special administrative region have led companies like Hugo Boss, Levi Strauss and Ralph Lauren to close some of their stores. LVHM announced this week the closure of one of its Louis Vuitton stores in Causeway Bay district, one of the most relevant streets for fashion in the world.

 

 

 

 

Paris is another region where sales have been affected by the strikes crippling French transport. Sales were down 30-50% or more in the holiday season, a time when most of the retailers expect to achieve their full year results, according to the French Federation of small retailers.

 

The union-led protests, which have been going on for five weeks against President Emmanuel Macron to overhaul the pensions system come after the crisis suffered in the city after yellow vest demonstrations against high living costs in the city.

 

“French consumer confidence fell more than expected in December, hitting a five-month low,” according to the organization. Paris is the headquarter of many of the fashion and luxury houses of the world, holdings like Kering and LVMH have also seen the impact of the crisis in their results, stating they have “pinched” during the protests.

 

 

 

 

Chile, one of the main regions in Latin America for fashion is in the middle of a crisis that directly affects retail sales in the country. Chile’s Cámara de Comercio, Chamber of Commerce, stated that sales dropped 27% year-on-year in the period.

 

A research done by the Chamber of Commerce and consultancy Deloitte explained that about 61% of the Chilean consumers spent less amount of money during the season than the same period last year due to an increasing concern for the future of the economy as well as reducing debts.

 

Protests have been ongoing since October 18 and have not only affected sales but also the security of the country, to the point where some protesters have used the situation to vandalize stores and shopping malls. This has led visits to shopping malls to drop by 28%, from 15.7 million visitors per year, to 11.3 million visitors.  

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