While Hong Kong’s retail sales continue to dip, Marks & Spencer, the British department store retailer, has kept an aggressive expansion pace by opening its 10th standalone food store at Queensway Plaza, Admiralty, to grow its food business portfolio in Hong Kong.
The past 12 months has seen M&S aggressively open various food retail stores in the city, including the opening of its largest food store in Asia at Langham Place, Mong Kok last November and its most recent store at Queensway Plaza in January.
The new store serves food and drinks from sandwiches and salads to prepared meals and wine, as well as Hong Kong customers’ favourites such as houmous and redcurrant puffs.
M&S said the new food store is in line with its growth strategy for Greater China, one of its priority international markets.
Since the introduction of fresh chilled food in the past few years, the brand continued to see its food and wines grow in popularity. M&S told Marketing it will continue to expand its presence and reach even more local customers with two further new food stores in 2016/17.
The brand also said it would promote its food through online and offline channels with tailor-made offers to Hong Kong customers.
When asked if the brand was shifting its focus on food from fashion, M&S said clothing was also central to its growth strategy in Hong Kong.
For example, the brand modernised its store at Times Square last year with a new boutique shopping experience, and this summer it will start the modernisation of its flagship store at Central Tower, along with opening a new full line store at Whampoa Gardens.
While online retailing has gained popularity among consumers, M&S said Hong Kong was already one of its most popular markets for customers using the international delivery service via its UK website.
Back in the UK, its business turnover is split between food (55%) and general merchandise (45%). While the retailer doesn’t break the figure down for the international business, it has seen food sales per square foot in line with the best performing food stores in the UK.