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With the pandemic impacting the world on the daily, this could well be the best opportunity for brands to rethink their business strategies.

e-Commerce vs Retail

With loosened restrictions and having most businesses back in operation, China is experiencing strong growth in sales. Most of the luxury brands have already made up for the loss in sales due to COVID-19 outbreak with some even showing growth YOY. Hong Kong has shown slow recovery in comparison, with border limitations being extended for yet another month, forcing most brands to continue to hold off for the time being.

This is the time to see what brands have taken away from this COVID-19 experience, as it’s becoming apparent that strong e-Commerce is the key to moving forward. By this, I don’t mean just having an operating site but much rather the whole digital transformation from offline to online. I am talking about infrastructure, logistics, customer service, user experience, community building and even next day delivery (in some cases, 5 HOURS). This is not the time to just think about e-Commerce, it’s the time to ACT on it.

Centralise or Decentralise

It is always an art to balance between tailoring your products to market needs and controlling the stock efficiency, which is a topic every brand considers when they move in a new direction. Some brands have moved the merchandising and planning functions out of Hong Kong, to Singapore (covering SEA) and Shanghai (covering Greater China). Some others are still pushing for a similar move and we can expect to see more changes in the next 6 months – 12 months.

Some brands in Hong Kong are predicting a recovery by 2022, but who wouldn’t be confident in Hong Kong’s recovery? Given its high mobility and track record in the face of similar crises, one would expect a quick recovery on the way.

If you’re curious to find out more about how the market is performing or if you need any support with your hiring, don’t hesitate to contact me at wyip@argyllscott.com.hk.

Posted over 3 years ago
About the author:
Wing Yip

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