The severe impact of Hong Kong protests is beginning to affect global luxury retailers in the region as travelers with fat wallets and seasonal shoppers are avoiding the popular tourist destination.
Richemont -- the Swiss luxury-goods maker -- on Thursday claimed that they are the latest victim of the ongoing political unrest, which has knocked down sales.
The top export market for Swiss watches, weighed on sales due to store closures and lower tourist arrivals the owner of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels also echoed the same statement.
Hong Kong retailers are facing an increasing disruption as shops from the city center to suburbs have been forced into early closures due to a lack of customers.
Tens of thousands of protesters last Sunday fought with the police at a mall in Sha Tin on the city's outskirts.
A proposed extradition bill sparked the demonstrations as the bill would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.
Impact on travel
The historic demonstrations were brought on by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's bid to remove the extraditions to mainland China. The proposal prompted hundreds of thousands of protesters to take to the streets.
The HSBC estimated that 350,000 mainland Chinese tourists will not visit Hong Kong this year because of the unrest.
Flight bookings from Asia -- excluding the mainland and Taiwan -- to Hong Kong fell 5.4 percent from June 16 to July 13.
How bad is it?
The setback came at an inappropriate time for retailers as they were facing headwinds from the trade war, a depreciating Chinese currency that lowers mainland tourists' purchasing power and the threat of a global recession affecting consumer spending, said Jennifer So -- senior analyst at Lego Asset Management in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Retail Management Association said on Tuesday that most of its members reported a single-to-double-digit drop in average sales revenue between June and the first week of July, when multiple demonstrations converging on major office and retail districts took place.
Among those affected were Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd -- a seller of cosmetics, which reported a 15.3 percent drop in same-store sales in Hong Kong and Macau for the three months through June.
For the same period, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd posted an 11 percent decline.