- Global economic uncertainty negatively impacted local consumption sentiment in Q1 2019. Total retail sales weakened by 1.6% y-o-y in January and February combined, marking the first decline in two years.
- New cross-border infrastructure completed late last year has facilitated easier same-day travel for Mainland tourists, the number of which rose by 20.9% y-o-y in January and February combined, eclipsing the increase of 11.5% y-o-y in overnight visitors.
- Strong medicine and cosmetics sales supported steady leasing activity by personal care retailers in core areas during the quarter.
- The lack of supportive drivers will ensure retailers retain a cautious approach towards expansion. New store openings or relocations are unlikely to involve aggressive rents.