Hong Kong property developers have revealed various promotional schemes ahead of the distribution of consumption vouchers this week, even as the city’s leader urged residents not to rush out to spend their e-coupons.
Conglomerates such as Sino Group and Sun Hung Kai Properties rolled out promotions at their shopping centres on Sunday, shortly after Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po revealed the first round of vouchers worth HK$5,000 (US$638) would be distributed to more than 6.3 million Hongkongers on April 7. The vouchers can be used until October 31.
Sino Group said the promotions would run until the end of the month but it did not elaborate on whether they would be extended beyond April.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was asked during a press conference on Sunday whether it was contradictory for the finance chief to distribute the vouchers while residents were discouraged from gathering for activities such as grave sweeping.
Lam said residents should not be in a hurry to use their vouchers, as they would still need to follow Covid-19 social-distancing restrictions when using them.
“The vouchers are effective for a long time. The current anti-pandemic measures encourage residents to reduce social gathering and not to head out unless necessary, hence the vouchers should be spent in accordance with these measures,” she said.
Fifteen malls owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), including apm in Kwun Tong and Tai Po Mega Mall, will roll out promotions worth HK$8 million from April 7 to May 15. Residents using their e-vouchers will get a HK$100 cash rebate for every HK$500 spent, redeem up to HK$200 in dining coupons and enjoy benefits such as free parking.
SHKP’s mall membership programme also allows shoppers to accumulate a total of 20 stamps – one for every HK$100 spent using any of the four digital payment platforms AlipayHK, Tap & Go, Octopus or WeChat Pay HK. Registration is free and customers can redeem a HK$100 dining voucher for every 10 stamps collected.
Department store Yata, a SHKP subsidiary, will give away 60,000 coupons worth HK$1.5 million through WeChat Pay HK. It will also offer a discount of up to 70 per cent on home appliances, electronics and other household items. Customers will get a HK$110 cash rebate for every HK$1,000 worth of Yata vouchers used.
SHKP general manager Fiona Chung Sau-lin said the latest round of vouchers and promotions would encourage more people to head out and make purchases, thus benefiting shoppers, tenants and the malls. She predicted that both footfall and revenue in the second quarter would bounce back to a double-digit growth rate.
Retail sales in Hong Kong fell 14.6 per cent to HK$25.2 billion in February, the sharpest drop since July 2020, as a result of stringent social-distancing measures amid the city’s fifth Covid-19 wave.
Malls under Sino Group, including tmtplaza in Tuen Mun, Olympian City in West Kowloon and Citywalk in Tsuen Wan, will launch promotions running from April 7 to 20, in collaboration with electronic payment systems such as AlipayHK, Octopus and WeChat Pay HK.
Residents who spend HK$300 in a single transaction at Sino Group malls will receive shopping and dining coupons worth HK$300. They can buy coupon packs, valued at HK$3,800, to be used at selected shopping centres.
Residents who registered for last year’s round of vouchers will receive the HK$5,000 in their designated digital payment platform. Those who previously signed up with Octopus as their electronic wallet will receive the vouchers in two disbursements of HK$4,000 and HK$1,000.
The vouchers cannot be spent on personal transactions or be used to pay for public services, utilities or fines.