- Second-phase expansion of Hong Kong’s only full-scale outlet mall in Tung Chung will add new cinemas, dining and shopping amenities
- The mall will more than double in size to 803,000 square feet when second phase opens in August
Citygate Outlets, the city's only full scale outlet mall in Tung Chung, will open its phase two development next month, in an expansion that will bolster shopping, dining and entertainment amenities, raising the mall's appeal as a destination for families.
The second phase, on track to open 20 years after initial development, will include the addition of four movie houses with a total capacity of 650 seats, a doubling of existing dining options, and additional luxury and casual brands.
Christopher Heywood, general manager at Citygate, said the expansion of the shopping centre will see it add more offerings that cater to local residents and Hong Kong families.
Presently, the majority of shoppers that visit the mall can be broken down into three main categories: tourists, Lantau residents, and those who come from other areas of Hong Kong.
"We're not a traditional outlet mall. We're a bit of a hybrid in the sense that we're located in the middle of Tung Chung so we cater to local residents in Tung Chung and Lantau Island, the other Hong Kong residents who come at the weekends, and visitors from outside Hong Kong," said -Heywood.
He said mainland visitors make up the largest single group of tourists visiting the mall.
Citygate is owned by a consortium of local developers comprising Hang Lung Development, Henderson Land Development, New World Development, Sun Hung Kai Properties, and Swire Properties.
The shift in Citygate's strategy towards domestic consumption comes at a time when tourism spending by mainlanders is expected to cool.
In April, Beijing cut the value-added on luxury goods to 13 per cent from 16 per cent, a move that will make shopping visits to Hong Kong for the purpose less attractive for mainlanders.
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The extension, which will make Citygate home to about 150 international brands offering year-round discounts, is expected to also increase footfall in the mall.
Set for a soft opening in August the extension will double its gross area to about 803,000 sq ft from 462,428 sq ft.
Retail sales of Citygate rose 4 per cent in 2018. In the first quarter of this year, growth eased to 0.5 per cent on year, much slower than the 11.7 per cent growth in the same period in 2018.
"Retailing has changed over the years, and people are looking for a bit more than what they can just buy in the shops, they want an experience that they can enjoy," Heywood said.
The extension will also include the addition of the five-star boutique hotel, The Silveri Hong Kong - MGallery, which may open by the end of the year.
Analysts believe that Citygate has a unique proposition in Hong Kong owing to its size and variety of offerings.
"There is currently only one full-scale outlet mall in Hong Kong. As shoppers search for bargains and shopping experience, outlet malls can thrive," said Cathie Chung, senior director of research at JLL in Hong Kong. "Hence, shoppers in general make a special trip to go there and tend to stay longer to justify the longer travelling time, which increases potential spending within the malls."
Lawrence Wan, senior director, advisory and transaction services for retail at CBRE, said shoppers go to outlet malls with an open mind.
"Customers do not know what product collection or designs are available in the outlet mall. It is like an adventure experience for the customers each time they shop in the outlet mall," he said. "If it is just focused on price, it will reduce the fun."
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