Protests in Hong Kong hurt luxury goods sales

Protests in Hong Kong hurt luxury goods sales
People stand near a shop closed in the aftermath of protests in Hong Kong, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Hong Kong police using tear gas and rubber bullets fought off protesters Monday as they tried to break through a police cordon that is trapping hundreds of them on a university campus. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

MILAN (AP) — Hong Kong’s luxury retailers have been hard hit by pro-democracy protests, which a new study says will permanently change the map of Asian high-end retail.

The study by Bain consultancy released Thursday says that political unrest has cost 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in Hong Kong sales this year.

Bain Partner Claudia D’Arpizio says those sales were absorbed by Chinese spending in mainland China, South Korea and Japan, so Asia still showed growth.

But D’Arpizio said that 1,000 stores owned by luxury brands in Hong Kong are too many for a “market that is no longer a hub for touristic shopping.”

The Hong Kong luxury goods sector is expected to suffer permanent decline due to a combination of factors that already were shifting Chinese spending to the mainland.