Topshop to close Hong Kong flagship store as virus worsens economic downturn

Topshop’s flagship store on Queen’s Road Central in Hong Kong
Topshop’s flagship store on Queen’s Road Central in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s coronavirus-battered economy has claimed another victim: Topshop.

The British fashion retailer announced on its social media accounts Sunday that its Central flagship store will soon be closing its doors permanently.

The 14,000 square feet flagship store opened to much anticipation in 2012, occupying a prime spot on bustling Queen’s Road Central. Stores in Causeway Bay’s Times Square and Admiralty’s Lab Concept followed suit in 2014, but also shut in recent years.

Topshop is not the first international name to depart the city during these trying economic times—in June, American lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret closed its five-story store in Causeway Bay.

Gap is also shutting more than half its stores in Hong Kong, and besides fashion retailers, US brand NYX Professional Makeup announced last week that it is closing all its locations. The company, known for its affordably priced cosmetics, has three stores and three counters in departments stores in the city.

The coronavirus pandemic, which was preceded by months of anti-government protests, has brought Hong Kong’s economy to its knees. A resurgence of virus cases in recent weeks has further dampened prospects of a recovery any time soon.

The city’s economy shrank 9% from April to June, marking the fourth straight quarter of year-on-year decline, according to the government’s half-yearly economic report released last week. The current unemployment rate, 6.2%, is the highest in more than 15 years,

Authorities have yet to announce a new round of relief measures since the third wave of the virus began, despite the outbreak now being the most severe it’s been since the epidemic began in January.

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