'Angels' to descend on HK
HONG KONG: Limited Brands Inc's Victoria's Secret, the lingerie chain known for its supermodels called "Angels", is planning its first stores here, where surging demand from shoppers has sent retail rents to a record.
Limited Brands this year will open two 1,500-sq-ft Victoria's Secret shops at the International Finance Centre in the Central business district and at New Town Plaza, a favoured stop for mainland Chinese shoppers in the city's north, according to an email from Robin Hoffman, a spokesman for Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands.
An influx of mainland Chinese visitors has fuelled consumption of branded apparel and accessories in Hong Kong, which commands the world's highest occupancy costs in some of its areas. Abercrombie & Fitch Co and Gap Inc are among international clothing labels that have opened flagship stores in the city in the past 18 months.
Both IFC and New Town Plaza malls are owned or part-owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, the world's biggest developer by value.
Limited Brands, while "very, very optimistic" about Victoria's Secret's potential outside of North America, has been measured in openings to ensure its stores run well, chief executive officer Les Wexner said in an October presentation to investors.
"We're very aware that China will be the biggest market on the planet at some point," said Martin Waters, president of international business at Limited Brands, in October.
"We just don't feel pressured by the time to go and do that immediately. We've got so many building blocks to put in place," he said. Bloomberg