Colliers International has added veteran leasing specialist Cynthia Ng to its retail team in Hong Kong, amidst a string of retail-related hires by the property services company in the city.
Ng, who joins as director of Retail Services, is a former award-winning broker, who will now be charged with helping division head Sebastian Skiff expand the company’s retail work during a sharp downturn in consumer spending in the city. The former CBRE director is the fourth hire by Colliers’ retail division in Hong Kong in recent weeks.
Pushing Back Against a Slump
“We are taking decisive action to reinvigorate growth and restore the momentum of our retail business. While there may be macroeconomic factors that influence the retail market in Hong Kong, we are confident that new opportunities are emerging and will generate a positive outcome for the business,” said Colliers’ Hong Kong head, Nigel Smith.
The retail market has been at the centre of Hong Kong woes as tourist arrivals slumped since March 2015, however, there have been signs of spending within the gloom. Link REIT, which manages the largest portfolio of shopping space in the city by area, recently reported a 13 percent increase in revenue and a 14.9 percent increase in net property revenue. Colliers said in a statement that it expects particularly strong growth in dining, lifestyle fashion, affordable luxury and beauty products.
Ng, has more than 13 years experience in leasing, and comes to Colliers after more than five years at CBRE, where she served most recently as a director with the retail services team. The University of Technology, Sydney graduate specialises in assisting international brands entering the Hong Kong market, and previously helped US retailer Forever Flawless set up their first shop in the city, and also advised Korean skincare brand Nature Republic to find space in Hong Kong.
Skiff Putting Together a New Retail Team
“Cynthia is a key hire and will undoubtedly flourish in the Colliers environment,” said Skiff, who sees the hire as a continuation of company’s emphasis on retail in Asia. Skiff joined Colliers late last year after more than 30 years in the region’s retail real estate industry, and has since been adding talent to his retail roster.
In addition to Ng, Skiff has brought on board former CBRE China retail broker Colly Tu, as well as retail research analyst Mervin Ling from DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield and Kinson Wong from Savills.
While there are signs of hope in the retail environment, the Colliers team are likely to face a steep climb in the city’s current retail climate. The city has been hurt by a drop in mainland tourist arrivals, which fell 12.6 percent in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2015. Overall visitor levels slid by 8.8 percent during the same period, according to Hong Kong government figures.