There’s a saying that there are two things that Hong Kongers do best: eating and shopping. I totally agree with the eating – there is so much wonderful food here to try! But to be honest, I find shopping here to be a pretty frustrating experience.
First of all we thought that if we wanted to do some clothes shopping we’d go to the big malls. But pretty much without exception (in our experience), they’re full of very expensive, designer brands. Such as Gucci…
…and Prada, Louis Vitton, Tiffany’s etc etc.
Amusingly, there are some UK high street staples which are situated alongside these designer brands, such as the Body Shop…
…and Marks and Spencer!
Clarks shoes is also a favourite here, and Boots and Topshop have just made it over here!
I believe that there is such a plethora of designer shops because the Chinese equate wearing designer brands to status. One of my husband’s colleagues was saying that his wife works in PR and if she isn’t wearing designer brands she won’t get any work because potential clients will assume she can’t afford them because she isn’t very good at her job. I’m glad I don’t work in a field like that, I have no designer brands and no plans for buying any! I was quite amused by this article, which highlights how some designer brands are re-designing some of their products for the Chinese market because the Chinese want the branding to be more obvious.
I’m finding it very difficult to find clothes here that aren’t very cheap and poor quality or really expensive. Luckily I’m saved from total despair because they have H&M!
Outside of the big shopping malls and main streets, the majority of the shops in Hong Kong seem to be small, independent businesses, like these:
I really like this as I much prefer buying from someone who will directly benefit from my custom and put the money back into the local community rather than some anonymous fat cats who live abroad. However, it does make it very hard to find what you want! In the UK, if you want to buy something you go to your preferred shopping centre and you pretty much know what will be there as they all have similar chains so you know what you can buy where. In Hong Kong these small businesses are so small, they have no online presence or advertising, and things really work by word of mouth. So for someone new to Hong Kong who doesn’t have many people to ask where to find things, it can take quite a long time to find what you want. I am starting to get to know where I can get most things now but it’s taken a while. But if anyone knows where I can get a reasonably priced charcoal BBQ from in Hong Kong please let me know – we haven’t found one yet!
Thanks for reading!