The Commercial Structure of Hong Kong
By Jim Simmons and Shizue Kamikihara
This report is the second in a series of case studies undertaken as part of the CSCA's project on the Competitive Position of Canadian Commercial Activities in the Global Market. Each case study follows the same outline, as described in the introductory report International Comparisons of Commercial Structure.
Hong Kong, however, provided the original stimulus for the entire project. An earlier version of the paper provided such a vivid contrast to the Toronto commercial structure that the Centre wanted the opportunity to explore the competitive implications for retailers more fully.
Commercial activity in Hong Kong is far more intensely concentrated spatially than in any world city - more stores, closer together, more sales per square meter, higher rents. There is no place like it. It is difficult to find words to describe the intensity of pedestrian flow, the layers of shopping arcades, and the variety of linkages among them. Hong Kong is a large, growing and affluent market; but it is physically and politically constrained from expanding spatially. As a result, much of the retail activity is focused in only three locations.