The chain stores invade Wan Chai

I did my old route of Johnston road and Queens Road East today and noticed that some hoardings were coming down while others had gone up.

First, the Tang Tang Tang Tang shop owned by David Tang. 

Purveying posh home accessories, silk pyjamas, leather printed bags and funky umbrellas, it was the only shop of its kind. It was a shop you could go to for expensive gifts luxuriously wrapped and the receiver would immediately know how much you decided to spend on them. The shop seems to have vacated overnight and large “For Lease” signs have been erected around the pillars. 

Next, the hoardings have come off the Under Armour shop, situated prominently by the Swatow Street Tram Stop. 

Johnston Suites gave up their double height lobby reception area for Under Armour to move in. The shop now has a huge double storied space.

The most disappointing space is the two storied shop house that Hopewell retained as a front, the remnant facing Hopewell Center. A great locale with lots of footfall has been leased to Kee wah bakery. How uninspiring. 

I had high hopes for a nice bar or cafe, perhaps some shop with style with at least unique or interesting items to draw the crowd in. Kee Wah already exists in many locations and it’s quite a boring tenant to have. 

Oh well. Due to increasing rent and the changing residents and neighbourhood, small shops don’t stand much of a chance against the big chain stores with negotiating muscle.


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