HK Consumerism

The essence of Hong Kong can be summed up in the fact that everything leads back to shopping. This is perhaps the epitome of the consumer culture. Take where I work: the International Financial Center Two. It’s an eighty floors of offices with five floors of shopping at the bottom. There is no way to leave the building except through the mall below. That’s eighty floors of workers that buy coffee in the morning, a sandwich/noodle bowl at lunch, and pick something up for the kids before going home. Multiply that same routine by the hundreds of office buildings and you get the weekday madhouse that drives the economy here. Add that truck load of tourists too!

But don’t forget your weekend delights of personal purchases with all that money made during the week. Hong Kong may not be as go-go-gadget happy as Tokyo but it comes close. The big purchases are what really count though. I was walking in a large mall last weekend and a Mercedes dealer was having a showcase. People were lining up to buy. The dealer could easily sell a couple hundred cars of all sizes in one weekend at an event like this. And a lot of the purchasers were making impulse-buys seeing as there were no test-drives or extensive review of consumer magazine ratings. Real estate is the other big one.

So far, I haven’t been sucked in the consumer trap but it is awfully tempting. I think it comes down to a strange idea that physical possessions can really buy happiness. People believe that here but has been proved incorrect scientifically…

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2 thoughts on “HK Consumerism”

  1. Jon,
    I have been to the Lane Crawford megastore in the IFC. It’s quite artistic in terms of layout, I must say. I pass through the Armani complex on the way to work too. It consists of seven or eight armani branches: flori, emporio, dolci, libri, casa, etc. — all selling various groups of items.

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