THE BOLD NEW SPIRIT OF HONG KONG’S FRESH MARKETS
“We Link People to a Brighter Future” is the way Link describes its mission, and in the renovation of the fresh markets you can see how that is being put into practice on a daily basis. It is important to look at the wider neighbourhoods around the markets too, because they are always a centrepiece of their communities.
Updating the markets wasn’t just about smartening them up. It was about changing the way they were run, to ensure a dry, clean and pleasant shopping environment. It was about making them more easily accessible to people of different abilities. It was about introducing innovations like electronic payments. And it was about attracting a new generation of customers to the markets; customers who might previously have shopped elsewhere for a variety of reasons.
“Now the markets are cleaner, brighter, and have more variety, they are bringing in a whole new type of customer”
“We realised quite early in our journey the central role that the fresh markets play within the community,” says Link Chairman Nicholas Allen. Such a valuable resource needed radical improvements to make sure it could carry on into the future.
“You see the new markets now. This is a much nicer environment to be in,” says Emmanuel Farcis, Head of Asset Management. “And from a business perspective, it’s also a much better environment to operate in. When we started out, it had ageing traders and ageing patrons. This has changed because now the markets are cleaner, brighter, and have more variety, they are bringing in a whole new type of customer. We still have the older customers, but we are bringing in a new set of customers too, and as a result, the tenants’ sales have gone up.”