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Sogo Department Store in Tsim Sha Tsui, HK Closes - Redevelopment Coming to Waterfront

Sogo Department Store in Tsim Sha Tsui, HK Closes - Redevelopment Coming to Waterfront

SOGO staff members in front of the store on the closing day.

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Hong Kong department store Sogo Tsim Sha Tsui closed its doors for the last time on February 11th. In 1983, the local subsidiary of Japanese company Sogo was established in Hong Kong and opened a store in Causeway Bay. Enduring soaring real estate prices after 1997, the store's management was transferred to Lifestyle International Holdings in 2001 following Sogo's bankruptcy. The Tsim Sha Tsui store opened in September 2005 and remained in business for the following nine years.

The department store had a lease agreement until September 2020 with Hong Kong Island Development Limited, a company under the control of major land developer New World Development Company Limited, but on July 31st, 2012 the owner moved to request termination of the lease agreement. Sogo's agreement then led to the decision to close the store.

The Causeway Bay branch is a department store where expatriate Japanese and local Hong Kongers can purchase products such as foodstuffs, apparel and electronics for their daily lives. Meanwhile, the Tsim Sha Tsui branch, despite its small sales floor, attracted more mainland Chinese tourists than the Causeway Bay branch, and on its final day there were five large buses carrying Chinese tourists parked outside the main entrance.

The going-out-of-business sale the Tsim Sha Tsui branch had been running since January had already reached its peak and settled down by the final day. There was no ceremony or the like to commemorate the closing. Customers who made individual purchases of HK$500 or more on February 11th were given a "memorial cupcake." The store closed its doors at 10:00 p.m.

Lifestyle International Holdings has not revealed any information about a new store but may be contemplating relocation. A source at the company said, "We are looking for a suitable alternate location (to open a store)." For the vacant lot, it seems that New World Development will expand its redevelopment plan, which includes New World Centre, and proceed with a bigger redevelopment project.

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