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Shop rents tumble on Hong Kong street that was world's priciest

Pedestrians walk past a Gucci store, operated by Kering, on Russell Street in the Causeway Bay shopping district of Hong Kong, China, on Aug 10, 2015.

[HONG KONG] A store rented by Jaeger-LeCoultre in Hong Kong's Russell Street, once the world's most expensive strip for retail rents, will be leased to a new tenant for more than 40 per cent less as the effects of China's economic slowdown continue to be felt in the city.

Cosmetics brand Colourmix, run by Veeko International Holdings, will rent a 1,000 square feet space on Russell Street in Causeway Bay for close to HK$1 million (S$184,119) per month, 43 per cent lower than what watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre is currently paying, said Lawrence Wong, a director at property agent Sheraton Valuers, which handled the transaction.

"Landlords have to face the reality no matter how reluctant they are," Mr Wong said by phone on Saturday. "It's still better than leaving their property empty." Russell Street, which had recorded the world's highest retail rents, lost top spot to New York's Fifth Avenue, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield last November. In a July research report, Jones Lang LaSalle predicted high-street rents will drop 15 per cent to 20 per cent in Hong Kong this year.

In Central, the center of Hong Kong's business district, Adidas Hong Kong is leasing the same space currently occupied by Coach Hong Kong at a rent 23 per cent cheaper, according to Land Registry data. The sports brand will take up the space for HK$4.34 million per month, down from the HK$5.6 million that Coach had been paying.

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