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New harbourfront space opens

The Development Bureau announced that the Pierside Precinct near Wan Chai Ferry Pier further opened today, providing a nostalgic harbourfront leisure space with a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour for the public.   Being the 12th harbourfront leisure space that opened since October last year, the newly opened area is located to the east of the ferry pier on a harbour site reclaimed for the construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass.   The bureau said under the incremental approach, a 180-metre-long promenade of the precinct opened earlier in March, followed by the opening of a further 80m in October.   With an area of about 4,600 sq m, the newly opened part has almost doubled the precinct's original space.   In contrast to the colourful cartoon style adopted at other harbourfront sites opened earlier in Western District and Wan Chai, the precinct mainly comprises simple fair-faced concrete and wooden structures.   It features a stylish touch with its clear and rectiline

March retail sales up 20.1%

The value of total retail sales in March, provisionally estimated at $27.6 billion, rose 20.1% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in March, online sales accounted for 7.7%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 43.3% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 19.8% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified increased 35.2%.   This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+44.8% in value); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+81%); wearing apparel (+77.4%); commodities in department stores (+2.2%); medicines and cosmetics (+18%); motor vehicles and parts (+23.1%); fuels (+18.8%); furniture and fixtures (+12.5%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+64.1%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+19.2%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+27.7%); and optical shops (+29.1%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 16.1% for the period, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1.8% in value).   The Government said retail sales registered a notable year-on-year increase in March, mainly due to an exceptionally low base of comparison last year. For the first quarter as a whole, retail sales volume rose 7.2% over a year earlier, but was still far below that in the first quarter of 2019 by 32.5%.   Looking ahead, the Government pointed out that while local consumption sentiment saw some improvement following the gradual relaxation of social distancing measures since mid-February, the near-term outlook for the retail trade is still challenging as inbound tourism remains in the doldrums.   To attain a stronger revival of the retail trade and a broader-based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to work together to keep the epidemic under control and to actively participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, it added.
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