Convenience Items and Snacks
No matter where you find yourself in Hong Kong, a convenience store is to be found just a few steps away. 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, has a dominant presence here, and outlets are ubiquitous around the city. Each neighborhood will have at least half a dozen, and is not uncommon to see several 7-Eleven outlets within close proximity of each other. In addition to typical convenience store offerings, you can also enjoy additional services at selected outlets, such as “on-the-go” hot drinks and meals; photocopying and fax services; add-value services for the Octopus card; and postal and bill payment services. Other convenience store chains in Hong Kong include Circle K and VanGo, which offer similar services.
The size of the cosmetics industry in Hong Kong can be assessed with a walk along any shopping street. Cosmetic retail outlets like Sasa, Bonjour and Colourmix are among the largest, with a ubiquity that rivals convenience stores in the city. French megachain Sephora also recently opened stores in IFC and Causeway Bay.
Homewares and Furnishings
If your flat or house in Hong Kong hasn’t come already furnished, head to one of the following stores to pick up the basics without breaking the bank.
For inexpensive homewares, including kitchen and bathroom items, batteries, cleaning supplies, stationery products and more, try the following stores.
Furniture Shopping Centers
Make a day of it at one of the following shopping centers with clusters of home furnishings stores.
Horizon Plaza (Ap Lei Chau)
A must-visit for newly arrived expats looking to furnish their homes, Horizon Plaza on Ap Lei Chau island is home to many upscale furniture retailers catering to Western tastes, like Tree, Tequila Kola and Indigo Living. You can also find several stores selling outdoor furniture, carpets and home accessories. As the elevators can be slow, one of the best ways to navigate the building is to ride up to the top floor and walk down, exploring each level. There is also a brochure available at the ground level entrance that lists all the stores.
HomeSquare (Sha Tin)
HomeSquare is Hong Kong’s largest complex of home furnishing retailers, including IKEA, Ulferts, Francfranc, BoConcept and more. The complex provides a one-stop mart for interior design, furniture, bedding and curtains, lighting, kitchen and bathroom accessories and electrical appliances. It is accessible by bus and taxi and via the Sha Tin MTR station.
With Hong Kong apartments prone to an abundance of odd-shaped nooks, it’s common and surprisingly affordable to have furniture custom made. Many Hong Kong-based furniture shops and chains offer made-to-measure services, so just ask if there’s something special you need.
Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances
The major appliance chains in Hong Kong are Broadway, Fortress and Suning. All three chains have stores in every part of Hong Kong, primarily in shopping malls. They carry international brand products and provide delivery and set up services.
Broadway is a leading electronics and electrical appliance retailer in Hong Kong, selling everything from TVs and mobile phones to kettles and hairdryers.
Just like its main competitor Broadway, Fortress is one of Hong Kong’s larger and more popular electronics and household appliance stores. In many of the larger shopping malls, Broadway and Fortress outlets, as well as other electronics goods providers, are often side by side or across from each other. This makes comparison shopping easy.
Suning is China’s second largest electronics chain after Gome, and has several stores in Hong Kong.
Personal Care Items and Medicines
In addition to the big chains like Fanda, Watson’s and Mannings, you’ll find local pharmacies (called “dispensaries”) in nearly every neighborhood in Hong Kong. Some carry only traditional Chinese herbs and medicines, while others carry Western brand medications or a combination of the two. They are easy to recognize, as all of them will have a large red cross as part of their signage.
Online, you can find many imported vitamins and supplements, bath and beauty products, and natural grocery items on iHerb.com.
Fanda Perfume & Pharmacy, known simply as Fanda, is a large local pharmacy known for its wide selection of medicines, antibiotics, beauty and healthcare products. The heavily discounted designer perfumes may tempt you, but be wary of fakes and spoiled goods. Although their web presence is minimal, their stores (one at Worldwide House in Central, and two on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui) are conveniently located and generally well stocked.
Mannings (or as it’s branded in southeast Asia, Guardian) is one of the two largest drugstore chains in Hong Kong. This personal care and beauty retail chain sells a comprehensive range of healthcare, personal care, skin care, baby care and pharmacy products and has numerous locations around Hong Kong. Trained pharmacists are on hand to provide customers with free health consultations and medication tracking services with Mannings’ Electronic Medication Management System. The chain also has registered dietitians to help with disease management, diet planning and sports nutrition.
Watsons, another drugstore giant, has many shops all over Hong Kong. Watsons is primarily a pharmacy and personal care store that also sells confectionery and other miscellaneous items. In selected stores, a pharmacy team is on hand to provide health assessment services. Some services, such as the Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure monitoring and bone density assessments are free. Other services, such as blood glucose monitoring, require a small fee. It is not necessary to book in advance.
Hong Kong has many platforms for selling and buying used furniture, children’s items, and more.
Check for Facebook groups based around your interests or specific communities — your neighborhood, housing estate, children’s school, etc. Examples include HKIS Families Buy-Sell-Swap, Southside Mums, Hong Kong Buy & Sell, Swap It HK Baby Club, and many more.
You can also try Facebook Marketplace, the Carousell app, or the message boards on AsiaXPAT and GeoExpat.
Here are some local stores where you can pick up high-quality secondhand goods:
Although it is still very common and popular to physically go shopping (it is Hong Kong’s unofficial pastime after all!), online shopping is common and convenient in Hong Kong.
Two of the most popular sites are:
HKTVmall is a platform offering thousands of products across all categories, including fresh food, household goods, children’s toys and books — even insurance packages and staycation offers from local hotels. Shipping for physical goods is fast or you can pick up from one of their physical stores or partner stores.
You can find almost anything on Taobao, the world’s largest e-commerce website, at a variety of price points and quality levels. Everything is presented in Chinese, so if you can’t read characters, you’ll need to use Google Translate or find a local shopping service like Taobao Finder to place the order for you.
Shopping from the United States
More and more US stores are starting to offer international shipping. If your store of choice only offers shipping to US addresses, you can use a package forwarder. Here are a few options to try; there are many more offering forwarding from the US, UK, Germany and other countries.