Despite the fact that luxury brands are opening retail stores at an unprecedented rate throughout mainland China (Shanghai is home to seven Chanel boutiques, compared to just three in Paris), an average of 14 million Chinese flock to Hong Kong every month to take advantage of duty-free discounts on luxury goods. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t support your friendly local Louis Vuitton, but with prices up to 80% less in Hong Kong you may as well make that visa run a little more worthwhile. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the city to find some of the best discounts on luxury items so that you don’t have to.
Lancôme fans, rejoice; your favourite face wash or night cream is on average 30-40% cheaper in Hong Kong than in mainland China. Even better? The brand is usually discounted a further 10% year round here. Rénergie Lift Volumetry Night Cream is one of the best buys at cosmetics counters around the city, with offers that can save you up to 50% off of the recommended retail price.
Buy it: Lancôme Rénergie Lift Volumetry Night Cream, HK$352
Longcheng Pharmarcy, 28 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10.30am – 10pm
i!c! Berlin Eyewear
First off, you can’t find these in mainland China. This award-winning German eyewear company was created in 1999 by designer Ralph Anderl, and has gained cult status with their lightweight and flexible handmade spring steel frames. Pick up a pair of oversize leopard-stamped chrome Feline shades to avoid that ‘she’s wearing my sunnies!’ shame back home.
Buy it: i!c! Berlin, from HK$3000
Leo Optic, Shop 1033, Level One, IFC Mall, No. 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am – 10pm
Tel: +852.2295.3173, +852.2537.3173
Hong Kong designer Vivienne Tam’s eponymous label features stylish separates and elegant eveningwear that artfully combines oriental elements with western silhouettes. Ms. Tam boasts eight stores around Hong Kong, but luxury-loving bargain hunters should head straight to the Vivienne Tam store in the Citygate Outlet mall, which has year-round discounts of up to 80% on both her latest collection and classic styles.
Buy it: Vivienne Tam Outlet
Shop No. 203 Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am – 10pm
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Purveyors of fine wine and spirits to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H The Prince of Wales, 300 year old Berry Bros. & Rudd opened their first Asian wine club in Hong Kong in 1999. With a Fine Wine Reserve now open in the exclusive Dunhill Complex, clients can choose from an unparalleled range of exclusive imports from world-renowned vintners. Peruse their lust-worthy selection of the finest drops from the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions of France without worrying about the toe-curling 41% import duty you’ll pay in mainland China.
Buy it: Berry Bros. & Rudd, Berrys’ Fine Wine Reserve
Prince’s Building, Shop G5, Mezzanine Floor, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.30am – 10pm, Sunday 12 – 7pm
Tel: + 852.2522.1978
Davidoff Dublin Pipe
“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected…” - William Makepeace Thackeray
As the noble pipe experiences a revival amongst Americana-loving hipsters in the US, we can only hope the trend crosses the Pacific if what Thackeray had to say on the subject said is indeed correct. Erudite trendsetters in this part of the world can opt for the limited edition Davidoff Dublin pipe, sold only at Acanta stores in Hong Kong. Sealed with wax and hand-polished with a high gloss, this pipe comes in an exquisite wood grain with an 18 carat gold ring and 3 black diamonds inlaid in the mouthpiece. Though only 10 of these pipes have been produced, a further 14 distinguished designs exist in 3 elegant finishes.
Buy it: Davidoff pipes, from HK$3,000
Davidoff Acanta Gateway Arcade, Shop 3323, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Shat Sui, Kowloon
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am – 9pm
Jonathan Lin is Co-Founder and President of PrivéPass.