Covid-19 stokes interest in health and fitness, and sportswear chains such as Lululemon, Decathlon, and Sweaty Betty reap the benefits



a woman holding a football ball: A fitness event sponsored by Decathlon in Hong Kong. The French sportswear chain avoided opening in Hong Kong for years because rents were too high, and only now is expanding as rents fall further amid an exodus of luxury stores from the city.


A fitness event sponsored by Decathlon in Hong Kong. The French sportswear chain avoided opening in Hong Kong for years because rents were too high, and only now is expanding as rents fall further amid an exodus of luxury stores from the city.

When British activewear brand Sweaty Betty opened its first store in Hong Kong in October 2019 – a small boutique in the upscale IFC Mall – the city’s retail industry was in the early stages of what would become one of its worst slumps in history.

Following months of anti-government protests that caused frequent temporary store closures, especially on weekends, and a plunge in arrivals of high-spending visitors from China, Hong Kong’s retail scene had by then been severely impacted.

The start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 and the ensuing global economic downturn that shows no signs of abating have dealt yet another blow to

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