Retail reaches year peak in 16Q4

Retail sales in Macau reached their highest value of the year in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to data from the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).

Retail increased 1.1 percent in 16Q4, hitting MOP 15.9 billion (US$2.0 billion), the highest of any quarter in 2016, however, full-year revenue fell 6.6 percent to MOP 58.5 billion.

Gaming operators have been increasingly focusing on retail offerings as a way to supplement revenues.

In February, Bernstein noted that a strong retail set-up and focus on non-gaming tourism in Macau would help the SAR weather long-term risks.

As Macau’s gaming market continues to shift towards a mass-focused market, non-gaming components of casino operators’ businesses are becoming more important, said the brokerage.

Bernstein says Macau’s luxury retail market will be a key performer in the long term, which will be further propped up by new integrated resort openings creating a critical mass on Cotai.

The risk of retail cannibalization is also low, as “visitors are somewhat “captive” to their hotels given the short length of stay in Macau and the increasing sophistication of loyalty programs,” said Bernstein.