15 Operators Resumed Business at Yue Man Lane
Yue Man Lane, a retail space in Yue Man Square Shopping Mall specially reserved for former stall operators in the Development Areas 4 and 5, attracted 15 operators to set up shop. These stalls sell a variety of goods and services, from snacks, drinks, Chinese-style desserts, medicines, apparel, audio-visual and electrical appliances, jewelry, to interior design, furniture and lifestyle products. The URA provided relevant relocation and business resumption assistance to enable these operators to adapt to their new environment and mode of operation. Many operators also used the opportunity to transform and expand their original business to meet new market demands.
Great Expectations for Complete Community Renewal
Mr. Leung operated a dispensary in Yue Man Square for 25 years. And since the opening of his new shop at Yue Man Lane, he notices that this new location is just as busy as the old site. Moreover, shoppers tend to linger longer at Yue Man Lane, which is a stark contrast to the cramped and derelict conditions at the previous location, where shops were exposed to the elements.
Mr. Leung is among the first batch of operators to resume business at Yue Man Lane. The fresh start afforded him the chance to expand his business and update the product mix to meet the needs of the new clientele.
The URA’s special rental arrangement and relief measures have been a boost for Mr. Leung, who has been coping well with his new shop. "I am hopeful that, as further Yue Man Lane stores, as well as other shops and restaurants in the mall, open for business, more customers will come by. This is an ageing community, and progress is necessary to instill hope, and to take the community to a new era.”
Guarding a 30-year-old Family Legacy
Mrs. Chong opened her furniture shop in Yue Man Square in 1989. She is happy to be able to resume the family business at Yue Man Lane, and is very satisfied with the new environment.
A few years ago, Mrs. Chong’s son took over the shop. The young Mr. Chong still recalls when he was a child, he lived above the shop and the living conditions were very bad. He often saw drug users on the building’s stairway. There were also rats, scurrying about his feet while he studied inside the shop.
Mr. Chong’s shop at Yue Man Lane is relatively compact, at 600 square feet, compared to 2,000 square feet previously. The relocation is the impetus for him to transform the business from a shop selling ready-made furniture to an interior design company which will produce made-to-order furniture. “Our shop has been in business for over 30 years, and I don’t want all that hard work my family put in to just vanish. So, I am going to adjust the business model, and give it a try.” He is optimistic about the future, especially as there are more and more people moving into the new residential buildings atop the shopping mall.
Baker Realises Flagship Store Dream with Relocation
Mr. Leung began his business in the 1990s, selling homemade Chinese cakes and snacks on a wooden cart in Tsun Yip Lane. By 2003, he rented part of a shop front of an illegal structure in Yue Man Square, and only operated in the daytime. Although business was good, the conditions were far from ideal. Every day, he had to set up the stall in the morning and dismantle it at night. Even worse, he was frequently served fixed penalty notices by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for the illegal extension of business by displaying his products on the street.
Mr. Leung is excited about his new shop at Yue Man Lane, and is very happy his staff can now work in a comfortable environment. He is also very positive about the business outlook, as he believes his shop will definitely benefit from the heavy footfall brought about by the Public Transport Interchange and the MTR station, which will be connected to the mall soon.
“I am very pleased to have my own store at Yue Man Lane, one which complies with the necessary laws and regulations. I want this shop to become my brand’s flagship store, which serves to preserve Kwun Tong’s distinctive local flavours and sense of community for generations to come.”