Japanese confectionery giant Chateraise closes at least four branches in Hong Kong

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Fanling Town Centre

25th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Japanese confectionery giant Chateraise has shuttered at least four of its Hong Kong outlets. The closures encompass branches at Citywalk in Tsuen Wan, Fanling Town Centre, Kennedy Town, and purportedly another branch in Mong Kok. The decision casts a shadow of uncertainty over the remaining operations of Chateraise in the region.

Chateraise, which was established in 1954 in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, is renowned for its blend of traditional Japanese and Western confections. The company has experienced substantial growth, boasting 495 stores in Japan and extending its footprint across Southeast Asia, driven by demographic shifts and market saturation at home.

The decision to close the Hong Kong branches, particularly the ones located at Shop UG18, UG/F, Citywalk, Tsuen Wan; Shop 19, 2/F, Fanling Town Centre, 18 Fanling Station Road, Fanling; and Shop A2 & B1, G/F, 45-51 Smithfield, Kennedy Town, was not anticipated by the market. These closures highlight the challenges Chateraise faces in adapting to diverse market dynamics outside Japan.

Under the leadership of Hiroshi Saito, who took the helm as president in 2015, Chateraise embarked on an aggressive overseas expansion. Saito’s leadership coincided with the company’s strategic pivot towards international markets, spurred by a dwindling customer base in rural Japan and an overarching need to tap into new consumer segments.

The company’s success overseas has been buoyed by its centralised production facilities in Yamanashi Prefecture. These plants, outfitted with advanced automation technologies, have been crucial in maintaining cost-effectiveness while ensuring the quality and freshness of products shipped globally.

Citywalk in Tsuen Wan
 Shop A2 & B1, G/F, 45-51 Smithfield, Kennedy Town.