January 2018 Edition 2018年1月號

Eyeing on the Future of Retailing:
An Interview with
Independent Non-Executive Director Ed Chan
零售變天 創科領先

Eyeing on the Future of Retailing: An Interview with Independent Non-Executive Director Ed Chan零售變天 創科領先 專訪獨立非執行董事陳耀昌

In an era of disruption brought about by technology, e-tailing is shaking up the market, and shopping mall operators and retailers are on the lookout for ways to future-proof their business while also delivering on the all-important task of offering tenants an effective business platform and customers a welcoming experience. Link’s Independent Non-executive Director Ed Chan, a retailing veteran and investor in technology business, brings his valuable insights and experience to Link in these areas.

Having grown up in a Hong Kong public housing estate and served in a leadership role with a major retailing group, Ed feels a strong affinity with Link and the development of its properties. These factors made joining Link’s board an easy decision for him. “I have seen how Link has transformed shopping centres and improved people’s lives,” he said. “Link is a well-run company served by a professional and competent board.”

Noting how Link can contribute to Mainland China’s retail industry, he said, “We have expertise in creating value for customers by offering an optimal tenant mix and service enhancement, and we have built a strong corporate culture based on sound governance. This has allowed us to bring our experience and practices to the properties we acquired in Mainland China.”

Offering his take on what the future holds for retailing, Ed said, “Advanced technologies that tap into artificial intelligence, facial recognition, autonomous systems and big data to provide innovative services and predict customers’ shopping preferences will figure more prominently in retailing in the future.”

“As a successful adopter of these technologies, China is already offering customers things like cashier-free retail shops and restaurants as well as fashion shops that deploy 3D imaging technology to provide smartphone-based virtual fitting services, saving customers time in the checkout line and freeing them from the confines of the fitting room. The technologies for taking out the pain points of shopping are already there. They form the basis of future retailing, and China has embraced them quickly. Talent and technology from Mainland China will be a driving force for Hong Kong moving forward on the technological front.”

On enhancing the customer experience, he said, “Instead of looking to the past, we should exceed customers’ expectations and anticipate what they want by thinking out of the box in deploying the right solutions to fill their needs. In the fast-changing world of technological disruption, we in the retailing business should keep challenging ourselves and never stay too comfortable with what we have.”

Of Link’s sustainability practices, Ed said, “Given our extensive business footprint, we should do more to promote environmental sustainability in areas like energy consumption, resource conservation and recycling. Green business practices are not only good for the bottom line, but they are also an increasingly important factor in consumers’ shopping decisions.”




Ed深信科技將於未來為零售行業帶來重大變革。「人工智能、臉孔辨識、自動系統及大數據等先進技術,能夠用於創新服務,並了解顧客購物喜好,將可於零售行業大派用場。」 「中國市場於應用技術發展迅速,並推出多種嶄新的業務模式,包括自助購物商店及食肆,以及透過立體影像技術,於手機提供精準的虛擬試身服務,為顧客省卻排隊付賬的時間,突破試身間的限制。克服購物痛點的技術相繼面世,將領導零售業的未來發展。這些技術在國內發展迅速,其人才和技術將有助香港業界提升技術應用及服務。」



Rethinking Tenant-Landlord Collaboration

Ed has management experience on both the tenant side and the landlord side – a perspective that has enabled him to see that a better shopping experience can be created when the interests of both sides are aligned.

“In general, tenant-landlord collaboration has improved a lot over the years.” said Ed. “Traditionally, both sides have largely focused on data sharing, which has promoted greater transparency in retailer performance and has helped create a tenant mix that meets shoppers’ needs. Going forward, we need to be more open-minded about ways to further this partnership, such as creative uses of space to enhance the customer experience and enable retail brands to more efficiently capture business opportunities.”



Rethinking Tenant-Landlord Collaboration商戶及業主關係更緊密