Hong Kong pro-democracy retail chain Chickeeduck will close all their stores when their current lease periods end, the brand announced in a Facebook post published on Monday night.
The chain’s three remaining lifestyle stores will shut after their leases expire, with the last store, in Tin Hau, to close in late November, the brand said. Launched in 1990, Chickeeduck saw the closure of its last children’s clothing store in July.
Chickeeduck gained popularity in the pro-democracy camp for displaying artwork and products with protest messages in its stores. However, such displays have also led to early terminations of the leases of Chickeeduck stores and visits from national security police.
“Thank you all for your support towards Chickeeduck, whether it was the children’s clothing or the lifestyle department store, we can only hang on to this day all because of your support,” the post read.
“[We] believe you all know that we have faced many different obstructions, but we insisted on continuing, because [we] hoped to provide you all with products that held sentimental value and carried the spirit of Hong Kong.”
“No matter how hard we have tried… all good things must come to an end,” the post read.
Herbert Chow, the brand’s CEO, shared the social media post, and said that he would investigate who was behind the destruction of the brand’s supply chains in mainland China and Indonesia.
In an interview with HKFP in November last year, Chow said it was no longer “feasible” to continue operating in Hong Kong due to disruptions in supply chains and difficulties securing leases.
Chow said that his suppliers told him they had received “state media reports” about him and “terrible information” about him and the company, and that they feared that they would not be paid by Chickeeduck.
He also said that he might turn one of the brand’s branches into a museum displaying statues and artwork. The 58-year-old left Hong Kong earlier in May this year.
The retail chain’s branch in Tsuen Wan’s D Park was told to remove a pro-democracy Lady Liberty statue in June two years ago. Its lease was eventually terminated by the New World Development-owned mall. The property development company voiced support for police and the city’s leader during the protests and unrest in 2019.
Another Chickeeduck store in Tsuen Wan was cordoned off by the national security police two days after opening in May last year, with the police warning Chow to not sell or display any products that violated the sweeping security legislation. However, the police refused to tell him whether any of his products had breached the law.
Last November, the brand’s Tin Hau branch removed a statue of the late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo from its storefront after the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department accused the store of unlawfully occupying unleased land.