20 Oct 2014
The Link’s Tin Shui Market, having completed a HK$15 million enhancement programme, prevailed among markets from around the world to win the Gold Award at the 2014 World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Market Awards, an international competition organised by WUWM. This is first time a Hong Kong market has won the highest honour in this prestigious award.
The WUWM Market Awards are held annually to recognise the best wholesale and retail markets around the globe. The winners were announced during the closing dinner of a recent WUWM Conference hosted by the National Association of British Market Authorities in London. The theme of this year’s awards was “Excellence in real-time renovation”, which aimed to honour excellence in project management of market renovation projects.
Judges were impressed by the integrated partnership model between The Link and Uni-China Group Holdings Limited, the operator of Tin Shui Market in Tin Shui Wai, as well as the high level of hygiene and food safety training successfully delivered to tenants. They were equally impressed by the nine months of meticulous planning, project management and the great care taken to minimise disruption to tenants and shoppers by providing temporary market stalls during the two-month renovation period, reflecting a strong commitment to community engagement. In addition, judges noted that retailers were pleased with their improved working conditions, while customers were happy to have access to the best value produce possible. Global participants at the competition came from seven continents, including the Silver Award winner Maryland (United States) wholesale market, and the Bronze winners Athens (Greece) and Stockholm (Sweden) retail markets.
The Link is devoted to revitalising fresh market culture by operating its markets in innovative and creative ways. For example, the introduction of low-rise stalls enhances markets’ permeability and visibility, and the introduction of service ambassadors improves the level of customer service. The Link’s revitalised Tai Yuen and Lok Fu Markets have already become iconic symbols of Hong Kong’s fresh market development.
“As the owner of approximately 90 fresh markets in Hong Kong, The Link plays a significant role in promoting Hong Kong’s unique fresh market culture,” said George Hongchoy, CEO of The Link. “In addition to improving the overall environment of our markets and offering a greater diversity of fresh grocery items to better serve the community, we also aim to enhance community cohesion by creating a neighbourhood hub in order to help sustain the community and preserve Hong Kong’s unique fresh market culture.”