Thursday, 6 August 2015

An Unfortunate End

There were 14 DSC stores in Hong Kong, selling furniture and home ware
The police, customs and labour officers are all investigating what happened to the demise of DSC, that sold furniture and electronic products from washing machines to televisions.

It closed down as of Monday morning when hundreds of staff arrived at work to find all 14 shops in Hong Kong were shuttered.

Not only are the staff out of work, but there are at least 348 customers who still haven't received the items they ordered.

There is no sign of where Hui Ming-shun (left) has gone
It also turns out the owner of DSC, Hui Ming-shun sold his home in Kowloon Tong a few months ago and could not be reached. He owes the staff one month's pay as well as severance pay.

In addition, there were signs that DSC, or Direct Sales Centre was in financial trouble, as the retailer had been sued by landlords for unpaid rents totalling about HK$3.3 million.

The Labour Department is figuring out if it can criminally prosecute Hui for not paying staff their finally pay cheque and severance, but one employee said that even though DSC comprised of some 900 staff, only 200 to 300 of them were permanent employees; the rest, like delivery workers, were hired by contractors and did receive their July pay.

This is too bad, as when I arrived in Hong Kong over five years ago, I furnished my tiny flat in Sheung Wan with furniture from DSC.

A friend had recommended I go check it out, and compared to Ikea, DSC offered many more options and styles that seemed more solid in construction, and pretty good service.

Notices posted on Monday said DSC stores were shuttered
My round wooden dining table for four people was only a few hundred dollars complete with chairs, while a mattress could be customized to fit the tiny one-bedroom space I had. The closet too was the right size and price, as well as a decent cushion stool.

From purchasing these items, I was invited to pick up some free items, such as a cutlery set and power bar.

It was annoying at the time to find out there were different delivery dates for different items, but the guy who came in to build my closet did so in less than 30 minutes. That to me epitomized Hong Kong.

But now hard economic times have also come to epitomize the city.

It's frustrating to hear shops going out of business, employees being laid off and people struggling to make ends meet.

We don't know the full story behind the demise of DSC yet, but we wish the laid off employees find themselves back on their feet soon.


  1. What a pity that DSC has collapsed, instead of growing globally & usefully, like IKEA. Never before heard of DSC, but it's demise is surely more evidence, that HK's cut-throat landlord industry needs to be reined in? How about an "Occupy Landlords" movement?

    1. Hi Anonymous -- More frustrating is that the owner of DSC and his wife skipped town the day before the shops were shuttered! The couple will turn up somewhere, but then there's the messy problem of extradition...