Example of the Chinese entrepreneurial spirit
First step into HK
Few people know Wing On has Australian roots. Two brothers named Kwok Lok and Kwok Chuen started a fruit wholesale business in Sydney. The timing was right and they made a small fortune. In 1907, Kwok Chuen first returned to their hometown Guangdong, and later decided to open a department store in Hong Kong, again the timing was right.
The 'Big Fours'
The Kwoks moved from Queen’s Road Central and bought up rows of shop houses on Des Voeux Road Central to expand their retail space in 1912. Since then Wing On has gone from strength to strength, diversifying from retail into insurance, property, hotels, textile manufacturing and banking, and expanding the businesses to China. It was even named one of the ‘Big Four Department Stores’ in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Now handed down to the third and fourth generations, the Wing On building is still here at Des Voeux Road Central where it all began. And after a century of ups and downs, the retail business proves to be a stayer. Wing On runs 4 stores in Hong Kong with over 750 employees.