Ivory will be banned from the stores and concessions of Chinese retail giant Wing On, who has five stores in Hong Kong, from July 7 2014.
“[Our decision is based on] the way we work - always reviewing what we are doing and what the community wants from us,” Wing On executive director Mark Kwok Chi-yat told the Sunday Morning Post.
The news has been welcomed by environmentalists and conservationists with many posting their thanks on the company’s Facebook page
Campaign group Hong Kong for Elephants co-founder Alex Hofford said “Obviously we are delighted that Wing On has seen fit to turn its back on the dirty ivory trade by joining a growing list of stores in Hong Kong that take their corporate social responsibilities seriously.”
The sale of ivory remains legal in Hong Kong, but buyers are not allowed to take it out of the city and conservationists are planning to target Yue Hwa Chinese Products, the last big player in the ivory trade, with a protest scheduled for May 14 at its six-storey emporium in Jordan.