The Sun Department Store / Dah Sing Department Store [1929-1973]

Submitted by David on Mon, 01/13/2014 - 18:21
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished
(Day is approximate.)

This building had a distinctive tower at either end of the building, and a taller pagoda-like tower in the center of the roof.

Later place(s) at this location

Photos that show this Place


Hong Kong Dah Sing Department Store (The Sun) was founded in Hong Kong in 1912 by the Cai Chang brothers raising HKD 4 million, and then opened Guangzhou Dah Sing Company in Guangzhou, and then opened Shanghai Dah Sing Company in Shanghai. In 1947, Cai Chang's family settled in Hong Kong, and the Shanghai company entrusted an agent to manage it. In 1948, Cai Chang half gave up domestic business in China. After the establishment of the Communist Party of China, Cai Chang concentrated on running the business in Hong Kong. Dah Sing Department Store in Hong Kong is located next to Wing On Company in Central and operated until the early 1970s. The lifts in the store are of the open-air type, which is very nostalgic. At that time, Hong Kong society was very advanced, but the building and facilities of the store still maintained the original appearance of the early Republic of China, which is very rare. In May 1972, Jun Lung (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. announced the acquisition of all Dah Sing shares. Soon after being acquired by Kwan Lung, Dah Sing merged with Hong Kong construction company Gonghe Enterprise Co., Ltd. in December of the same year, and Gonghe became the owner of Dah Sing. After the merger, Gonghe demolished the Dah Sing Department Store in March 1973, officially ending Dah Sing's more than half a century of department store business; while Dah Sing was transformed into a construction and property group[1].


Another reference:

As pointed out in the comment above, the company was founded in 1912 and opened it's store on Des Voeux Road in the same year. To me it seems as if the company had two adjacent buildings:

a slim one on Wing Wo Road, streching from Des Voeux to Connaught Road

a wider one on Des Voeux Road including six houses in the block next to the Harbour Office. This block did not extend to Connaught Road, there were six other houses at 92-97 Connaught Road.

1910s DVRC
1910s DVRC, by danielwettling

The Public Works Report for 1929 refers:

In course of erection: —

A large Departmental Store for The Sun Co. on P.R.M.L. 63, Des Voeux Road Central and Connaught. Road Central was in progress.

This new building can be seen below (on the very right hand side):

c.1935 View of Hong Kong from the harbour
c.1935 View of Hong Kong from the harbour, by David



New Premises Attract Crowds


Thousands have visited the new premises of the Sun Company in Des Voeux Road since they were formally opened on Tuesday. Last night there was a regular invasion, including a large number of European customers, who expressed themselves as greatly enchanted with such a commodious store built more on European lines than the majority of Chinese-owned shops in the city.

The architects, Messrs. Little, Adams and Wood, and the contractors, Hang Sun, have to be complimented on their tasks, which have resulted in such a fine building, six storeys in height, being added to the Colony’s best specimens of architecture and construction.

35,000 Square Feet

The building covers an area of 35,000 square feet and extends along the whole length of Wing Wo Street to the Praya. The display windows have been carefully designed and while there is little opportunity for display at either side of the main entrance owing to the limited frontage, the windows facing Wing Wo Street enable a very attractive display of the firm’s stock to be made. These display windows are sheltered by an awning, an arrangement to be seen in the new buildings in Queen’s Road Central and one which appears to be growing in popularity. This affords protection for the public to inspect the displays during wet weather.

The interior arrangements of the building are excellent. The show cases have been constructed to enable large quantities of goods to be offered to view and their arrangement leaves an extremely large space on each floor for the use of shoppers. Dome lights and fans are general throughout the building.

The Sun Company are to be congratulated on their initiative and enterprise.

During the celebration of the opening period special goods will be offered for sale at exceptionally cheap rates.”

Source: Hong Kong Sunday Herald, page 13, 21st July 1929


I am researching the following street (Shui Pai Street) and am at a loss.

My deceased grand father worked at Sun Company in the late 1920's as a manager and in Public Relations. He and my dad lived in Shui Pai street which was a step away from The Sun Company.  

According to my dad, the street entrance was along Wing Wo street and the entrance of this small laneway was from  Des Voeux Rd Central.

Unfortunately I cannot find any records about this street. I understand that the street no longer exists - but I have looked at maps from the 1920's- 1940's and there is no mention of it. I think it's because it was only a small non-descript laneway (street).

Hoping anyone can shed some light on this street.

Thanks in advance