Hotel Chocolat is opening in Hong Kong in the latest phase of its international expansion.

Hotel Chocolat has teamed up with local partner B&S for its first retail move outside Europe, the Sunday Times reported.

The plan is to open a small chain in Hong Kong and then branches elsewhere in Asia, tapping into demand identified among shoppers in the specialist retailer’s British stores.

Hotel Chocolat co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “In London, we were getting a high proportion of Asian people buying a lot of products and stuffing them into their suitcases to take home.

“This is the beginning of what will be potentially a huge market.”

Hotel Chocolat, which floated last year and has 93 UK stores and three in Copenhagen is also expanding in the Republic of Ireland. It also has a luxury hotel in the Caribbean.

Thirlwell said it was important to have found an Asian partner to drive expansion there.

He said: “In Asia, it’s all about retail expertise on the ground. We’ve been really pleased with the way they’ve launched the store.”