Shop and fly
We take a closer look at some of the retail/F&B stories that have been making headlines across the ACI Asia-Pacific and Middle East region.
STARRY GALLERIA OPENS AT CHONGQING JIANGBEI
China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) has opened a new commercial street of international brands in Terminal 3A (T3A).
The new ‘STARRY GALLERIA’ initiative is a result of the work of the Sino-Singapore Chongqing Airport Commercial Management Co Ltd – the joint venture set up by Singapore Changi subsidiary, Changi Airports International (CAI), and the Chongqing Airport Group to manage the non aeronautical side of CKG’s business.
In 2022, the joint venture successfully awarded domestic retail concessions to DFS and Dufry, making Chongqing Airport the first airport in China to gather the presence of three big international travel retailers, including Lagardère.
Since its inception, the joint venture has progressively attracted global luxury brands to open stores in Chongqing Airport. The latest include Gucci (July 2023) and Cartier (August 2023). Burberry will also hold its grand opening later in 2023. According to the joint venture, the presence of world-renowned luxury labels reflects the high level of confidence international brands and retailers have in Chongqing Airport’s commercial business and its continued appeal post-COVID.
Among the guests at the unveiling of the new concept were Dai Ke, party committee secretary and chairman of Chongqing Airport Group Co Ltd; Hiang Seow Lee, CEO of Changi Airport Group (CAG) and chairman of Changi Airports International; and Nancy Liu, president of DFS Group China.
DFS Group’s Liu noted that Chongqing, the DFS Group’s first entry into the domestic duty paid travel retail market at a Chinese airport, offers great opportunities for tourism. She said: “DFS looks forward to future strategic partnerships that can further enrich the shopping experience of travel retail consumers and jointly create a new retail legend.”
According to the partners, the opening is another example of the success of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity.
Looking ahead, Chongqing says that it is willing to work with Singapore to “give full play to the radiation effect and driving role of the two hubs” and expand the depth of “point-to-point” co-operation around financial services, the aviation industry, transportation and logistics, information and communication and the digital economy.
It also notes that it wants to promote “face-to-face” high-quality connectivity between central and western China and ASEAN, and write a new chapter of exchanges and co-operation between the two sides in the new era.
Learning from the development of Singapore Changi’s iconic Jewel Changi Airport development, Chongqing Airport Group Co Ltd reveals that it also plans to build a high-quality international shopping mall with a “themed landscape and comprehensive business” which it hopes will become a future landmark for the city of Chongqing.
CAG CEO, Lee, stated that Singapore Changi Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport have developed a “community of solidarity”.
He also noted that he felt that CAG has the confidence and experience to help Chongqing Airport better implement China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative as well as work with countries and regions along the new land-sea corridor in the west.
Lee added that he hoped that Singapore Changi Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport can further deepen their co-operation mechanism, strengthen their experience exchange, achieve the ultimate in differentiated, humanised and personalised business travel services, and strive to bring passengers even more pleasant and exciting upgrades.
CARTIER COMPLETES SYDNEY’S LUXURY SHOPPING PRECINCT
Sydney Airport’s T1 international luxury shopping precinct is now officially complete, with the arrival of its twentieth world renowned brand, Cartier.
The boutique’s grand façade has been inspired by the iconic imagery of yachts in Sydney Harbour, with four soaring sails standing at over seven metres high against a backdrop of champagne mesh. Spanning a generous 170 square metres, the boutique presents a full offer of Cartier’s iconic jewellery and watch collections as well as a wide selection of accessories including leather goods, fragrances and gifts.
Its arrival completes the SYD X shopping precinct, which boasts the largest collection of luxury brands in Australia, including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Dior, Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent, Bottega, Celine and Loewe.
Sydney Airport’s executive general manager for commercial, Mark Zaouk, said: “With Cartier’s arrival we have the final jewel in the crown of our exquisite luxury precinct, SYD X.
“After several years of planning and development it’s remarkable to see our ambitious retail vision come to life with 20 of the world’s best global brands under one roof. Sydney Airport is now positioned as a top player in the world of luxury, offering the most extensive collection of exclusive travel retail anywhere in the southern hemisphere.
“With international passenger numbers continuing to grow, SYD X has become a popular choice for travellers looking to indulge in a little luxury before they fly.”
MUMBAI DELIGHT FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS
Mumbai Duty Free has secured an Indian duty free first by adding Italian chocolate brand, Venchi, to its confectionery offerings at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
A range of chocolates are available, including the Venchi Truffle Nougatine Chocolate Cigar, Venchi Cremino 1878 Bar, Venchi Milk Gianduja With Hazelnuts Bar, and more. Indeed, customers have the opportunity to try the chocolates and create their own chocolate mix, exploring flavours such as Venchi Chocoviar Gianduja and Venchi Espresso Coffee Chocolate.
Mumbai Duty Free’s vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships, Amit Butani, said: “We’re truly excited about partnering with Venchi. People worldwide have a strong affinity for delicious chocolates, and Venchi is renowned for crafting exceptional ones. Their delightful chocolates seamlessly complement our mission to make every visitor’s shopping experience special. Through this partnership, we’re thrilled to share Venchi’s renowned flavours with our customers, adding sweetness to their travels and enhancing their overall enjoyment.”
BALI BOOST WITH OPENING OF NEW RETAIL and F&B OUTLETS
Dufry and PT Angkasa Pura I (AP1), the operator of 16 airports in Indonesia, have announced the completion and opening a host of new travel retail stores at Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Through subsidiary HMSHost International, Dufry operates a strong portfolio of F&B outlets at the airport, which is the main gateway to the popular tourist isand.
Speaking at the official ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new stores, Dufry CEO, Xavier Rossinyol, said: “We are extremely proud to officially celebrate the completion of this development process.
“We have partnered with the airport for the last ten years and over that time, have developed a truly collaborative and close partnership with the airport team. We are delighted to be able to play our part in delivering the best brands and concepts – both in F&B and travel retail – to the airport’s annual 1.6 million plus visitors.
“The customer is at the heart of everything we do at Dufry and with the extensive refurbishments of our existing stores, alongside the introduction of completely new retail spaces and F&B outlets, we are taking the airport experience to another level in alignment with our Destination 2027 Strategy, and delivering on our promise to make travellers happier!”
In total, Dufry has opened 20 new shops representing a wide selection of iconic and globally recognised brands, including Bally, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Collection, Deus Ex Machina, Emporio Armani, Lacoste, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Montblanc, Oakley, Quiksilver, Sarinah, Suncatcher, The Art of Time, and Tumi.
An extensive refurbishment programme has also been undertaken across Dufry’s existing stores including Coach, Longchamp, Marc Jacobs, Swarovski, and Victoria’s Secret (which Dufry has taken over from DFS), as well as the full renovation of the Departures Walkthrough Shop, Departures Spirit Shop, Last Minute Shop, Last Chance Shop and Arrivals Shop.
Dufry was named as winner of the second stage tender for retail and F&B service providers opened by AP1 as the operator of the airport in 2021. A total of 13 F&B stores including global brands and proprietary brands owned by HMSHost have since been opened and introduced to airport visitors. The aim, says Dufry, is to satisfy various target groups of tourists in Bali, ranging from business travellers, foreign tourists and relaxed family groups who want to enjoy the atmosphere of Bali.
The new additions include Australian brand, The Coffee Club, and the global brand, Pizza Hut – both of which are said to appeal to locals and visitors alike – as well as Two Dragons, Little Eats, FRESH, Espresso Bar, High Tide Bar and the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Kitchen.
“AP1 along with our business partners always work side-by-side to prioritise airport service users to create a good customer experience,” noted AP1 president director, Faik Fahmi.
“With good collaboration between Dufry and AP1, I hope that we can further improve the quality of service to airport service users so that they can feel more comfortable and happy during their time at the airport.”
After experiencing a decrease in the number of passengers in 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Bali–I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport experienced passenger growth in 2022, with a total of 12.5 million passengers passing through the gateway.
“With the increase in passenger traffic, of course, the presence of world-class retail and F&B services presented by Dufry and HMSHost International will greatly pamper airport service users,” said Fahmi.