At an extraordinary time that has turned most of duty free and travel retail’s performance metrics upside down, Asia Pacific is faring better than other parts of the world. Airline passenger numbers are down, but not by as much as elsewhere. ACI World forecasts a -59.2% drop for the region in 2020 versus falls of 63.6% and 70.8% in North America and Europe. Retailer Q3 results also look better in Asia, with Korean giants Lotte and Shilla Duty Free reporting year-on-year percentage revenue declines in the low-to-mid forties, which compares favourably with the results posted by many international retailers.
China is the market driving Asia Pacific’s recovery, in large part through the spectacular growth in its offshore duty free sector, centred on Hainan. As Charles Chen, president of China Duty Free Group, revealed at the recent TFWA China Reborn virtual event, CDFG’s four outlets on the island receive over 30,000 shoppers every day. (CDFG has since opened a fifth store, at Sanya Phoenix International Airport, with further outlets planned.) DutyFreeExpert founder Jason Cao highlighted that another six stores will open on Hainan by 2021 and that just 4.7% of visitors to the island bought duty free goods in 2019. The potential is clearly huge, with total sales more than doubling to $3.82bn between January and mid-December 2020.
TFWA Asia Pacific Hainan Special Edition, running from 10th to 13th May in Sanya, Haitang Bay, will combine a conference featuring authoritative analysis of economic and business trends with a cost-effective brand showcase based around suites rather than custom-made stands. A flexible format will enable participation in person or virtually, and TFWA’s ONE2ONE meeting service will allow delegates to network with prospective partners both physically and online.
Keep an eye out for updates on TFWA Asia Pacific Hainan Special Edition in the coming weeks