China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and Lagardère Travel Retail have reacted with delight to their joint venture’s success in winning the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) duty-free liquor & tobacco concession.
As revealed exclusively by Jing Daily content partner The Moodie Davitt Report, the joint venture – CDF-Lagardère Company Limited – was awarded the contract ahead of four other strong contenders: King Power Group (HK), Gebr Heinemann, Sky Connection and Lotte Duty Free.
CDF-Lagardère Company will operate the concession from late 2017, replacing incumbent DFS Group (which did not bid on liquor & tobacco and failed to secure perfumes & cosmetics).
CDFG President Charles Chen stated: “It is such a distinguished honor to be awarded the liquor and tobacco concession at HKIA. This is a significant milestone for CDFG to grow globally.
“We genuinely appreciate the trust and confidence the AA has placed in us. CDFG in partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail shall deliver world-class duty-free shopping experiences at HKIA.”
Lagardère Travel Retail Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dag Rasmussen added: “The award of the liquor and tobacco license at HKIA to Lagardère Travel Retail’s joint venture with CDFG is a recognition of our mutual category leadership and respective operational expertise.
“We are grateful for the trust placed in us by the AA and look forward to growing our long-standing partnership with one of the world’s finest airports. Our teams across the world are excited by the opportunity of working in close collaboration with our brand partners to bring to life a new benchmark for quality and engagement in travel retail.”
CDFG and Lagardère Travel Retail are familiar names in the global travel retail industry. CDFG is China’s leading duty-free retailer, operating 248 duty-free stores across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It operates the world’s largest single duty-free shop – the extraordinary Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex – while its parent company, China National Travel Service Group, is China’s largest tourism group following the strategic merger of CTS Group and CITS Group in 2016.
Lagardère Travel Retail has a presence in 31 countries, 220 airports and 700 train stations in EMEA, North America, and Asia-Pacific, qualifying it as a leading travel retail operator with a global reach.
Lagardère Asia Pacific Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel De Place commented: “At HKIA, destinations in China and Southeast Asia are the key part of the mix, complemented by a wide coverage of European and American gateways.
“These are passengers we know well thanks to our global footprint. East meets West in Hong Kong where Lagardère Travel Retail’s alliance with CDFG will build on the respective strengths of the partners to bring a new type of duty-free shopping experience to customers at HKIA.
“At Lagardère Travel Retail we strive to be recognized as a leader in merchandising, customer service and innovation.”
The liquor & tobacco tender covered eight stores, with a total operating size of around 3,400sq m. CDFG Chief Operating Officer Lee Charn Cheng (CC) commented: “We aim to set a new benchmark in duty-free through an exciting and engaging customer experience journey as they enter the stores.
“We will introduce customer interactive zones that include a showcasing of the various products’ manufacturing process, VR shopping, and tasting bars.
“Leveraging the combined strength of CDFG and Lagardère Travel Retail, our merchandise offer will be exciting and unique, including the world’s largest Chinese liquor and tobacco corner, a House of Single Malt plus an exclusive Asian Liquor concept store and a dedicated Hong Kong Gourmet section.
“To build our customer service promise program, we are dedicating customer service desks as well as an in-store VIP lounge.
“Over the next seven months, CDFG and Lagardère Travel Retail will work together with our business partners, i.e. suppliers, designers and the AA, to deliver this world-class store.”
Chen concluded: “We are committed to the AA, through our close collaboration, to deliver this exciting dream come true.”
CDFG noted: “As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Hong Kong is an amazing city that welcomes change. We believe that the future new airport liquor and tobacco stores will leave a page in HKIA travel retail history.
“As an international and regional aviation hub, HKIA is connecting more than 190 destinations in the world, including 40 cities in Mainland China. HKIA achieved a record high of 70.5 million passenger throughput in 2016.
“Being one of the world’s busiest passenger airports, HKIA’s liquor & tobacco business carries a huge weight in the world’s duty-free industry.”