Casino and resort operators in Macau have been in a tight spot for the last two years as gaming revenue continues to drop, stunted by the effects of China’s anti-corruption campaign. Companies are thus beginning to shift strategies and diversify their offerings to luxury retail and tourism to keep Chinese consumers coming. Last week, luxury travel retailer DFS Group in partnership with casino developer Melco Crown Entertainment Limited unveiled an expanded T Galleria lifestyle shopping area in City of Dreams on Cotai Strip—the popular tourist destination where Palazzo Versace Macau and Karl Lagerfeld’s resorts are being built. The retail space is positioned to accommodate all “aspirational, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan leisure seekers in the region.”
T Galleria is now three times its former size and connects restaurants, casinos, entertainment attractions, and hotels, with numerous brand new retail spaces featuring both luxury brands new to Macau as well as local favorites. The space boasts a heavier emphasis on beauty products and menswear and also integrates dining areas for high tea and social events.
“Since entering the market in 2008, Macau has and continues to be an incredibly important destination for our customers and for DFS, which is why we are thrilled to unveil a retail concept here that is a first for DFS in terms of its scale, audacity and innovation,” Philippe Schaus, DFS Group’s Chairman and CEO said in a statement. “It is also a first for Macau in terms of providing a curated and modern product selection across the major luxury categories, targeting new and experienced travelers alike.”
One of the highlights is a new space dedicated to attracting more male consumers, with a large selection of menswear, shoes, watches, accessories, and grooming products. There are also two floors dedicated to men’s and women’s shoes spanning more than 50 labels, both from Macau and around the globe, claiming the title as the largest shoe salon in Macau.
The revamped T Galleria is scheduled to open in phases between now and the end of the year. By the time it is completed, the shopping mecca will include 31 new big-name fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Miu Miu, and Fendi, plus an expanded beauty counter with Korean brands new to the city. T Galleria is also now putting a larger emphasis on watches and jewelry, including Tiffany & Co and Vacheron Constantin. The latter is yet another example of a trend where more jewelry and watch brands are taking their business to Macau in hopes to reach Chinese shoppers there, with several going so far as to close up shop in Hong Kong where business from mainland visitors is slowing down.
Macau is making other efforts to attract more tourists to deflect the economic repercussions of the struggling gaming industry, including attempts to boost cultural and lifestyle appeal. Nearby Cotai, Taipa Village is hoping bring in adventure-seeking tourists with a tourism campaign that shows travelers a multi-faceted destination that goes above and beyond gambling. The campaign features a new, minimally designed, bilingual website and corresponding social media platforms featuring the vast offerings in Taipa’s F&B, shopping and entertainment scenes. The neighborhood boasts Chinese and Portuguese architecture, historic buildings and temples, alongside more modern venues in what they’re calling “an idyllic blend of East and West.”