Retail in Asia

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Changi Airport retail revival gathers momentum as revenues hit 60 percent of 2019 levels in January

Changi Airport Group (CAG) has shared an encouraging update on the continuing strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic of Singapore Changi Airport.

SEE ALSO: Changi Airport retail sales hit USD 822M on Indonesia, India, Thailand spend

The airport company revealed that retail and food and beverage sales hit 60 percent of 2019 numbers in January, assisted by significant revenues from rebounding passenger markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

CAG noted that perfumes & cosmetics, liquor and tobacco and luxury have once again emerged as the top categories in Changi’s stores.

New tenants and brand collaborations

Changi Airport continued to attract tenants even during the height of the pandemic, which CAG said reflects the strong confidence that brands have in the recovery of travel at the hub.

It noted that leasing activities for Changi Airport’s airside concessions saw a significant ramp up last year when Terminal 4 (T4) and the southern wing of Terminal 2 (T2) reopened.

Over 140 airside concession leases were successfully concluded, and 19 new-to-Changi brands and concepts secured. A large-scale leasing exercise for 20 F&B outlets in T2 attracted “an overwhelming response from the market,” CAG said.

Some of the notable store openings at Changi Airport’s terminals in recent months include the largest Bacha Coffee store in the world, a new duplex opening in Terminal 3 (T3); luxury boutiques from Dior, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co in Terminal 1 (T1); new-to-Changi brands such as Korean streetwear label ADLV in T4; and athleisure brand Lululemon in T3.

Retail space transformation

“Transforming retail spaces to be both beautiful and functional allows Changi Airport to create experiences that go beyond shopping,” CAG said, giving the example of the Central Piazza revamp in T1’s Departure Transit Hall, which was completed last year.

The airport company noted that the space was intentionally designed to exude a sense of warmth and serenity, similar to a hotel lobby and atypical of the cold functionality of airports.

“An oasis of peace” has been created via carefully curated design elements including hanging chandeliers, green columns emerging from ponds, the sound of water amid the lush vegetation, as well as earthy tones and a blown-glass suspension art installation.

Tenants at the Central Piazza (Shilla Duty Free, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, and Lotte Duty Free) have been organised for strong visibility to passengers from the moment they step into the Departure Transit Hall. The stores have also been designed to blend seamlessly into the tranquil environment.

The west wing of the T1 Departure Transit Hall has also been reconfigured to rejuvenate the zone and elevate the overall shopping and dining experience.

The refreshed design features more greenery and the entrance to the secondary street has been widened, with a new F&B cluster anchored in the zone to drive footfall. Customer experience has been enhanced with additional seating and a layout with new landscaping and F&B concepts.

CAG revealed that the east wing of the T1 Departure Transit Hall is next in line for a refresh. There will be an enhancement of a popular F&B cluster and the injection of new retail spaces.

Innovative omnichannel experiences

One of the ways CAG is working with brands to capture the imagination of travellers is through Changi 1st pop-ups in the transit halls each month. These activations often feature limited edition product launches that are firsts in Asia, or the world.

The Guerlain Parfumerie d’Art Pop-up in T3’s Departure Transit is being staged from 5 April to 14 May. It celebrates the launch of Jasmin Bonheur, the new olfactory creation of the L’Art & La Matière fragrance collection.

At the pop-up, customers can experience bespoke fragrance consultations as well as engraving and personalisation services.

The Changi Shopping Concierge service has added another innovative dimension to airport shopping. This 24/7 complimentary service caters to passengers who are seeking a personalised shopping experience. Patrons are served by Shopping Concierge Ambassadors (SCAs), who are equipped with product knowledge to guide passengers through retail options at the airport, including Changi exclusives.

SCAs are available to escort passengers around the retail spaces ahead of their boarding time. They can also help to buy the items and have them packaged and delivered to the passenger at the boarding gate.

If the passenger does not have a specific item in mind, CAG explained that the SCAs can help to make product recommendations based on the passenger’s preferences and budget and help enquire with the outlets on product availability.

The Changi Shopping Concierge service is also available for cross terminal shopping. For example, passengers departing from T4 who are keen to shop at Terminals 1, 2 and 3 can engage the SCAs to help purchase and deliver the items to them directly at their T4 boarding gates.

Passengers can either pay online or the SCAs can make arrangements to meet and escort the customer to transact physically at the stores. There is no minimum spend required to engage the Shopping Concierge service.

On the digital front, besides adding more brands and products to the e-commerce platform iShopChangi, the iChangi app has also been crucial in augmenting the airport’s digital offer, making a variety of products and services easily available at the touch of a button.

For example, passengers can now order foreign currency, rent a wifi router and buy duty free goods on iShopChangi before travel, and have them ready for pick up when they arrive at the airport.

The booking of various activities and events as well as the redemption of shopping GWPs (gift with purchase) and PWPs (purchase with purchase), and car parking promotions is also available on the app. Customers can make transactions digitally without the need to queue, providing them with much greater convenience.

New promotions

The ‘Be A Changi Millionaire’ campaign is set to make a comeback later this year for its 11th instalment. The airport-wide year-long promotion gives shoppers the chance to win the grand prize of SGD 1 million (USD 755,000) in cash. There will also be other attractive prizes throughout the year, such as monthly air tickets and daily cash rewards.

Alcohol connoisseurs can look forward to the second installation of ‘World of Wines and Spirits’ (WOWS) this year. A partnership with Lotte Duty Free, the inaugural event last year (from 30 September to 31 December) featured over 200 products from more than 75 brands.

About 400 Changi Rewards members were invited to the WOWS signature event in October last year. The prestigious event included six masterclasses hosted by industry experts, artistic performances, and tastings from a selected range of rare and fine items.

Source: Moodie Davitt Report