Retail in Asia

Asia’s picks for the week

Asia Pacific airports fly high: The latest in Bangkok, Shanghai, New Delhi and Seoul

Asia airport

In this special series, Retail in Asia rounds up the latest news from some of the biggest airports in the region.

The second instalment of new retail developments at the region’s top airports, covering  Suvarnabhumi, Incheon, Shanghai, and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi.

SEE ALSO: What’s happening in Asia’s leading airports? Spotlight on Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport 

According to market research firm GlobalData, there is currently USD700 billion worth of airport construction projects underway around the world, with the Asia-Pacific region claiming the highest levels of development.

Examples include the new satellite terminal at Suvarnabhumi, which will eventually allow Bangkok’s annual passenger volume to increase from 45 million to 60 million. Thai duty free giant King Power has already invested more than THB2billion in duty-free and commercial areas at the new site. A third runway, meanwhile, will be operational from the third quarter of 2024. 

Source: King Power

King Power Group is aiming for sales to reach 80 percent of the 2019 tally this year via offline and online channels and new lifestyle retail stores. Its online retail store currently makes up around 10 per cent of total revenue, and the firm aims to grow the portion to 30 per cent by 2025. To demonstrate its commitment to online shopping, it launched an online service, King Power Click & Collect, earlier this year, which enables customers to shop for duty-free items at any time up until two hours before flight departure. Collection can be made at both departure and arrival counters. 

In terms of F&B, SSP Group recently secured a contract to open seven Point stores, which sell snacks, drinks and sandwiches, at Suvarnabhumi. Six units will be featured in the international terminal, while a larger space will act as a centralised kitchen to serve all other outlets. The offering will include a mix of staples such as sandwiches and pastries plus steamed buns, bento rice boxes, fried rice and curries. The stores will also sell branded confectionery and bean-to-cup coffees.

Incheon Airport Seoul
Source: Unsplash

According to a recent report by Euromonitor, South Korea’s duty-free sales showed a little over USD100 per arrival in 2019, but a big increase is afoot. Indeed, it’s forecast to reach nearly USD200 per arrival on inbound duty-free shopping by 2027. 

Shinsegae and Shilla were awarded licenses to operate duty-free shops in DF 1 zone and DF 2 zone, respectively, for 10 years starting from this July, beating off competition from Hyundai Department Store Duty Free, Lotte Duty Free and China Duty Free Group. Hyundai Department Store Duty Free, meanwhile, won the operations at DF5 zone at Incheon International Airport Terminal 2.

The Hyundai Department store, meanwhile, introduced Chanel to its shops from July, following the inclusion of Louis Vuitton and Hermès. Hyundai’s duty-free shops will commence operations in the prestigious DF5 areas of the airport following a bidding process earlier this year.

Source: Unsplash

One of the places that passengers will be able to spend big is at a new Louis Vuitton store at Incheon. Indeed, South Korea’s largest airport has upped the luxe stakes with news that duty free store operator Shinsegae is expected to open an outlet from the French luxury house Louis in Terminal 2. 

Incheon also welcomed the arrival of its first globally-branded hotel, Ibis Styles Ambassador Incheon Airport last December to Terminal 2. With 360 rooms, F&B offerings include all-day dining restaurant La Cuisine and Bar T2, which serves coffee, wine and cocktails.

Sandwich company Eggdrop, renowned for its American ham and cheese offering, opened at the airport this year and is doing great business since its debut in January 2023. The daily peak customer count has risen by more than 70 per cent from 700 in January 2023, the first month after opening, to more than 1,200 in May 2023.

SEE ALSO: Exclusive: Asia remains ‘beacon of growth’ for Lagardère travel retail, says regional COO Séverine Lanthier

Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
Source: Unsplash

One of China’s biggest airports has begun work on a new Terminal 3 expansion. Representing an investment of almost USD50 billion, the development will bring its capacity to 130 million, an increase of 50 million passengers annually. The shopping experience is set to be transformed at the airport too, as the Shanghai Airport Authority has issued a tender for retail concessions at Terminal 2, which covers 3,300 sqm of space across 38 stores. 

Recent eye-catching activations at the airport, meanwhile, included Flower Market by Nuxe, with the French cosmetics brand promoting three products from its Huile Prodigieuse range: Huile Prodigieuse, Huile Prodigieuse Florale and Huile Prodigieuse Neroli. In F&B news, Segafreddo cafe opened its first outlet in China at Pudong this August. 

Over at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, a key hub for domestic passengers, luxury brands such as Loro Piana, Burberry, Celine and Prada have opened in the luxury and international department store zones this year.

Source: Alipay

Another high-end offering from Dufry and the Estée Lauder group is the new 54 sqm La Mer boutique in Terminal 2, which represents the brand’s first stand-alone store in China’s duty paid travel retail channel. Beauty advisors at the store offer makeup lessons, hand massages and travel-focused skin and body care advice to passengers, as well as bespoke consultations supported by advanced diagnostic digital tools.

More upscale brands are coming – Aesop, La Prairie and Diptyque are all set to make their debut on a phased basis through to the end of this year and the beginning of 2024. 

Hongqiao’s dining options are becoming increasingly international, too: Cova opened its first pasticceria at terminal 2 earlier this year, and Italian chocolate and gelato house Venchi made its Asia Pacific debut here in 2023. Local offerings Xia Wei Guan, Xia Mian Guan and tea specialist Jinri Toutiao are all set to open in 2024. 

SEE ALSO: Heinemann Asia Pacific ‘trending in the right direction’ as China outbound travel set to accelerate

Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi)

Recently voted #7 by CabincrewHQ’s World Best Airports 2023 with a score of 67.3 out of 100, Indira Gandhi International is one of Asia’s up-and-coming airports, with plenty of developments afoot.

While it hosts a modest number of restaurants and shops compared to the top six, which is topped by Tokyo Haneda, things are changing fast: Terminal 1 was recently expanded and a fourth runway was  added in September 2023. It can now cater to 109 million passengers, making it one of the largest in the world.

Chinese lifestyle retailer Miniso opened two stores at the airport this summer, each spanning over 750 square feet and hosting a diverse offering of Miniso’s products including licensed collections, blind box collectibles, plushies, fragrance and  accessories.

Fragrance fans travelling to Indira Gandhi are also in for a treat, as Delhi Duty Free Services (DDFS) has announced the launch of luxury fragrance brand Creed, available exclusively at the retailer’s stores in Indian airports. The partnership between DDFS and Creed’s exclusive distributor in travel retail, Be Keen gives customers access to the brand’s collection of scents.

Source: Unsplash

As for F&B, Tim Hortons opened an outlet at the airport this June. Spread across 36,000 square feet, it’s the Canadian coffee chain’s first airport store.

On the hotel front, Chalet Hotels recently signed a franchise agreement with the Indian Hotels Company to open a Taj hotel at the airport’s terminal 3. Located a short walk from terminals 2 and 3, the luxury hotel will feature 400 rooms and bespoke dining and conferencing facilities. The hotel is set to make its debut sometime in 2025.