Retail in Asia


Hainan’s offshore duty free sales hit US$26.53 million on Chinese National Day

Offshore duty free sales in Hainan, China surged 122 percent year-on-year to US$26.53 million on Chinese National Day, 1st October, the first day of the Golden Week celebrations.

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While traffic has been lighter than hoped for in some stores over the past three days, largely related to certain provincial governments on the Mainland urging their citizens not to travel during the holidays due to COVID-19 concerns, the numbers suggest that last year’s total Golden Week record sales of some US$155 million should be blitzed.

Reporting the figure, since confirmed by Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development (Hainan IEDB) to The Moodie Davitt Report, government-owned Sansha Satellite TV noted the big crowds packed into the China Duty Free Group and Global Premium Duty Free (GDF) Plaza stores in Haikou.

It also pictured Haikou Customs officers supervising the unloading of goods, carrying out inspections, and checking the recently introduced traceable QR source codes on each sku. The traceable source code, a globally unique number, takes the form of a Hainan-specific QR code label, which is tear-proof and damage-resistant.

“To ensure that duty free shops have sufficient supply during the peak holiday shopping period, we must speed up the circulation of duty free goods,” a senior Customs official told Sansha Satellite TV.

“This year, two new duty free shops have been opened in the Haikou area, and the duty free goods supervision warehouse has continued to expand. The sales volume of duty free goods has increased significantly, and our supervision workload has also continued to increase,” added the senior Customs official.

The report noted that to maximise the consumer benefits of Hainan’s offshore duty free business, Customs have implemented multiple measures to protect the duty free goods supervision chain, including the speeding up and simplification of customs clearance transfer procedures.

As reported, the days leading up to the official holidays also saw bountiful sales. Hainan Development Holdings-controlled Global Premium Duty Free (GDF) Plaza posted a new daily sales record of more than USS$9.3 million on 29th September.

That figure was partly driven by high sales to locals who were leaving the island for the Golden Week holiday and took advantage of strong promotions, heavily marketed by GDF Plaza. ”

The next few days will depend on the number of pax coming to Hainan,” a senior GDF Plaza source told The Moodie Davitt Report.

Sales across the island province’s nine stores have been boosted by a duty free coupon promotion in association with the Hainan Provincial Department of Commerce. Each retailer is offering a variety of discounts under the scheme.

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China Duty Free Group’s five stores are operating the voucher scheme until 31st December; GDF Plaza throughout October; Shenzhen Mission Hills Duty Free City until year end; HTDF’s Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex until 15th October; and CNSC Sanya International Duty Free Plaza until 31st October.