Retail in Asia


Lunar New Year holiday prompts USD169.6 million duty free sales surge in Hainan province

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival holiday has prompted a “wave” of duty free shopping across the island, according to state-owned China Daily.

SEE ALSO: Retail spotlight: The latest openings in Macau

Quoting official Haikou Customs data, the report said offshore duty free sales in the province reached RMB1.217 billion (USD169.6 million) for the period 10-13 February.

The number of shoppers was 156,000, with an average spend per head of RMB7,802 (USD1,087).

The report said cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex – the world’s largest stand-alone duty free store –had been packed with large crowds of shoppers.

Beauty brands have been promoting hard to maximise duty free spending in Hainan. Pictured is the recently opened L’occitane Hotel pop-up at the cdf Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex. Source: L’Occitane

It quoted Li Siying, a tourist from Central China’s Hubei province, who had spent more than RMB3,000 (USD418) on skincare products for herself and many other products for her friends.

Li commented on the impressive variety of products available and the “very competitive” prices. “Plus, the option for instant pick-up [introduced in 2023 -Ed] is very convenient,” she said.

“It’s much more convenient to come to shop in Hainan than going abroad,” she told China Daily in a comment that underlines the perennial appeal of the offshore duty free shopping proposition.

SEE ALSO: Hong Kong retail sales lift 16 percent in 2023 despite softer December gains

The Haikou municipal government distributed 27,500 digital duty free shopping vouchers worth a total RMB12 million (USD1.7 million) to stimulate consumption over the holidays.