Retail in Asia


Singapore’s revamped Changi Airport Terminal 2 opens with enhanced retail and F&B offer

In a landmark moment, Changi Airport Terminal 2 has fully reopened its doors after three-and-a-half years of engineering and expansion works. The reopening marks a complete restoration of four-terminal operations at the Singaporean gateway.

T2 was reopened ahead of schedule, a move “needed to meet capacity requirements,” said Changi Airport Group, which expects a full traffic recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.

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The T2 expansion project adds five million passengers per annum to Changi Airport’s capacity to 90 million passengers per year. The airport company has added more than 21,000 square metres to the terminal building to support additional structure, new systems and an enhanced retail and F&B offer.

Homegrown Singaporean brands meet big luxury names in the revamped retail space. The expansion has added 21,000 square metres of space to the terminal building, bringing Changi Airport’s annual passenger capacity to 90 million. Source: Changi Airport

There are 16 airlines operating at T2 with flights connecting to 40 cities. Since May 2022, when its Arrivals South Wing reopened, the terminal has served almost ten million passengers. Passenger traffic at Changi Airport reached 90 percent of pre-Covid levels in September, the company said.

Nature-inspired elements and immersive experiences were the two core elements that guided the terminal’s renovation. Natural elements are present throughout the terminal, including horticulture displays, foliage-inspired carpets, vibrant ceiling designs and green columns adorned with a diverse array of plants.

A 14-metre-tall digital display called The Wonderfall is a standout element. This feature is set in a vertical garden and presents a striking waterfall digital animation cascading over rocks.

The Dreamscape garden, located in the Departures transit area, offers a landscaped backdrop and digital sky which changes hues throughout the day.

An exciting retail and F&B mix

The expansion has resulted in a refreshed mix of retail and F&B at T2.

Some noteworthy concepts include Southeast Asia’s first Funko pop-up store. This offers a Singapore-exclusive Merlion Funko among other popular figurines. Travellers can also pose with larger-than-life Funko statues of their favourite characters, adding an element of the fun to the animation.

In recent months, three homegrown retail concepts have debuted in T2: Lynk Fragrances, Baker’s Well and Café O. Lynk Fragrances is a multi-brand fragrance concept that champions ‘Made in Singapore’ scents and other handmade products. Baker’s Well offers authentic Peranakan confections, while Café O is a traditional Kopitiam (coffee shop) concept that offers Prata flatbread delights.

The revamped F&B offer in the Gourmet Garden champions local, homegrown Singaporean food concepts, enhancing a strong ‘sense of place’. Source: Changi Airport

In the transit area, Lotte Duty Free has opened Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits, a double-storey multi-brand space that offers the world’s first in-airport robot bartender called Toni.

A striking 30-metre circumference LED wraps the second storey of the store and plays scenes of a moon reflected in a lake. The digital animation pays tribute to renowned Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai’s famous poem, Drinking Alone Under the Moon.

The upper level houses Lotte Duty Free’s luxury lounge, known as the Forest of Li Bai. Here, travellers can enjoy a selection of 18 premium whiskies from an impressive wall of dispensers. They can also take photos with K-pop stars using a smart selfie mirror or admire the changing animations of the LED video ceiling.

Championing local with F&B

Another F&B highlight is the Gourmet Garden, a dining area which offers panoramic views of the apron decorated with foliage draping from above. The Gourmet Garden offers a wealth of Singaporean F&B concepts including The Satay Club by Harry’s, Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, The Hainan Story, Crave Nasi Lemak and Old Chang Kee.

The Satay Club by Harry’s is known for its signature skewers and local fusion cocktails such as Chendol Colada, TSK ‘Kopi’ Ice and Harry’s Singapore Sling.

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice offers Singapore’s traditional chicken rice dish, while The Hainan Story bakery and coffee kiosk provides freshly made pastries and Kopi Gu You (butter coffee).

Crave Nasi Lemak sells popular Singaporean coconut rice dishes paired with a delicious assortment of sides while Old Chang Kee offers Singaporean curry puffs and other finger foods.

A vibrant and constantly-changing ceiling animation greets guests to the Forest of Li Bai whisky lounge on the second floor of Lotte Duty Free Wines & Spirits. Source: Changi Airport

The T2 Departures Hall is also home to Changi Airport’s first duplex café, Jones the Grocer. A well-known artisanal café brand, Jones the Grocer offers grab-and-go deli style food at the ground level and offers a stylish bar and restaurant in the upper level, with a show kitchen set to open later in the year.

South Korean fast food chain Jinjja Chicken has brought a new concept to T2 called Jinjja Kitchen, a restaurant that serves Bulgogi (grilled meat) and trendy Croffles (croissant waffles).

Hard Rock Café also returns to Changi Airport offering travellers its renowned Legendary Steak Burgers and baby back ribs alongside popular items and Hard Rock Café merchandise.

“Changi Airport has always been pushing the boundaries of airport service and innovation, while staying ahead of the latest trends in digital as well as retail and dining offerings,” said Changi Airport Group Programme Director for the Terminal 2 Expansion Project Tan Lye Teck. “With T2, we sought to enhance the passenger experience, bringing together a modern terminal inspired by nature, with immersive digital experiences, innovative technology, as well as transformative retail and dining concepts that create a sense of place.”

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T2 has a central common-use Fast and Seamless Travel (Fast) zone which has doubled the number of automated check-in kiosks and bag drop machines. The immigration halls have also been expanded to support additional automated immigration lanes.

T2 has been awarded the BCA Universal Design Excellence Award for its design and user-friendliness, as well as the BCA Green Mark Platinum for incorporating sustainability features to ensure the highest level of environmental performance.