CDF: Beijing to be first in new downtown shop openings

By Luke Barras-hill |

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CDFG is planning downtown shop openings in Beijing, Macau, Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao and Xiamen.

Written by Charlotte Turner

As part of a truly omnichannel retail strategy, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) has revealed it has plans to open downtown stores in Beijing, Macau, Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao and Xiamen. 

A CDFG source told TRBusiness that the company will open the Beijing store first, but in a phased approach with around 10,000sq m expected to be finished around May this year. The store will carry all categories aside from liquor and tobacco.

The news was announced during this week’s TFWA’s China’s Century Conference in Hainan province (5-7 March).

The company already boasts an enviable network of airport stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Macau (among others). It also operates offshore duty free shops in Hainan at Sanya, Haikou and Bo’ao.

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Charles Chen (centre) answers questions from TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer.

HAINAN SALES UP 19%

Chen confirmed to TRBusiness that Hainan’s duty free sales rose to RM10bn ($1.5bn) in 2018 (+19% vs 2017), of which CDFG’s Haitang Bay, Sanya store contributed $1.1.bn.

Chen emphasised once again at the TFWA China’s Century Conference, how CDFG benefits from a huge resource of data.

This is through its own database of loyalty members, those recruited by Sunrise Duty Free, and through its new joint venture retail concept, Duty Zero by cdf, in addition to the company’s tourism business arm, The China Tourism Group.

It also has a strong online platform that will surely be boosted by a new strategic partnership struck with ecommerce giant Alibaba, through which CDFG will take advantage of  big data and improved marketing and logistics.

For example, through the new partnership, CDFG says it will be able to more easily target the consumer at the time they book their trip, or when they pre-order duty free products online.

By marketing to travellers before they shop, Chen says the company hopes to improve penetration into stores, as well as conversion and ATV.

It also hopes to take advantage of re-purchasing opportunities by engaging with consumers after they shop in store. It hopes that this way it can better facilitate travellers’ sharing and recommending their purchases.

Stay close to TRBusiness for further coverage from the TFWA China’s Century Conference.

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