CDFG teams up with jeweller Qeelin for Singapore Changi retail debut

By Kristiane Sherry |

CDFG Qeelin opening

The CDFG and Qeelin teams officially open the new Changi store. (L-R) Meili Li, President of Luxury and Fashion Dept, China Duty Free International;⁠ Christophe Artaux, Chief Executive Officer of Qeelin;⁠ Henry Cheung, President of International Operations, China Duty Free International; Chandra Mahtani, Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions, Changi Airport Group.

China Duty Free Group (CDFG) has partnered with fine jewellery brand Qeelin to open a boutique at Changi Airport, marking the retailer’s first official activity in Singapore.

Located in Terminal 1 next to brands including Gucci, the store will benefit from high footfall. 

CDFG describes the move as an “important milestone” in the development of the business’s overseas duty free activities. It follows the opening of a duty free store at Cambodia’s Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport in October 2023.

CDFG said that it will continue to “actively expand” into international markets under the leadership of China Tourism Group. 

The Qeelin boutique opened on the eve of Lunar New Year 2024, and will offer travellers a luxury shopping experience across a wide product range. Limited editions and China Duty Free exclusives are also part of the line-up.

CDFG will manage the day-to-day operations at the Kering-owned brand’s new location, leveraging the relationship built from the Qeelin store in Hainan. 

Qeelin is known for its designs which blend cultural connotations and symbolism with modernity and craftsmanship.

The brand currently has more than 130 points of sale across Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. Greater China is its main market. 

CDFG and Qeelin: ‘Milestone’ moments

“The Asia-Pacific region is a key market for both CDFG and Qeelin’s expansion, while Singapore Changi Airport is one of the most important travel retail markets,” said Wang Xuan, CDFG Chairman and General Manager. 

“Expanding our business in Singapore perfectly aligns with our development strategy and also demonstrates our strength in operating at global hub airports. 

“CDFG is committed to strengthening our core capabilities, steadily driving our international growth strategy, and providing consumers with more comprehensive and convenient services.”

The new Qeelin store marks CDFG's first foray into Singapore.

The new Qeelin store marks CDFG’s first foray into Singapore.

Christophe Artaux, Qeelin Chief Executive Officer, added: “Together with CDFG, Qeelin is thrilled to open its first boutique at Singapore Changi Airport and reach another milestone of the brand’s international development plan. 

“While we celebrate Qeelin”s 20th anniversary this year, we look forward to bringing the modern vision of oriental aesthetics to the world through our unique jewellery designs and stories.”

Last October, CDFG’s parent company China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation saw its nine-month sales soar by 29.1% year-on-year to hit RMB50.837 billion/about US$6.9bn.

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