CDF/Lagardère aims to refine offer in year one at HKIA

By Andrew Pentol |


The CDF-Lagardère joint-venture took over the contract on 18 November 2017 and completed renovations on 23 June.

CDF-Lagardère, the joint-venture comprising China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and Lagardère Travel Retail is looking to refine its assortment and deliver good value for money in the first year of trading at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

This follows today’s (12 July) unveiling of eight liquor and tobacco duty free stores under the Duty Zero by CDF branding.

As reported back in April 2017, when the joint-venture secured the eight-year contract, the stores are spread over 3,400sq m with a strong focus on omni-retailing activities. This includes new ideas to deepen customer engagement through digital initiatives.

The joint-venture took over the contract on 18 November 2017 and reported ‘booming’ sales during the first 10 days of operations. Renovations were finally completed on 23 June 2018.


Scott HamiltonToday’s launch follows the grand opening of Shilla Duty Free’s (Shilla) six Beauty&You stores at HKIA earlier this month. This was after the Korean retailer accelerated its overseas expansion with the capture of the beauty and fashion and accessories contract.

Speaking to TRBusiness directly after leaving the shop floor, Lagardère Travel Retail Head of Liquor Category Management Scott Hamilton (left) said: “In terms of our first-year objective, we want to refine our assortment and ensure it is a good working and broad one for all consumers.

“We also want to ensure we give good value for money on our pricing throughout the region when customers pass through.”

He added: “We have a great joint-venture [with CDFG in the group] and are looking forward to great results by the end of the year.”


The joint-venture reported ‘booming sales’ during the first 10 days of operations last year.

Regarding the liquor assortment in particular, this has come a long way since the joint-venture took over the contract at HKIA. “When we took on the range it was a very limited one. We have since expanded it to bring in a wider range of cognacs and single malts. We have also focused on targeting global exclusive exclusive products through our key worldwide vendor partnerships.”

The wine assortment has also developed since November, emphasised Hamilton. “This has grown rapidly and widely. We now have a very good range of our Grand Creu Chateau and a diversified and extensive range of New World wine from countries such Chile, Australia and Argentina.”

Engaging and entertaining the customer is a prime objective for the duration of the contract. “We are trying to achieve this through various different means in-store. There is an interactive wine-table, for example, which is showcasing the Penfolds range at the moment. This not only gives a good indication on the wine, background and tasting notes, but offers pairing comments at the same time.”


Other sections of note include Actual Reality areas, a Digital Bar where customers can choose cocktails which are automatically made and a Discovery Zone. This is aimed at bringing story-telling into the liquor section.

Hamilton concluded: “We are trying to get brands that have a good background and unique story and communicate with the customer through this type of interactivity. Of course, there are tastings involved as well and it is all done in a very modern crafted style based on bespoke wall-bay systems.

“Our interactive zones, have been very successful and hopefully this will lead to increased dwell time in the stores and better sales.”

Click here for an interview with CDFG President Charles Chen who outlines to TRBusiness his hopes for the Hong Kong contract.


The liquor assortment has come a long way since the joint-venture took over the contract last November.





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