China Duty Free Group shares its priorities and daigou concerns

By Charlotte Turner |

CDF-Shanghai-downtownIn an exchange with TRBusiness, Lee Charn Cheng (CC Lee), Chief Operating Officer, China Duty Free Group, made it clear that the operator is in favour of greater restrictions for daigou shuttle traders.

His comments are in line with the opinions of company President, Charles Chen. In a presentation he made on stage at the TFWA’s China Century Conference earlier this year, Chen very publicly condemned the daigou business, insisting that it has the potential to erode brand equity, which is particularly damaging for luxury brands.

Aside from his views on the daigou trade, Lee told TRBusiness that 2018 was a great year for CDFG and that 2019 is looking positive too.

“2019 is still looking strong. We are carrying on the strong momentum, with new downtown stores being opened in Mainland China, and a first ever downtown store in Hong Kong.”


However, CC Lee did air his concerns about the company’s rapid development. “We are expanding at such a rapid rate that we need to prioritise our resources.”


China Duty Free Group will operate two duty free concessions (tobacco and food and fashion and beauty) at the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, which was officially inaugurated on 25 September, by China President Xi Jinping in time for China National Day on 1 October.

Talking of priorities, he also said that CDFG has three goals: “Grow sales, grow talent and grow relationships with key partners.”

While overseas expansion is also high on the list, CDFG continues to consolidate in its home market, which could become even more important if China opens up to foreign DF operators as various reliable sources have insinuated to TRBusiness that it might...

Unfortunately, Lee was unable to comment on the market opening up to global operators: “I can’t answer on behalf of the government,” he said.


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