DFS wins five-year fashion, watches & jewellery contract at Chongqing Airport

By Charlotte Turner |

Leading luxury retailer, DFS Group, has been awarded a contract to operate the fashion, watches and jewellery concession in domestic Terminal 3A at Chongqing Jiangbei Airport in China, in what DFS describes as a ‘tightly-contested bid’.


The Chongqing Jiangbei Airport Authority, which made the announcement yesterday, has awarded a five-year contract to the Hong Kong-headquartered travel retailer, who will manage 13 branded boutiques stretching over 1,500sq m.


Terminal 3A first opened in 2017 boasting 530,000sq m, while the initial vision for commercial activities was shared in 2015 by Chongqing Airport’s then Commercial Division Manager, Gao Ya Li, at the TFWA’s China’s Century Conference held in Shanghai.


DFS will take possession of the premises in September 2022, with operations beginning in November. DFS plans to officially unveil the new offer before Chinese Lunar Year 2023 including 18 luxury brands, some of which will be making their debut at Chongqing Jiangbei Airport.


These are in addition to brands already secured by the Airport including Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Gucci and Burberry.


“We are very pleased that we were able to win this concession in the face of stiff competition from other operators,” said Benjamin Vuchot, DFS Chairman and CEO.

“We are very pleased that we were able to win this concession in the face of stiff competition,” said Benjamin Vuchot, DFS Chairman and CEO.

DFS says ‘strong focus on luxury’ in Chongqing

“We are very pleased that we were able to win this concession in the face of stiff competition from other operators,” said Benjamin Vuchot, DFS Chairman and CEO.


“In preparing for the bid, our teams brought to life DFS’ expertise in store design, retail operations, merchandising and marketing, with a strong focus on luxury positioning.


“We also leveraged our deep and strong relationships with some of the best brands in the world, gained over more than six decades of operational experience in airports and downtown locations.


“As China’s borders remain closed to international travel, providing more avenues for domestic retail has never been more critical or timely.”


Nancy Liu, President DFS China, added: “Less than two years after re-entering China with our Galleria store in Hainan Island, we are swiftly covering ground.


“I am delighted that we are able to find new and exciting ways to serve our Chinese customers in their home location, as part of our renewed efforts to grow our footprint in this critical market.”


Changi Airport commercial partnership

With a population of more than 30 million, Chongqing is Mainland China’s largest city, with its airport ranking fourth in the country by domestic passenger volume; over 35.8 million passed through Terminal 3A in 2019.


There are well-established ties between Singapore’s Changi Airport Group and Chongqing Airport which resulted in the establishment of the Chongqing Airport Commercial Management Co, between Changi Airports International (CAI) and Chongqing Airport Group Co in November 2018 ‘to enhance Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport’s non-aeronautical business’.


CAI, which holds a 49%t stake in the joint venture, first partnered with Chongqing Airport in 2008 to optimise one of the airport terminal’s commercial areas. When the terminal became operational in 2010, sales per passenger jumped by more than 20%, according to CAI. CAI was engaged again in 2011 to work with the team to develop the commercial space for Terminal 3A.


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