[UPDATE] Hainan Expo attracts strong exhibitor line-up of global luxury brands

By Andrew Pentol |

The inaugural China International Consumer Products Expo (Hainan Expo) attracted a strong line-up of retailers and suppliers from across the travel retail industry.

As reported, the Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development had been heavily involved in the organisation of the Hainan Expo (7-10 May) which was jointly held by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Hainan Provincial government.

Global luxury brands were invited to attend, sell their products and develop new business relationships.

A zero-tariff policy, much like the one expected to be part of Hainan’s Free Trade Port Plan was implemented on products imported especially for the Expo. Items were exempt from import duties, import VAT and consumption tax.

Spread across 80,000sq m, Hainan Expo was expected become the largest consumer boutique exhibition in the Asia Pacific, according to a statement forwarded to TRBusiness from the Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development.

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION AREA

The international exhibition area spanned 60,000sq m and was divided into specific areas (fashion, jewellery, high-end food and health products, residential life and service consumption). According to the Bureau, there were 648 exhibiting companies and 1,365 exhibiting brands from 69 countries and regions.

The DFS Group display took visitors on an interactive journey showcasing DFS’ global store network and luxury expertise.

Spread over 20,000sq m, the domestic exhibition area comprised 857 exhibiting companies and 1,263 exhibiting brands.

DFS Group was among various leading travel retail players to showcase impressive displays at the Hainan Expo. According to the retailer, the display took visitors on an interactive journey showcasing DFS’ global store network and luxury expertise through a series of experiential spaces.

On entering the display, guests were invited to explore the universe of highly curated luxury brands and products that DFS is known for, through a series of dedicated areas.

Visitors were then led to a room dedicated to “Exclusive Brands and Products”, featuring items from DFS’ core luxury pillars. Fashion products were displayed on a stylised catwalk, while beauty and fragrance products appeared to float above mirrored plinths or capture attention in animated activations.

“The Masters Room”, dedicated to DFS’ world-renowned Masters Series, gave visitors a peek into the retailer’s most exclusive customer experiences.

Selected bottles from the Masters of Wines and Spirits collection, along with jewellery and timepieces representing the Masters of Time collection, evoked DFS’ expertise in curating products for the most discerning connoisseurs and collectors, according to the retailer.

Selected bottles from the DFS Masters of Wines and Spirits collection were on display at the Hainan Expo.

The final stop was the VIP Service Lounge, an area for guests to experience the pinnacle of DFS’ service in an elegant and relaxing environment. The room featured a bar stocked with fine Champagne. It also boasted images illustrating the Times DF x DFS Haikou Mission Hills Duty-Free Complex, the first phase of which opened in January in partnership with Shenzhen Duty Free Group.

Benjamin Vuchot, Chairman and CEO, DFS Group said: “Our display exhibition was truly a journey into the world of DFS, giving attendees at the Consumer Expo the opportunity to travel with us to some of the most luxurious stores we have to offer

“Our intention in Hainan is to establish the most innovative stores in our global network, incorporating the latest retail technologies and avant-garde concepts to provide our valued customers with the most extraordinary luxury retail experiences.

“By sharing a glimpse of our expertise here, we offered our guests a warm welcome to visit our stores in Hainan as well as around the world.”

‘PURPOSE-DRIVEN PAVILION’

Aside DFS Group, L’Oréal presented its own “purpose-driven pavilion” at the Hainan Expo. The 500sq m space, alongside the brand’s presence in the Business France pavilion, gave visitors an insight into L’Oréal’s brand portfolio.

Through a flight window shade entrance, L’Oréal welcomed Hainan visitors into the world of 16 beauty brands ranging from luxury products, consumer products, haircare and active cosmetics.

Visitors could preview the Valentino and Urban Decay brands for the first time in Hainan travel retail, while YSL and Armani featured its makeup virtual try-on technologies powered by ModiFace.

Over 10 beauty talk sessions ran over the four-day Hainan Expo to inspire visitors wishing to discover the L’Oréal portfolio.

A key element of the L’Oréal pavilion is the 360-degree immersive room on Biotherm’s artistic collaboration with multi-media artist, Coco Capitán.

Presented with a tech-driven directional take, the interactive and artistic experience aimed to raise awareness and encourage visitors to take a stand for the Blue Lung — the world’s ocean.

Visitors to the impressive 500sq m L’Oréal booth gained an insight into the company’s beauty brand portfolio.

An RMB100,000/$15,523 donation will be made to One Planet Foundation in support of efforts to tackle plastic pollution in Hainan.

Fabrice Megarbane, President, L’Oréal North Asia Zone and Chief Executive Officer, L’Oréal China said: “As a ground-breaking approach for displaying global consumer goods, Hainan Expo contributed to shaping a more prosperous Hainan and even the entire national consumption market.

“With the mission of ‘Beauty for All’, our participation showcased innovation, sustainability and beauty. During the post-epidemic period, this event was an unprecedented opportunity to promote the concept of ‘Good Consumption’ and to satisfy consumers’ appetites and stimulating domestic consumption market to create the beauty that moves the world.”

On the liquor front, Diageo Global Travel presented the stories and flavours behind some of the world’s most luxurious spirits, including Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskies.

EMPHASIS ON JOHNNIE WALKER

Diageo placed a particular focus on Johnnie Walker Blue Label at its booth during the Hainan Expo. The blended Scotch is crafted using rare, hand-selected Scotch whiskies and is renowned for its depth of flavour.

A rendering of the Diageo stand at the Hainan Expo which placed a strong emphasis on Johnnie Walker.

Other whiskies from the Johnnie Walker range were on show including Johnnie Walker 18-Year-Old, the travel retail exclusive Johnnie Walker Island Green, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and limited-edition whiskies such as Johnnie Walker Triple Cask.

The Singleton single malt Scotch whisky, Baileys Irish Cream, and Shui Jing Fan were also displayed.

In addition, Diageo brand ambassadors were on-site to take customers and consumers on a journey of discovery using storytelling, tastings, cocktail and Highball-making exhibitions, quizzes and interactive displays.

The Singleton single malt Scotch whisky was among the products being displayed by Diageo in Hainan.

Eduardo Barp, Managing Director, Diageo Global Travel, said: “Diageo is one of the world’s leading international beverage companies and we are honoured to have been invited. This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and consumers to come together to discover the best products and learn from one another.

“China is one of the most exciting markets in the world for spirits producers right now. The potential has always been clear, but it has been fantastic to see how consumers in China are increasingly embracing luxurious, international-style spirits, particularly Scotch whisky, which is proving especially popular with younger consumers.”

Eduardo Barp, Managing Director, Diageo Global Travel says China is one of the most exciting markets in the world for spirits producers.

He added: “We are not focusing solely on our award-winning products in Hainan. We are highlighting the incredible service and experiences Diageo brands offer like gifting and personalisation.

“Expectations of shopping experiences are evolving, with increasingly blurred boundaries between channels. This is especially true for our younger consumers, who want engagement, meaningfulness, and convenience in their retail experiences.

“And we, of course, encouraged everybody who attended to find out more about our Drink IQ programme. This is a real priority for us and is our principal commitment to promote the enjoyment of our world-leading products in a responsible way.”

OFFICIAL BEAUTY DEVICES PROVIDER

Meanwhile, Swedish beauty-tech brand Foreo was the official beauty devices provider for the Hainan Expo.

Aiming to strengthen the concept of green consumption, Foreo designed a special edition Luna series to exclusively commemorate the grand opening.

The special edition of the Luna series featured the mascot of the consumer fair (Yuanxiao) on the background of the tropical elements of Hainan island.

Swedish beauty-tech brand Foreo was the official beauty devices provider for the Hainan Expo and designed a special edition Luna series to exclusively commemorate its grand opening.

In order to better reflect the significant of the event, Foreo chose to incorporate the mascot into a tropical jungle, decorated with tropical fruits available in Hainan, alongside gibbons playing in their natural habitat.

The Luna series is available in fun sunflower yellow. Foreo said the series fitted perfectly with the image of Yuanxiao and made the special edition an even more compelling choice.

Gary Leong, Global Travel Retail Director, Foreo commented: “Foreo is very pleased with the first ever partnership with the inaugural China International Consumer Products Expo.

“We are very honoured to be the designated beauty device provider for the Hainan Expo and to design an exclusive Luna series for the Expo.

“We are very much on board with the concept of green consumption and green exhibitions which are being advocated, because as a company ourselves, we are committed to reducing electronic waste.

“The continuous development of high-quality and durable beauty products is one of the main purposes of Foreo. Our partnership with the Hainan Expo no doubt strengthened the concept of sustainable development to consumers.”

Ruslan Tulenov, Global Media Officer & Supervisor of Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development remarked: “We were very excited to launch the special edition of the Luna Series with Foreo.

“This successful cooperation with Foreo, a high-quality beauty technology brand, can fully demonstrate Hainan Expo‘s purpose, which is never to cease improving, collaborating and aspiring to turn our dreams into reality.”

Finally, Shiseido Company, Limited made its presence felt at the Expo, showcasing new brands, products and technologies to key Chinese trade and traveling consumer audiences.

Shiseido Company, Limited is showcasing new brands, products and technologies at the Hainan Expo.

As the first beauty company to confirm its participation in the event, Shiseido reinforced its commitment to long-term growth in China and travel retail’s global hotspot, Hainan.

The 500sq m Shiseido Company, Booth commemorated the 40th anniversary of Shiseido entering the Chinese domestic market and highlighted the Group’s sustainability values. Key products from 13 Shiseido brands were also on display.

Two prestige skincare brands were unveiled for the first time in domestic China, taking centre stage in separate display areas at the booth.

TWO BRAND LAUNCHES

Baum, a sustainable offering that supports healthy skin by harnessing “the power of trees” and focusing on water storage, growth and environmental defence and The Ginza, a minimalist luxury brand that combines technology with ingredients to deliver tailor-made solutions for all skin-types and problems, were both unveiled.

Philippe Lesné, President & CEO, Shiseido Travel Retail (pictured above) said: “The inaugural China International Consumer Products Expo underlined the importance of Hainan, a beacon of growth for travel retail and a key gateway for us to capture and engage traveling Chinese consumers.

“This milestone event was expected to deliver greater momentum to the offshore duty-free business on the island and further elevate Hainan as a premier international duty-free shopping destination.

“We are committed to enhancing Shiseido Group’s positioning as a skin beauty company through continued cross-border collaboration and building long-term partnerships with key retailers in Hainan to drive mutual growth.”

Bacardi Global Travel Retail was also among the exhibitors at the Hainan Expo and placed a strong focus on Dewar’s and Aberfeldy whiskies. Bacardi said that the four-day show was an important opportunity to meet and engage with consumers from across China and to host meetings with strategic business partners.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail placed a strong focus on its Dewar’s and Aberfeldy whiskies during the Hainan Expo.

Visitors to the Bacardi stand (pictured above) explored and tasted the range of Dewar’s aged, blended malts. These included Dewar’s Double Double 21 Year Old and Dewar’s Double Double 32 Year Old. The stand featured a competition linked to the official WeChat accounts of Bacardi in China — MixLab and Dewar’s — giving entrants the chance to win a bottle of Dewar’s 15 Year Old.

With Chinese consumers driven by new discoveries in single malts and with age statements a significant purchase motivator, Bacardi targeted these trends with a varied portfolio. Exhibition visitors explored the provenance behind Aberfeldy, Royal Brackla, Aultmore, Glen Deveron and Craigellachie. Purchases were made via QR codes for click-and-collect from China Duty Free Group stores while in Hainan or to buy later online with the Chinese government’s official 180-day post-trip purchase allowance period.

Patrón Tequila was also an important feature within the exhibition experience. Visitors sampled Patrón  Reposado and Patrón Añejo, discovering the subtleties that result from handmade, small batch craftsmanship and oak.

Vinay Golikeri, Managing Director, Bacardi Global Travel Retail commented: “The China International Consumer Products Exhibition was one of the most dynamic and strategically important opportunities for our travel retail business today and we were honoured to have been among the first international businesses to participate.

“This event has opened the way for Bacardi to reach huge numbers of Chinese consumers and to engage and excite them with our premium portfolio — especially in whisky and with Patrón tequila. Importantly, the last few days have enabled us to accelerate our digital footprint in line with Chinese spirits shopper preferences during their current trip to Hainan and to optimise the post-trip purchase allowance period.

“It’s also been a valuable brand-building opportunity to ensure our portfolio features in their consideration set for future trips, where online pre-travel research drives 50% decision-making among spirit shoppers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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