TFWA puts luxury at top of China conference agenda

By Kevin Rozario |

Tax Free World Association and the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association are lining up some distinguished speakers for their jointly-staged inaugural conference on the Chinese duty free and travel retail business – with luxury a big focus.


Entitled China’s Century: The Fast Pace of Change in China Duty Free & Travel Retail, the conference will, according to the associations, “take a bullish approach to issues that affect future development of the trade”.


Luxury retailing and the Chinese luxury consumer will be a prevalent theme during the two-day conference. A dedicated session on luxury will feature both international and local experts such as Oettinger Davidoff’s CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard (left); Christian Blanckaert (below right), Professor of Management at Paris’s ESCP Business School and Chairman of Vilebrequin’s newly-established advisory board as well as Chairman of Petit Bateau; and Christie’s Head of Wine for China, Simon Tam.


On the first morning, DFS Group Chairman and CEO, Philippe Schaus, will share his views on the future of luxury retailing where Chinese consumers’ preferences will be a key factor. Other insights on luxury brands’ Chinese experiences will come from a session with senior executives from Godiva, Puig and Luxottica.


James Kynge (left), the principal of China Confidential, a research service of the Financial Times newspaper, will comment on the rapid growth of the economy in the last 20 years, the emergence of the middle class and their appetite for foreign travel, tourism and international brands.



Mark Riches, the former CEO of World Duty Free in the UK, will present his formula for ‘Excellence in Duty Free’ and a retailers’ panel discussion on the Chinese travelling consumer will include Lagardère Services Asia Pacific, King Power Group Hong Kong, and Aer Rianta International.


A session featuring market analysts such as Forrester Research and WE Marketing Group Chairman & CEO Viveca Chan, will “unpeel some of the layers of Chinese society” and provide insights into behaviour in a session about the China market and its consumers.


The conference will also feature a presentation on recent and future developments by Beijing Capital International Airport, while the broader aviation landscape in China will be reviewed in a session led by aviation analyst Peter Harbison, CAPA, with case studies presented by the management of Chinese airports.



This conference is the latest initiative in TFWA’s strategy to support the development of the DF&TR industry in China. It already runs dedicated workshops on China at its current events, and has sponsored research by Counter Intelligence Retail into the shopping behaviour of the Chinese consumer, available to TFWA members on its website.


Networking will be an element of this conference with pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings on both days of the conference which takes place in Beijing from 5-7 March 2013. Registration opens on 4 December, but pre-registration begins in November earlier than originally planned due to the high demand.

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