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Growing the shopping factor in Chinese airports

31 Aug 2008 by Ciprian Hirlea

When it comes to consuming luxury goods, China is right up there with the best of them. In fact, it is reportedly the third largest market in the world with an appetite for bling and fancy.

While gargantuan glitzy malls sprawl across prime property in many Chinese cities, both major and emerging, the country’s airports have yet to line their marble halls with boutiques laden with designer labels and gewgaws. While passenger movements are up 18 percent on 2007, the growth in services revenue is only 4.4 percent.

Working to improve this record, the China Civil Aviation Association (CAAS), representing all of China’s commercial hubs, has organised the first China Airport Retail Expo in Shanghai from November 26 to 29, a platform meant to bring together local airports and retail conceptualisers from around the world.

The event, it is hoped, will result in a number of signed contracts and creative partnerships between the parties, resulting in a more stimulating airport environment as found in old hands such as Singapore Changi Airport and Hongkong International Airport.

Expected participants include Nuance Watson, SSP Food Services and the Huai Hai Group, along with brand leaders such as Swarovski, Victorinox, Swatch, Cerruti 1881, Giovanni Valentino, Mars and Hershey’s among others.

The expo builds upon the success of the China Airport Retail Summit held last year in Beijing. This year’s gathering takes place in the Shanghai Mart Exhibition Centre in the Hongqiao district. For more details, go to www.gisconsult.net/retailexpo

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