Photo: China Duty Free Group

CHINA. The Moodie Davitt Report is pleased to introduce a new photo-journalism series, drawn from our regular journeys around the world to discover the latest travel retail and airport commercial developments.

Each edition of 20/20 vision: Through the Moodie Davitt Lens will feature 20 images and talking points about the chosen airport or store.

We begin with Martin Moodie’s whistlestop visit on 7 March to China Duty Free Group’s extraordinary Haitang Bay International Shopping Complex, a pleasure emporium that offers up a dazzling array of shopping (and photo) opportunities.


This external panorama captures the extraordinary scale of this vast shopping emporium. But to the millions of visitors who descend on the retail complex each year, the real delights lie within. [All photos: ©The Moodie Davitt Report]


I love the contrast of this shot, the young woman in red at the forefront, weighed down with her purchases, set nicely against the majestic architectural backdrop of the building. Judging by the size of that shopping bag, she has spent right up to her newly enhanced CNY30,000 (US$4,314) allowance.


This interior shot captures some of the vastness of the retail environment but only hints at the dazzling brand array on offer. During peak periods (of which there are many), this public concourse zone will be jam-packed with shoppers heading for various brands and departments.


If China Duty Free Group is hitting new heights, then so is Guerlain, with this high-profile communications installation, linked to a pop-up store below. It’s daring, dazzling and dramatic. Much like the store itself.


(Above and below) Americana to the fore: Fashion label Tory Burch and beauty brand Kiehl’s put on a similarly striking show.




This photo was taken during an off-peak period (Thursday mid-afternoon, post Chinese New Year) but you wouldn’t know it from the crowd drawn to Chanel likes bees to a honeypot.


Lancôme (above) and Estée Lauder (below) generate extraordinary business volumes here in Haitang Bay.



I like interacting stories that are taking place in this photo. At front of shot a middle-aged man seems to be carrying enough duty free shopping for a family of 12 while in the background customers pour into the elegant Cartier boutique.


Big brands, including red-hot Gucci, anchor the retail offer.


But it’s not just about famous international brands. Hong Kong fine jewellery brand Qeelin, which blends traditional Chinese symbolism and western modernity, enjoys a vibrant presence.


Korean skincare brand Dr. Jart+ delivers extraordinary sales from this modest retail footprint. Such is its success however, that it will soon move to the much larger space currently occupied by MAC, which will in turn take up an enhanced position elsewhere. Pictured with a staff member is Jonathan Holland of Jonathan Holland & Associates, which represents the brand in Asian duty free.


The eyes have it. Mainland shoppers coming to Haitang Bay tend to know precisely what they are after before they enter the store.


And when the shopping’s done… well it’s time to hit the phones again.


Popular Austrian crystal brand Swarovski never fails to sparkle with Chinese consumers.


Italian fashion brand Paul & Shark is well-represented in an expansive boutique. Pictured paying a visit yesterday is Sunil Tuli, Managing Director Duty Free & Travel Retail at King Power Group (HK), which represents the brand at Singapore Changi Airport.


Sung-Joo Kim’s MCM, a stellar tale of a thriving independent brand in a world dominated by multi-nationals, enjoys strong business here.


It’s not just beauty but beauty devices that prosper in Haitang Bay, spurred by strong performances from brands such as Foreo and Clarisonic.