HONG KONG. Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) is putting the finishing touches to a key tender for 30 luxury stores in June, The Moodie Davitt Report can reveal.

The tender is set to be launched sometime from the middle of next month with bids closing in September. Awards are likely by year-end for the five-year concessions which will start in the second quarter of 2019.

The timing looks optimum given a sharply improved business performance in the luxury sector at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The key Christmas and Chinese New Year periods saw “tremendous growth” in luxury, The Moodie Davitt Report has learned. Watches and jewellery, two pivots of the likely luxury offer, have performed particularly well.

Luxury lure: Hong Kong International offers one of the airport world’s best and most extensive luxury line-ups. Competition for the 30 available boutiques is certain to be intense. [Photo: Airport Authority Hong Kong]

As with the anchor store licence tenders last year, AAHK has leaned on extensive consumer research to shape the forthcoming RFPs. The multiple store tender is likely to result in better clustering of brands by category (watches & jewellery, for example) and market positioning, for example.

At present 28 out of the 30 existing boutiques are handled direct by the brand houses (the exceptions according to Moodie Davitt Research are Bally through Dufry and Coach through DFS). But generic travel retailers as well as brand companies are likely to participate in the tender.

The luxury tender is just one of several key developments at HKIA in coming weeks. The two-phase renovation of the food court will begin by June, with ultimate completion due by Q3 2019. And on 6 July, AAHK will honour the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong International Airport.

In the meantime, The Shilla Duty Free will celebrate the Grand Opening of its highly ambitious Beauty & You six-store network of shops on 28 June. The business is reliably understood to be performing particularly well in early trading despite the fact that the stores are under extensive renovation.

Beauty & You, the innovative new concept from The Shilla Duty Free (seen here in HKIA’s arrivals zone) will celebrate its Grand Opening on 28 June

Days later (tentative date 4 July) Gebr Heinemann will celebrate the inauguration of its Sweet Dreams confectionery stores; and on 12 July (likely date) Duty Zero, the nicely-titled partnership between China Duty Free Group and Lagardère Travel Retail, will host another Grand Opening.

Duty Zero has partnered with Moët Hennessy to become the first travel retailer worldwide to launch the Veuve Clicquot Colorama Limited Edition collection, at Hong Kong International Airport

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