HONG KONG. Airport Authority Hong Kong has awarded contracts to a star-studded line-up comprising many of the world’s most famous luxury brands following an open tender for multiple luxury store concessions and two ‘Icon’ shop contracts at Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1, The Moodie Davitt Report can reveal exclusively.

Ten newcomer brands will bolster what is already one of the airport world’s most powerful luxury offers. The biggest talking point is the selection of Louis Vuitton as one of the two icon store retailers. The famous French luxury house will replace Rolex, while the other incumbent, Chanel, retains its contract. However, Chanel will move into the space currently occupied by Rolex and Louis Vuitton will occupy the Chanel location.

A rendition of the stunning Louis Vuitton icon duplex store at Hong Kong International Airport. Note the subtle plane image near the entrance. [Picture courtesy of Louis Vuitton].

The two duplex icon stores rank among travel retail’s most high-profile shopping locations worldwide and Airport Authority Hong Kong will be delighted to have secured two such illustrious names.

A roll-call of luxury: The chosen line-up of brands represents a powerful encapsulation of the world’s luxury goods sector.

That brand power extends further into the selected line-up of a host of first-tier luxury brands in the main central area, the South Fashion Street and the North Fashion Street.

A preview of the elegant new Cartier boutique at Hong Kong International Airport. [Picture courtesy of Cartier].

The authority is known to have spent much time assessing appropriate brands for the respective-sized units, ensuring that those brands occupying the bigger units will offer a full range of products.

Chanel will retain an icon store contract but will switch into the location currently held by Rolex (below).

T1’s central area (currently featuring the likes of Cartier, Tiffany and Bulgari) will see a new consolidated grouping of luxury watches and jewellery brands, a response to passenger demand for better clustering of brands. All watches and jewellery brands will take pride of place here – alongside a heavyweight array of first-tier luxury names.

Existing HKIA brands to remain in this area are: Cartier, Zegna, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Tiffany, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Balenciaga, Valentino, Omega, Piaget, Versace, Chaumet and IWC.

High-end Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre retains its sought-after incumbency.

Some of these incumbents will take up new locations. Tiffany, for example, will move to a much larger space, allowing the upscale US jewellery house to offer a significantly wider range of its jewellery products.

The same applies to Bulgari, which is understood to have been performing particularly strongly over the past year at HKIA. Other brands, such as Cartier and Omega, will remain in the same locations, but will all implement complete renovations for their new contract terms.

New brands to this central area include Panerai and Breitling watches and Chloé, the women’s fashion brand currently experiencing a sales boom in Asia,

The 3,000sq ft Gucci store is already a shopper magnet at Hong Kong International Airport. With a further 2,000sq ft added in the new contract, that status is certain to be embellished considerably.

The ‘South Fashion Street’ area will see a classic luxury line-up, anchored by icon store retailer Louis Vuitton and Hermès (whose contract still has another two years to run and whose location was therefore excluded from the tender).

Existing tenants to win new contracts are Loro Piana, Moncler, Christian Dior (which moves from the central area to here), Burberry, Miu Miu while Montblanc and Ferragamo are new. Moncler, currently occupying a very small unit will move into almost double the space.

The traffic figures here are published by exclusive agreement with m1nd-set’s Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S). This unique air traffic forecasting tool was developed with IATA and ARC’s ‘Direct Data Service’ (DDS) database. Click to enlarge.

The North Fashion Street zone will feature MCM (excluded from this tender as, like Hermès, it still has considerable tenure remaining), with incumbents Bally and Gucci remaining.

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Gucci, which already enjoys a major 3,000sq ft site, will also take up the 2,000sq ft currently occupied by Alfred Dunhill to create a striking 5,000sq ft flagship Gucci store.

New brands in this zone are luggage brand Rimowa, French women’s shoes brand Roger Vivier; YSL (making its debut at HKIA) and Alexander McQueen.

All contract formalities have now been completed. The luxury boutiques will be introduced in phases, with winning brands beginning the renovations from April 2019. All new shops will be ready for opening by the end of 2019.

For the two icon shops, the current contracts do not expire until Q3 2020. That means that Louis Vuitton and the ‘new Chanel’ will open towards the end of that year.

To welcome in its new partners, Airport Authority Hong Kong plans an ambitious refurbishment of the luxury zone’s common areas, including new ceilings, floor finishes and more.

Comment: Airport Authority will be well pleased with the results of one of the highest-profile airport tenders of recent years.

The selected line-up of concessionaires is a roll-call of the luxury world’s biggest, best and hottest brands, with Louis Vuitton – via only its fifth individual airport presence – the glittering icing on a very rich cake.

The authority spent considerable time talking to its passengers and the wider market about brands and trends.

The outcome of that process can be seen in a mix of the established and the new, with ten renowned brands – Louis Vuitton, Panerai, Breitling, Chloé, Montblanc, Ferragamo, Rimowa, Roger Vivier; YSL (making its debut at HKIA) and Alexander McQueen – joining some familiar, highly prestigious airport incumbents.