CHINA. The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie and Tapestry Asia-Pacific President and Coach China CEO & President Yann Bozec jointly appeared on SSTV’s Boao Forum for Asia Global Outlook programme in Hainan this weekend to discuss the island province’s offshore duty free sector and the forthcoming China International Consumer Products Expo (Hainan Expo).
“There is no free trade port close to the size and the scalability of Hainan. It is the size of Belgium. So the opportunities are boundless.” – Tapestry Asia-Pacific President and Coach China CEO & President Yann Bozec
The programme is part of a big media build-up to the 2022 Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, to be held on 20-22 April in Boao, Hainan province under the theme ‘The World in COVID-19 & Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and a Shared Future’.
Asked by SSTV anchor Liao Zhu whether his often-quoted description of Hainan offshore duty free as a “lighthouse” of the global travel retail sector still held true given the current global pandemic, Moodie replied. “I remain very confident about Hainan’s tourism and duty free industry prospects.
“Yes, there have been some serious pressures faced because of the pandemic and we saw that in the recent Hainan store closures. But we also saw very prompt reaction from the Hainan authorities and Hainan duty free retailers, who moved very quickly in terms of epidemic prevention and control. Very impressive, I thought.
“You saw that the China Duty Free Group store, for example, in Haitang Bay reopened after just nine days. And that augurs well – it means there’s good coordination between retailers and authorities and the people of Hainan.
“Also, thanks to the very enlightened duty free shopping policy in place on Hainan – one that is far ahead of any other equivalent policy in the world – I think that Mainland consumers are going to keep coming back and back and back.
“Why? Because the island is a beautiful place itself, it’s a homegrown paradise. But it’s also a shopping paradise. And none of that is going to go away because of the pandemic.”
“You can see great government support for the duty free business in Hainan and that’s not always the case around the world. And you see great commitment by the duty free retailers to investing in improved facilities, new stores, better stores. You put those factors together and you see a lot of confidence in the market.” – The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie
Bozec was then asked about the Hainan Expo where the Tapestry group exhibited last year. How did he rate the impact of the event?
“First and foremost, we were very, very honoured and very pleased to have had the opportunity to be in Hainan’s Consumer Products International Exhibition, which is the biggest consumer goods exhibition in all of Asia Pacific,” he responded. “So definitely it was an honour and a privilege to be able to be there. We were able to present – together with a lot of other brands and peers from the industry – a lot of new products and new innovation.
“Each of our brands – Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman – took the opportunity to unveil their most innovative products and tried to listen to the feedback of all the attendants at the show. We were incredibly pleased when after the show we were able to put these products in our stores… and to see that they were incredibly successful and a big commercial hit.
“So we look forward to this year to be able to come again with Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman and share innovation and products that will cater for the very demanding and discerning Chinese customer.”
Asked why Tapestry attaches so much importance to the Hainan market, Bozec replied, “There are a lot of free trade ports in the world but Hainan is unique. The way we explain that is very simple – there is no free trade port close to the size and the scalability of Hainan. It is a free trade port the size of Belgium. So the opportunities are boundless. And for each of our brands, Tapestry is very, very excited to participate in that.”
Liao Zhu then asked Moodie how he thought Hainan’s offshore duty free sector would perform once the pandemic is over and Chinese outbound travel begins to normalise. “I think the very fact that the duty free industry, the tourism sector and indeed the whole Hainan economy are so closely interrelated, that it simply has to spell a very bright future for duty free,” he replied.
“It’s an integral part of a fundamentally important sector in Hainan – the tourism industry. So you can see great government support for the duty free business in Hainan and that’s not always the case around the world, I can tell you. And you can see great commitment by the duty free retailers to investing in improved facilities, new stores, better stores.
“So you put those factors together and you see a lot of confidence in the market. And that confidence is being reflected in the attitude of some of the world’s most famous international brands, for whom Hainan has become the centre of their global duty free activities. So I think all the stars are aligned very strongly for the future of Hainan’s offshore duty free industry.”
Footnote: Every fortnight The Moodie Davitt Report publishes Hainan Curated, in association with Foreo, a selection of all recent stories from the offshore duty free sector in Hainan province. Click here to view all back issues. Please email Kristyn@MoodieDavittReport.com to subscribe.
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