HONG KONG. It’s a red-ribbon occasion at Hong Kong International Airport today as Duty Zero by cdf, the retail joint venture between China Duty Free Group and Lagardère Travel Retail, celebrates the Grand Opening of its eight-store network.

The Moodie Davitt Report is on location to bring you exclusive coverage of the celebrations, including interviews with China Duty Free Group (CDFG) President Charles Chen and Chief Operating Officer C.C. Lee; and Lagardère Travel Retail CEO China Eudes Fabre. Log in again through the day as we bring you the latest updates. [We’ll bring you a Podcast with Charles Chen soon and a much more extensive interview with him in our forthcoming special e-Zine edition on today’s opening – see panel].

Besides our exclusive coverage today and tomorrow, we’ll bring you an extended pictorial and analytical review in that e-Zine later this month.

The eight Duty Zero by cdf stores embrace 3,391sq m of shopping space and feature multiple customer interactive zones. These offer travellers an immersive experience in brand appreciation, product education and sensory elements.

[CDFG President Charles Chen tells Martin Moodie what a landmark today’s Grand Opening represents]

China International Travel Service General Manager Peng Hui said: “Sales at Duty Zero by cdf have been robust since the soft opening in November last year. Within eight months of commencing business, our sales revenue has already reached beyond projections, coming as a huge encouragement to us. Duty Zero by cdf is the fruit of the collaboration between China Duty Free Group and Lagardère Travel Retail as we put into service the four advantages we enjoy as the world’s major travel retail companies. By offering a wide array of product collections, a new pricing model, engaging interactive experience, and quality customer service, we offer travellers a brand new shopping experience at HKIA. We believe that in the near future, Duty Zero by cdf will extend its brand and operations to many more international airports and become the premier liquor and tobacco choice for travellers from China and around the globe.”

Lagardère Travel Retail Chairman & CEO Dag Rasmussen said: “Our successful partnership is rooted in a shared passion for excellence and innovation, a vision based on trust and openness. We believe that by bringing complementary expertise, we are able to do extraordinary things. We have combined China Duty Free Group’s unparalleled experience of Chinese consumers with Lagardère Travel Retail’s international experience and global understanding of travellers.

Speaking to The Moodie Davitt Report on the eve of the Grand Opening, C.C. Lee told The Moodie Davitt Report: “We’re bringing the dream to reality. We’re trying to create a new level of experience shopping for consumers.

“You will see throughout the stores what we promised to Hong Kong Airport, not only in terms of the design, but in terms of the interactive elements, the experience, the zones, the merchandise, plus all the technological initiatives.

“We have also introduced new interactive elements to make the buying of liquor not just about buying commodity, but something to experience through a lot of engagement zones, cocktail bars and demonstrations.”

[Click on the icon to hear C.C. Lee talk about Duty Zero by cdf’s points of difference]

(Above and below) Celebratory moments as the Grand Opening of Duty Zero by cdf is marked in traditional style.

(Above and below) CDFG President Charles Chen and Martin Moodie talk about the Grand Opening of Duty Zero by cdf and CDFG’s vision of the future at the Premium Lounge in the retailer’s East Hall south store.

(Left to right) Lylian Vignau, CEO of Duty Free Global at Lagardère Travel Retail; Eudes Fabre, CEO Lagardère Travel Retail China; and Françoise Flament, Lagardère Travel Retail Product Management Director photographed in the Premium Lounge after their interview with The Moodie Davitt Report (coming soon)

A proud Airport Authority Hong Kong management team chat with Martin Moodie over refreshments in Terminal 1’s excellent Caviar House & Prunier outlet. Pictured left to right are General Manager, Retail & Advertising Alby Tsang; Martin Moodie; Executive Director, Commercial Cissy Chan’ and General Manager Retail Experience, Retail & Advertising, Kitty Lo.


[The Grand Opening Ceremony was celebrated in spectacular Chinese style. Click on the icon to view part of the Lion Dance]

CDF-Lagardère Company Limited General Manager Eddie Tsai said that the shopping proposition was centred on four core inter-related strategies – highly competitive retail pricing, customer interaction & experience, customer service and technology.

A special e-Zine to celebrate a special retail opening

In addition to The Moodie Davitt Report’s exclusive online coverage of the Grand Opening of Duty Zero by cdf, we’re preparing a special commemorative e-zine dedicated to this extraordinarily ambitious retail proposition. It will include extensive pictorial and video coverage, social media reaction and exclusive analysis by Martin Moodie.

If you would like to advertise in this celebratory edition, please contact Sarah@MoodieDavittReport.com

“We guarantee price competitiveness against all major airports in Asia Pacific,” he said. “We will refund double the price difference if customers find regular-priced travel retail items at lower prices at other major airports in the Asia Pacific region. We want to change customers’ perception. A lot of local (Hong Kong) residents didn’t bother to come into the store because they knew it was expensive. We have been working hard to change that perception.”

Highlights of the offer include:

– Dedicated customer service desks to provide customers, loyalty club members and VIPs with a range of services, from enquiries to membership services to order and pick-up.
– An elegant Premium Lounge for VIP customers offering a range of bespoke services and rare limited-edition premium products. WeChat and Alipay payment options are also available.
– 11 customer interactive zones with themes including whisky cask craftsmanship, Asian liquor, a hi-tech digital bartender, an interactive game zone and virtual local taxi tour. Experiential themes will be refreshed every season so that customers leave Duty Zero with a new experience, even locals who travel through the airport multiple times per year.
– The most comprehensive Chinese liquor and tobacco selection in travel retail.
– The airport world’s first integrated Asian liquor department.
– What is claimed to be the most comprehensive selection in single malt whiskies among Asia Pacific airports.
– A dedicated gourmet section themed on Hong Kong high tea
– An elegant, expansive and experiential Hennessy boutique (the first phase of which is pictured below; the full boutique is due for completion in September)

[This high-profile promotion is taking place in the landside departures zone, ensuring maximum consumer awareness of the duty free offer that lies on the other side of security and immigration. Via this interactive experience, Duty Zero by cdf is offering consumers the chance to win a First Class trip to Europe with 8 days and 6 nights accommodation.]

Martin Moodie tries out the interactive experience, which not only offers a First Class trip to Europe with accommodation but also the chance to sign up as a Duty Zero by cdf member

The sign says in Chinese, “I’m on vacation.” I don’t think so, but when work is as enjoyable as this it feels like a holiday anyway.

Now the interactive part…

And the end result sent to my phone.

DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT

[Wine buying can be both educational and fun as this digital installation in the East Hall North store shows]

[Digitalisation and humanisation converge. Watch Bombay Sapphire served as you’ve never seen it before]

RETAIL HIGHLIGHTS – EAST HALL SOUTH

[We’ll bring you detailed commentary on the stores in coming days].

The offer includes a magnificent range of Chinese spirits and cigarettes

 

THE PREMIUM LOUNGE

An elegant facility reserved for VIP customers offering bespoke service and a magnificent range of limited-edition items.

 

LOCAL THEMING MERGES WITH CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT

This brilliant interactive zone features a real Hong Kong taxi and the opportunity for the consumer to be seen in some of Hong Kong’s most famous tourist spots. Recognise that person appearing in the picture below?

GOURMET DELIGHTS: LOCAL FLAVOUR IN EVERY SENSE

Duty Zero by cdf’s concession also features gourmet foods, a key shopping compatibility that Airport Authority Hong Kong identified last year when it restructured its anchor store contracts.

This zone blends gifting with destination merchandise with a particular emphasis on the Hong Kong tradition of ‘high tea’.

HIGH-PROFILE PROMOTION ZONES WITH AN EMPHASIS ON IMMERSIVE, ENGAGING ACTIVITIES

Nowhere is that premise better expressed than in this brilliant Chivas installation featuring an enthralling virtual reality programme that allows consumers (and industry publishers) to discover more about the single malts that go into one of the world’s great blends.

EAST HALL NORTH 

[We’ll bring you more pictures of this stunning department later)

A SELECTION OF FURTHER IMAGES FROM DUTY ZERO BY CDF