Retail Opening • Duty Zero by cdf

Duty Zero by cdf

A very Grand Opening and a very grand statement

The full opening of Duty Zero by cdf at Hong Kong International Airport in July was a watershed moment in travel retail. One that is important not only in its own right but also for the statement that it makes to the travel retail world.

The 12 July Grand Opening of Duty Zero by cdf was the thrilling realisation of an alliance between China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and Lagardère Travel Retail, a formidable Sino-French partnership that triumphed in the hotly contested tender for Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) liquor, tobacco and packaged foods concession in April 2017.

At the time of that seminal success, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) President Charles Chen said: “This marks an important milestone in the international development of our organisation’s duty free business. We... will join hands with Lagardère Travel Retail to present a world-class duty free shopping experience to HKIA passengers.”

Lagardère Travel Retail Chairman & CEO Dag Rasmussen mirrored the excitement, noting: “We look forward to growing our long-standing partnership with one of the world’s finest airports. Our teams across the world are excited to collaborate with our brand partners to bring to life a new benchmark for quality and engagement in travel retail.”

Brand emporium: Duty Zero by cdf offers an outstanding range of international and Chinese brands, especially in the anchor East Hall stores

The Refinery blends elegant surrounds with some of the world’s most illustrious brown spirits

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CDFG Chief Operating Officer CC Lee on why Duty Zero by cdf is breaking new ground

The Grand Opening of Duty Zero by cdf is celebrated in traditional style by VIPs representing various stakeholders and key brand partners. Pictured (left to right) above are: Moët Hennessy AFME, LATAM & Global Travel Retail President & Regional Director Laurent de Boidevezi; Airport Authority Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Fred Lam; China International Travel Service Limited General Manager Peng Hui; Lagardère Travel Retail Greater China Chief Executive Officer Eudes Fabre; and Kweichou Moutai Group Vice President Zhao Shuyue

Some 15 months on, that pioneering partnership has delivered on those claims. It is an ambitious, highly contemporary fusion of east and west, expressed through diversity of product range, digital technology, consumer engagement, promotions and personalisation. In these pages we talk to CDFG and Lagardère Travel Retail senior management about the challenges they faced and the ultimate realisation of the partnership’s pledges to Airport Authority Hong Kong.

Duty Zero by cdf’s Grand Opening may have been held in HKIA’s departure zone but for CDFG it was also an emphatic statement of arrival. Arrival on the international stage. The group has long been a tour de force on the Chinese Mainland and on Hainan Island. Now, as Charles Chen makes clear, CDFG is going global. The conclusion is irresistible. The journey ahead will be both fast and far-reaching. In many ways, it has just begun. As the HKIA retail tagline says, “Start from zero, start from here”.

The Moodie Davitt Report • The Online Magazine • October 2018