Year in Review

Images of the Year

China Duty Free Group unveils new brand identity in Sanya

Symbolising its progressive outlook and the huge success of its CDF Mall at the acclaimed Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay, China Duty Free Group introduced its new logo and brand identity for the operation, which we revealed as 2021 began. What now ranks as the world’s busiest duty free location has gone from strength to strength during the year, and remains the cornerstone of the successful Hainan offshore duty free business.

Delight as Global Duty Free Plaza opens

We feature the celebratory scenes from 31 January as Hainan Development Holdings (HDH) opened Global Premium Duty Free (GDF) Plaza at the Mova Mall in the heart of the provincial capital, Haikou, with support from leading travel retailer Dufry. The inauguration was yet another landmark in Hainan province’s extraordinary offshore duty free development.

“Busier than I have ever seen it”

A late surge in travel bookings to Hainan for Chinese New Year translated into big crowds into the leading Sanya duty free shops over the Chinese New Year period. Our special correspondent in Sanya sent us pictures from CDF Mall in the Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex. He noted: “It seems busier than I personally have ever seen it. Although local folks are saying travellers may be down -30-40%, I am guardedly optimistic that… retail sales in Hainan travel retail will hit records [this CNY].” Sales across Hainan Island’s duty free shops soared to RMB729 million (US$113 million) over the four days from 11-14 February.

‘An indescribable feeling’

Celebratory and emotional scenes played out at airports on both sides of the Tasman Sea as the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand was launched on 19 April. The recommencement of quarantine-free travel between the two neighbours was a major moment, marking a resumption of flights after a shutdown that had begun on 19 March 2020. ARI Auckland Head of Retail Operations Melanie Rutherford commented at the time: “It is an indescribable feeling to have welcomed our team and customers safely back to the store today. Excitement has been building since the government announcement two weeks ago and all the hard work has paid off.” Although travel between the two countries has been subject to further COVID-19-imposed restrictions since, the restart provided a positive signal for travel and business at an important time, and a platform on which to rebuild in 2022.

Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf: An illustrious inauguration

French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault were the guests of honour as the reborn, reimagined Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf department store was inaugurated just before it opened to the public on 23 June. This impactful image shows President Macron and Bernard Arnault officially inaugurating the complex, surrounded by guests standing on multiple levels of the magnificent building. The Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf by DFS store anchors the development, welcoming visitors into an exceptional world of retail, culture, cuisine and relaxation. It features over 600 brands, 12 restaurants, a boutique spa, an artistic collective, a lifestyle boutique and the largest beauty hall in Europe (see also our sections on Leadership of Thought & Action and our Interviews of the Year).

An extraordinarily impactful image shows French President Emmanuel Macron and LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault officially inaugurating Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf surrounded by guests [Photo courtesy of LVMH. ©Gabriel de la Chapelle ©Bobby Allin]

Foreo puts on a (light) show

As any reader of The Moodie Davitt Report will know, Swedish wellness and beauty tech brand Foreo has been lighting up the China market for some time. In June, courtesy of Foreo CEO Boris Trupcevic, we brought you a more literal example of Foreo lighting up China, in this case by illuminating the majestic Shanghai Global Harbor complex. What an extraordinarily powerful brand statement this was from a shining light of China’s beauty and wellness market.


Fresh makes elegant debut in Hainan

In July Fresh Travel Retail became the first brand to pioneer the giant outdoor 3D digital video screens at the main entrance of Hainan Tourism Duty Free Shopping Complex (HTDF). These featured two impactful 3D videos that showcased the brand’s best-selling collections, the star ingredients and told its sensorial brand story. The video screens accompanied the unveiling of Fresh’s debut counter at HTDF in Sanya in July. Hainan Tourism Investment Duty Free opened the 95,000sq m store in December 2020 with support from Lagardère Travel Retail. The counter was the LVMH-controlled brand’s first retail counter associated with Lagardère Travel Retail outside Europe.


The power and reach of airport advertising in China

These compelling images from September came from Out of Home (OOH) advertising specialist Asiaray Media Group, which launched campaigns for LVMH brands Bvlgari and Tiffany & Co at Haikou Meilan International Airport and Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, respectively. The photographs underline once more the power and reach of airport advertising in China.


In September, Italian luxury house Bulgari unveiled a spectacular global premiere of the Bulgari Allegra Maxi Shelley at the Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay, Hainan, in partnership with China Duty Free Group (CDFG). Above, the LVMH-owned house reinforces the launch with this powerful advertising execution at Haikou Meilan International Airport Terminal 1 arrivals. Below Tiffany & Co sparkles at the magnificent new Chengdu Tianfu International Airport in the arrivals zone.


YSL Beauty Records turns up the volume

L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific and China Duty Free Group teamed up recently to launch a stylish YSL Beauty Records pop-up in Haitang Bay. The activation combined the worlds of beauty and music and featured make-up shows, live concerts and livestreaming to appeal to Hainan’s young and edgy luxury consumers. More than 15,000 travellers visited the pop-up in late September to enjoy a live concert by Chinese singer Yamy who has over 6.9 million Weibo followers. Her high-energy performance entertained shoppers at the physical pop-up and was livestreamed to her Weibo followers reaching a record-breaking 43 million views.


Events in 2021: A blend of virtual and physical

The industry events calendar changed mightily in 2020, as COVID-19 forced the cancellation of almost every in-person gathering from March onwards. We at The Moodie Davitt Report, with technical partner FILTR.QINGWA, acted quickly and proactively to create the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, pulling the industry together at its time of greatest need. Driven by exhibitor and audience demand, we repeated the event in October 2021 with a new platform and curated environment (pictured above). As travel recovered through the year, so too did the appetite for physical meetings. And while TFWA World Exhibition (Palais des Festivals pictured below) attracted around half of its usual numbers this year, with most Asia Pacific visitors absent, its return was a welcome marker for what appeared to be a sustained upturn in the industry’s fortunes in late October. Omicron has cast a late-year shadow over that upturn, and we, like many others, will watch to see its impact on the industry and on in-person events in early to mid-2022.

National Day crowds pour into Haikou shops

Any fears that Golden Week shopper and spending numbers would disappoint in Hainan due to COVID-19 outbreaks ahead of the 1 October National Day holiday were eased as crowds poured into the island’s offshore duty free shops over this period. Our featured images come from Haikou, as sales soared and as Golden Week took on an extra shine this year, once more reminding us of the importance of the Chinese consumer to travel retail.


‘Phygital retailtainment’ at sea

MSC Cruises’ new flagship MSC Seashore made her maiden voyage from Miami on 20 November, featuring a “revolutionary open space” retail concept across 971sq m and over three decks – with spectacular ‘Times Square’ branding at its heart. MSC Cruises Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway said: “MSC Seashore is a retail concept built from entertainment. We initially created a multi-dimensional space that will host shows, retail events, promotions and spectacular moments of excitement called Times Square. It is the first ever three-deck high ‘phygital retailtainment’ space at sea.”


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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 304 | 21 December 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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