n her capacity as sales manager for
a large manufacturer in Mainland
China, Flora Chan Pui-wai travels
extensively around the region.
Whenever she visits Hong Kong’s Chek
Lap Kok airport she makes sure she has
plenty of time to spare for shopping at
her favourite stores. “I am a cosmetics
junkie,” she admits, “and there’s always
something new at the airport.They have
a great selection, including special travel
packs and one-offs that just aren’t
available anywhere else.” Flora is such a
good customer that many of the sales staff
know her by name.
Flora is not alone in her spending
habits. Travel retailing has become
increasingly big business. According to
the Hong Kong Airport Authority’s
annual report, the organisation received
almost HK$1.82 billion (about US$233
million) in revenue from its shopping
complex and other commercial premises
in 2001, second only to the HK$2.27
billion generated by aircraft landing fees,
parking and other charges. The bulk of
this income was generated from airport
retailers who have concessions from the
authority to operate shops, restaurants,
bars and other facilities in the airport’s
SkyMart retail zones.
“After four years of operation, Hong
Kong SkyMart is clearly identified as a
comfortable alternative to downtown
retail,” says Christina Cheng, Group
Manager for marketing and business
development at the Hong Kong Airport
Authority. “In fact, the scale of SkyMart
makes it a destination in itself: we have
150 outlets, of which 80% are retail and
20% catering, housed in over 32,000
square metres.”
At the vanguard of this development
is Nuance-Watson, a joint venture
between the A.S.Watson Group (ASW)
and the Nuance Group, the world’s
largest airport retail company with over
400 stores in 55 airports around the
globe. Nuance-Watson, which is the
largest retailer within the Hong Kong
International Airport (HKIA), began
operations in 1998 and expanded into
Singapore’s Changi Airport in 2001,
when it was awarded the Perfume and
Cosmetics concession for Terminal 2.
“The Nuance Group is at the very
heart of the business,” explains Alessandra
Piovesana, Managing Director of
Nuance-Watson’s New Horizons Duty
Free. “With their deep knowledge and
understanding of the industry around
the world, they keep us abreast of
developments and help us with contacts
for our selection of brands. ASW, on the
other hand, is invaluable for its strength
of organisation, its vision of development
and business strategy. ASW is a well-
known and very established retailer in
Asia, and its proximity is a great
Currently, Nuance-Watson (HK)
operates 27 retail stores in Hong Kong,
occupying 40,000 square feet of retail
space and employing over 500 people.At
Chek Lap Kok, Nuance-Watson’s New
Horizons Duty Free has a market share
of about 45% and currently holds two of
the three main “anchor” concessions –
Nuance-Watson has raised the airport shopping
experience to new heights.
By Vivien Jones
1...,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34 36,37,38