travelling customer: products that are
light and easy to carry are obviously
more appropriate.All-in-one travel packs
sell well, as do multi-packs, gift sets and
items with destination features.”
The key to successful travel retailing,
she says, is sourcing a wide selection of
products and offering customers
exclusive international brands at a range
of price points. Duty free does not
necessarily mean cheaper, particularly if
there is no duty in the first place, as is the
case in the free port of Hong Kong.
“Many times we cannot compete
with downtown stores on price” says Au,
“but we can offer the customer
exceptional service, in-depth product
knowledge and limited edition products
found only in the travel retail sector.”
Sales staff who speak several
languages, most importantly English,
Mandarin and Japanese, are also essential
to the international operation.
Since 1998, Nuance-Watson’s
commitment to service has garnered
nine awards from the Hong Kong Retail
Management Association, including the
“Service & Courtesy Award” for four
years running. It has won a similar
number of prestigious Raven Fox
Awards, including “Best Fragrances &
Cosmetics Travel Retailer”, “Best
Fashion, Leathergoods & Accessories
Travel Retailer”, “Best Food &
Confectionery Travel Retailer in
Asia/Pacific”, and the much-coveted
“Best Travel Retailer in Asia/Pacific
This success has been reflected on a
larger scale by that of HKIA, which has
been voted “Airport of theYear” for two
years running (2001, 2002) in polls
conducted by Skytrax Research. In 2001,
more than 32 million passengers passed
through HKIA, armed with credit cards,
leftover cash and plenty of time to kill
(on average, more than four hours for
transiting passengers, just under two
hours for departing passengers).
Further modifications to existing facilities
mean that the airport will be able to
handle 61 million passengers a year by
2010, while its final design capacity (due
to be reached in 2020) is a staggering 87
million passengers. With the continued
development of HKIA as a regional hub,
the transit/transfer passenger market
(currently about a third of total passenger
traffic) provides particularly attractive
opportunities for retail and catering.
The appeal of Hong Kong as a hub
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