$2b in retail sales at Changi despite drop in China visitors

$2b in retail sales at Changi despite drop in China visitors

In line with minimal growth in passenger traffic, Changi Airport's retail business performance last year remained similar to that in 2013, with more than $2 billion in sales.

This was despite passenger traffic from China dropping by 1 per cent last year, the Changi Airport Group (CAG) said yesterday.

Travellers from China accounted for a quarter of the airport's retail market, followed by Singapore consumers, who made up one-fifth. The other top spenders were from Indonesia, India and Australia.

Ms Ivy Wong, CAG's senior vice-president for airside concessions, said spending by Singaporeans helped to boost the sales numbers.

"Landside sales is about 10 per cent of total sales. We had very strong growth (in that area) last year," she said.

Landside sales are from shops and eateries in the public area, before immigration clearance.

At Changi, shoppers' favourite buys are liquor and tobacco, followed by cosmetics and perfumes, and luxury goods. Rounding up the list are chocolates and food products, and electronic items and gadgets.

Ms Wong said last year's performance is in tandem with the modest traffic growth last year of 0.7 per cent to 54.1 million passengers.

While this is the highest figure in 33 years, Changi has not seen growth below 2.7 per cent in the past decade, apart from 2009, when air traffic slowed because of the global financial crisis. Ms Wong said the airport will make sure that "retail offerings remain relevant to the market demand".

She said changes are already under way, with South Korean firm Shilla Duty Free moving into the airport last year and two duplex stores in Terminal 3 - one selling liquor and tobacco, and the other, perfume and cosmetics - to be ready by May.

Yesterday, the winner of the fifth "Be A Changi Millionaire" contest was crowned. Mr Seiichiro Oiyama, 34, from Japan, beat five other finalists to walk away with $1 million.

The civil engineer, 34, who is based in Singapore, said he plans to take his wife Reiko, 35, and son Ritsu, four, on a holiday to Mexico. "I want to go overseas - all over the world," he said.


This article was first published on Feb 2, 2015.
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