Changi flies high with $2.2b sales

SALES at Changi Airport hit a record high of $2.2 billion last year, with spending at its retail and food stores growing by 8 per cent year on year. The expansion benefited from a boost in passenger numbers.

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

Passenger traffic figures are expected to be released next week.

In 2014, Changi ranked third behind Dubai (No.1) and Incheon airports in retail business performance.

Lim Peck Hoon, executive vice-president of commercial at Changi Airport Group (CAG), said yesterday: "We are delighted to achieve yet another record high for concession sales at Changi Airport in 2015. This is positive for the Singapore air hub as profits from our retail business help to offset the cost of our aeronautical operations."

Despite the prevailing depressed market conditions, Teo Chew Hoon, senior vice-president of airside concessions, said CAG is gunning for an even better sales target this year.

Shoppers' favourite buys are liquor, tobacco, cosmetics and perfumes. These are followed by luxury goods, electronics and equipment, and chocolates and sweets.

Ms Lim said last year's retail performance was down to a successful commercial strategy, which saw the introduction of three liquor, beauty and fashion duplex stores, the first of their kind in the world. They even have their own bar lounges and wine tasting corners.

Last year also saw well-known brands such as Zara and Samsung launch their first stores at Changi Airport.

Other promotions, such as for Star Wars soft toys during the year-end holidays and the Be A Changi Millionaire draw, also contributed to the retail buzz.

British administrator Linda Tobin walked away a million dollars richer yesterday after she won the draw.

The 52-year-old took the top prize after her niece suggested she pick boarding ticket No. 3, which fitted into a jigsaw puzzle of a picture of a boarding pass.

Ms Tobin was the third finalist out of seven picked for the grand draw and was on her third flight through Changi Airport after a trip to Australia in June last year.

She qualified after buying a $412 bottle of whisky for her brother during the stopover. "I am on top of the world," said Ms Tobin.

She intends to use the money to spruce up her home and garden as well as buy a car.

She also promised her niece a trip back here to drink a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel.

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