DFS unveils new branding and offer for Hong Kong International Airport

Renovating 80,000ft of airport space in six months… is quite an extraordinary undertaking
Michael Schriver
Chief Operating Officer
DFS Group

HONG KONG. DFS has unveiled new branding for its Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) retail offer as the development of its three core category concessions nears completion.

As reported, the retailer won a clean sweep of all three contracts – liquor & tobacco, perfumes & cosmetics and airside general merchandise – in a hotly fought triple tender awarded by Airport Authority Hong Kong last year.

It took over the businesses from previous concessionaires Sky Connection (liquor & tobacco) and Nuance-Watson (perfumes & cosmetics and airside general merchandise) on a phased basis from last November but due to its scale, complexity and quality demands the 80,000sq ft renovation project is only now nearing finalisation.

To mark the new-look stores, DFS introduced the dedicated HKIA branding for each of the three concessions last week.

Each offer features the DFS logo as well as a stylish new “˜Hong Kong’ icon that reflects both the iconic look of the airport building as well as an airplane. In between the two symbols, liquor & tobacco is branded “˜Duty Free’; Perfume & Cosmetics “˜Beauty’; and airside general merchandise “˜Galleria’.

Finishing touches to the stores will be complete by September, DFS Chief Operating Officer Michael Schriver told The Moodie Report during an extensive tour of HKIA yesterday.

“Renovating 80,000ft of airport space in six months is really not easy,” he reflected as he spoke of the daunting complexity of the task. “Remember you’re only allowed to do noisy work overnight so you’ve got a six-hour window. That’s six hours a day over six months to renovate 80,000 square feet”¦ so it’s quite an extraordinary undertaking.”



These wine-dispensing machines allow free sampling of a range of premium wines and are generating an extraordinary 80% conversion rate

Speaking to The Moodie Report a day earlier [we’ll publish the full interview in coming weeks] Executive Director, Commercial Cissy Chan and General Manager Retail & Advertising Albert Yau were highly complimentary about the degree of innovation that DFS has introduced within its offer.

This includes mix-it cocktail bars themed to Hong Kong’s famous Lan Kwai Fong bar, restaurant and entertainment area. These are already proving a major crowd-stopper, according to Schriver.

Another important breakthrough is the introduction of a new “˜igate’ facility, which allows passengers at six distant gates to order items that may not be available in the smaller gate shops. Runners then bring the goods to the shopper. If successful the trial programme will be extended.

DFS has also introduced free wine tasting dispensers, featuring a range of premium old and new world wines, in its main liquor stores.

These are generating a conversion rate of 80%, Schriver said, contributing to an extraordinary average transaction value for wine of almost US$90, just under the US$100 for other liquor.

“These innovations are really good in terms of creating an experience for the passengers rather than just asking them to go into the stores and buy more,” Cissy Chan told The Moodie Report.

The two lead liquor & tobacco stores also feature walk-in humidors and fine wine areas, the latter featuring a dazzling range of first-growth Bordeaux and other super-premium wines.

Key features of the stores include expansive walk-ways which maximise ease of consumer circulation and low, standardised (all 1.35 metre high) fittings which create superb in-store visibility.

As the building work draws to an end the results are starting to flow, Schriver emphasised. For June liquor sales were up +10% year-on-year compared to those of the previous retailer, while perfumes & cosmetics rose +5%. General merchandise was down by around -1%, a significant improvement on earlier months, while the revamped offer was taking shape.

FOOTNOTE: Today’s edition of The Moodie Report e-Zine includes further details on the DFS offer. Look out for an extended interview with Michael Schriver coming soon.

The new igate facility allows customers to order items by touchpad that may not be available in the gate shops
Generic central units are supported by strongly branded back walls
Note the wide aisles encouraging ease of circulation and shopping
Devin Pun, General Manager, DFS HKIA – Spirits, Wine & Tobacco (left) with DFS Chief Operating Officer Michael Schriver at the airport yesterday
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