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I’ve just spent my shortest-ever landside stay in Beijing. Around one hour at most.
I’m at Beijing Capital International Airport, but not for long. I was due to arrive here next Tuesday en route to a tour of the city’s new Daxing International Airport but circumstances intervened and I had to make an unexpected trip to Hong Kong this week.
Thanks to the vagaries of air ticket purchasing, I ended up buying a shuttle Beijing-Hong Kong-Beijing to complement my original but separate ticket. Hence my arrival here, a quick look at the arrivals duty free shops (shown above), a dash to baggage collection and immigration and then an instant check-in, back through security and immigration (I always wondered why they don’t call it emigration given you are leaving the country), a whistle-stop tour of the departures retail zone and into the Cathay Pacific lounge for a quick pre-flight bite.
It’s less than two months since I was here last but during that short gap CDF-Sunrise Duty Free has made impressive headway on the ambitious expansion and refurbishment of its beauty and fashion offer at Beijing Capital International Terminal 3. When CDF-Sunrise Beijing General Manager Casey Lim gave me a guided tour of the T3 retail offer a few weeks ago, most of it was work in progress.
There are still plenty of hoardings up, but the cosmetics and fragrances offer is steadily coming together. The main beauty store, now closed, is expected to be finished well in advance of Chinese New Year in 2020 (25 January). A new-look second beauty shop is operating as a transition store over coming months. It’s a pretty impressive transition as you can see but the real story is still taking shape.
I’m looking forward immensely to my visit to Daxing next week. One leading retailer described the domestic duty paid offer to me as a “watershed in Chinese travel retail”, while CDFG are very excited about the duty free proposition. I’ll be talking all about that – and the food & beverage, lounge and hotel offer in a special edition of The Moodie Davitt eZine Spotlight Series in a few weeks’ time. It’s a story I can’t wait to tell.
First though I’ve got an exciting onwards journey from Beijing next week to Tokyo for the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup (whether my beloved All Blacks remain in the competition will be decided soon in an epic showdown with Ireland) and straight from there it’s destination Doha and The Trinity Forum. Life on the road might be hectic but it’s never dull.