Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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Coup? What coup? That’s the question any observer of the Thai duty free industry must be asking this week as Bangkok’s long-awaited new airport at Suvarnabhumi Airport gets set for its Grand Opening – just nine days after a military coup that overthrew the Prime Minister. Any thoughts that the dramatic events of last Tuesday night – which saw the military depose Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, impose martial law and suspend the constitution – might delay the airport opening were quickly put to rest. The 28 September opening WILL go ahead, confirmed the Airports Authority of Thailand, another illustration of how remarkably bloodless this particular coup has been.
The Moodie Report is in Bangkok this week to cover the opening – the second landmark event within just six weeks for retailer King Power’s. First it was the 18 August opening of the King Power Downtown Complex in Bangkok, now it’s the long-awaited unveiling of Suvarnabhumi. We’re producing a special supplement on the two openings – with ALL advertising revenues going to charity: the remarkable King Power Foundation that has done so much to help the needy of Thailand. It’s a nice project to be involved with and King Power is more than matching the revenues with its own contribution – the total funds will be donated to the King’s own charitable fund (when a copy of the book will be presented to His Majesty). Surely an industry first?
The anticipation level in Thailand regarding the new opening is incredible. No wonder – the existing Don Muang International Airport is hardly the shop window that this beautiful country deserves. It’s aged, overcrowded and not consumer friendly at all. With the greenfield project of Suvarnabhumi no compromises have been made – this is set to be one of the world’s most distinctive, beautiful and consumer-oriented airports.
If it’s anything like the Downtown Complex, the King Power offer at the airport will be something special too. Take a look at the pictorial feature tagged at the top of this Blog and you’ll see that the downtown store is stunningly good – one of the top duty free stores in the world in our view.
The airport promises a similar mix of new concept stores (we nearly began this Blog with ‘Once upon a time’, the name of the wonderful children’s store that King Power has created both downtown and at the airport), core duty free zones and luxury and fashion boutiques.
Look out for this week’s reports on The Moodie Blog and also online at http://www.themoodiereport.com/. The real thing has passed peacefully – now we can look forward to a coup of the commercial variety.