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I’m writing at 32,000 feet, equidistant between Batou, China and Ulan Bator, Mongolia, onboard Cathay Pacific 287 powering forward at 497 miles per hour to London Heathrow. In the distance I can see my old haunt of Novosibirsk looming an hour or so away.
The flight map onboard is my favoured inflight entertainment while I catch up on my e-mails, Blogs and writing, while sipping on a glass or two of crisp, gooseberryish Cooper’s Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. I suspect I will never lose the fascination of watching the progress of my aircraft around our vast yet simultaneously small world.
Sitting back on the long flight home it’s a great opportunity to reflect on events of the past two weeks in Asia.
I suspect I’m not alone in being amazed by the pace of change in Asian travel retail. We are going through, I believe, a fundamental groundshift in the business, one that is being driven by a series of critical dynamics. They include the continued boom in outbound Chinese travel (and related spending); the emergence of China’s off-shore duty free shopping phenomenon; the increasingly competitive landscape between international and regional travel retailers, which is driving the quality bar ever higher; and the growing realisation among brand companies, including the world’s most illustrious luxury houses, of the burgeoning importance of this channel.
In fact as I see Ulaangom coming up in the distance on the flight map, I can’t help think I am flying the wrong way. Asia has become the epicentre of the travel retail channel, and the Chinese influence its juggernaut, and I don’t see that changing in my lifetime.
As a result, like many companies, I am reconsidering The Moodie Report’s China strategy. I figure I am going to become increasingly familiar with the excellence of Cathay Pacific going forward. As I complete this Blog, we’ve reached the city of Novosibirsk. I figure I will be passing over it much more often in future.
SNAPSHOTS FROM A FORTNIGHT IN ASIA’S TRAVEL RETAIL HOT SPOTS
[Ever Rich Duty Free Shop celebrates its 18th anniversary in style in Taipei]
[Above and below: Ever Rich opens its magnificent downtown duty free store in Neihu, Taipei in time-honoured and traditional manner]
[Ever Rich’s major duty free complex on the Kinmen Islands begins to take shape]
[How the finished shopping centre will look]
[An artist’s rendering of phase 1 of the Hainan Provincial Duty Free retail space, set to open by the end of 2013, with key input from DFS Group]
[Above: Site visit to CDFG’s extraordinary Haitang Bay International Shopping Complex, set for its trial opening this December. Below: The final development will look like a giant blooming begonia.]