Singapore shows kicks off as the Chinese phenomenon grows

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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The Moodie Report team is in Singapore for the annual TFWA Asia Pacific exhibition and Gate One2One conference.

For me it’s step one in a long Asia Pacific sojourn that will also take in the exciting new-look International Terminal at Sydney Airport and the new duty free stores at Auckland Airport from James Richardson and DFS.

It’s always a pleasure to arrive at Singapore Changi Airport where the Arrivals stores (below), as always, are beautifully positioned and merchandised to maximise footfall, penetration and sales.

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The Singapore show kicked off last night in some style with the Opening Cocktail at Raffles Hotel (below) and the mood here is a sharply upbeat contrast with last year. Certainly the ash crisis that is bringing both a literal and metaphorical cloud to European travel retail seems a long way away.

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In Singapore the mood is relentlessly optimistic. The local ‘Sunday Times’ led on an article yesterday entitled ‘Big Spenders from China’ , which described the extraordinary growth in spending by Chinese tourists.

“Last year the Chinese spent 298 Billion Yuan (S$60.9 billion), elbowing the French aside to take 4th place in a ranking of top international tourism spenders [worldwide],” it reported.

The 937 Chinese visitors to Singapore last year spent S$1.4 billion, up +3% despite a -13% fall in arrivals due to the economic crisis.

The article related how a group of 400 tourists from Wenzhou city “wiped the shelves clean” of Louis Vuitton products at a DFS Galleria store.

“They spent S$300,000 in all. Staff had to bring in extra goods from the warehouse.”

It’s an insightful article into arguably the most important consumer phenomenon of this particular travel retail era. The Chinese are coming and they’re here to stay.

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