Chinese duty-free shops turn to online sales as international travel remains idle


(Yicai Global) Oct 12 — Chinese duty-free retailers are moving online to boost sales as footfall at their physical airport-based stores remains low due to the pandemic, and they are able to win customers with deep discounts, the Beijing Daily reported today.

All subsidiaries of duty-free giant China Duty Free Group have set up their own online shopping channels, according to the report. Some have also launched platforms targeting different regions such as Beijing, Shanghai and the southern province of Hainan.

“Duty-free stores have a distinct price advantage because they have lower rents and storage costs than most stores,” said Bai Wenxi, deputy director of China Enterprise Capital Union. With only a limited number of outlets, moving to the web is the future, he added.

CDF-Sunrise Duty Free’s online store, for example, sells Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector for just CNY382 ($53), while the same 50-milliliter tube costs CNY820 ($114) in stores. malls and the store of the American cosmetics company on Alibaba Group Holding. Tmall e-marketplace.

Last year, China Duty Free had 20 million subscribers to its WeChat “CDF Membership” mini-program, the company said in its annual report. As of June 30, daily sales at one of its major online platforms CDF Membership Hainan had more than doubled since the start of the year, it said in its semi-annual report.

Chinese department store operator Wangfujing Group, which obtained a duty-free license in June 2020, said earlier it would do both online and offline retail.

Editor: Kim Taylor

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