After three years of construction, the world’s largest single duty-free store – Haikou International Duty Free City – is gearing up to open on October 28 in Hainan’s capital city.
So far, over 800 Chinese and foreign brands have confirmed their presence in the shopping space. The entire project covers a total area of about 930,000 square metres consisting of tax-free business, high-end offices, a high-end hotel, and art and tourism spaces. The duty-free retail area will cover 280,000 square metres.
According to China Duty Free Group’s official Wechat account, the complex will include luxury brands such as Balenciaga, Prada, Ferragamo and Versace. In addition, CDFG will dedicate an entire section of about 30,000 square metres to a fragrance sales area and even provide makeup courses.
The move to Haikou comes as CDFG’s efforts to recover from pandemic-related setbacks. Battered by stringent lockdown conditions in 2022, the industry faced a 22.17% drop in revenue year-on-year to 27.7 billion RMB (3.89 billion USD). As a result, CDFG decided to accelerate the construction of Haikou’s duty-free shopping complex to curb any further negative impact.
With Sanya’s duty-free market becoming more and more saturated, opening a centre in Haikou could help CDFG find new growth points within the province. At the same time, however, the company will have to deal with fierce competition. Currently, other luxury retailers such as Shenzhen Duty Free Group and DFS (a high-end travel retailer under LVHM group) are currently vying for a spot in duty-free Haikou.
Despite the challenges that may lie ahead, China Duty Free Group remains focused on the bigger picture of building the southern province of Hainan into a world-class free trade zone by 2050. Looking ahead, the company plans to introduce more brands to shopping malls, and continuously expand its sales channel both at home and abroad.