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Travel retail at Changi Airport continues to flourish

  • The new luxury boutiques at Terminal 1’s Central Piazza are just some of the exciting developments in Changi Airport’s travel retail scene in the past year.
  • The inaugural World of Wines and Spirits received overwhelming response and will have a more exciting lineup this year.
  • The Shopping Concierge Ambassadors can send photos or videos of the products to the passengers.
  • The revamped central piazza in T1’s departure transit hall exudes a serenity that is akin to a hotel lobby.
  • Bacha Coffee recently opened its largest store in the world in Terminal 3.

The new luxury boutiques at Terminal 1’s Central Piazza are just some of the exciting developments in Changi Airport’s travel retail scene in the past year.

In tandem with Changi Airport’s strong recovery in its passenger and air traffic, travel retail at the airport is flourishing with rising sales and new shopping experiences for travellers.

Here’s a look at the recent developments in Changi’s travel retail scene and what shoppers can look forward to later this year.

Changi Airport’s retail by the numbers

  • Total sales has been rising steadily since last year, hitting almost 60% in January 2023 compared to 2019 levels.
  • Changi Airport has seen strong sales recovery from markets like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Perfumes & Cosmetics, Liquor & Tobacco and Luxury have once again emerged as the top categories in Changi’s stores.
Collaborating with brands to keep Changi’s travel retail fresh and exciting for travellers

Changi continued to attract tenants even during the height of the pandemic, reflecting the strong confidence that brands have in the recovery of travel in Changi Airport. The leasing activities for Changi Airport’s airside concessions saw a significant ramp up last year when Terminal 4 (T4) and the southern wing of Terminal 2 (T2) reopened. Over 140 airside concession leases were successfully concluded, and 19 new-to-Changi brands and concepts secured. In particular, a large-scale leasing exercise for 20 F&B outlets in T2 saw overwhelming response from the market.

Some of the notable store openings at Changi Airport’s terminals in the last few months include:

  • The largest Bacha Coffee store in the world, a new duplex store at Terminal 3 (T3)
  • Three luxury boutiques namely Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co at Terminal 1 (T1)
  • New-to-Changi brands such as Korean streetwear label ADLV in T4
  • Popular athleisure brand Lululemon in T3.
Transforming retail spaces to uplift Changi’s shopping and dining experience

Transforming retail spaces to be both beautiful and functional allows Changi Airport to create experiences that go beyond shopping. The latest example is the revamp of the Central Piazza in T1’s Departure Transit Hall, which was completed last year.

The space was intentionally designed to exude a sense of warmth and serenity, similar to a hotel lobby and atypical of the cold functionality of airports. An oasis of peace is created via carefully curated design elements including hanging chandeliers, green columns emerging from ponds, the sound of water amid the lush vegetation, as well as the earthy tones and an artful blown-glass suspension.

Tenants at the Central Piazza (Shilla Duty Free, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, and Lotte Duty Free) have been organised for superior visibility to passengers from the moment they step into the Departure Transit Hall. The stores have also been designed to blend seamlessly into the tranquil environment.

The west wing of the T1 Departure Transit Hall has also been reconfigured to rejuvenate the zone and elevate the overall shopping and dining experience. The refreshed design features more greenery and the entrance to the secondary street has been widened, with a new F&B cluster anchored in the zone to drive footfall. Customer experience has been enhanced with additional seating and a cosy layout with new landscaping and F&B concepts.

The east wing of the T1 Departure Transit Hall is next in line for a refresh. There will be an enhancement of a popular F&B cluster and the injection of new retail spaces. The project will increase the net leasable area, expand the offerings to passengers and uplift the ambience in the zone.

Innovative omnichannel experiences to engage customers

One of the ways Changi Airport is working with brands to capture the imagination of travellers is through Changi 1st pop-ups in the transit halls every month. These activations often feature limited edition product launches that are first in Asia, or the world.

The Guerlain Parfumerie d’Art Pop-up in T3’s Departure Transit, happening from 5 April to 14 May, celebrates the launch of Jasmin Bonheur, the new olfactory creation of the L’Art & La Matière fragrance collection. Customers can look forward to bespoke fragrance consultations as well as engraving and personalisation services, including the option of adorning one’s bottle in a variety of arrangements.

The Changi Shopping Concierge service is yet another way in which Changi Airport is innovating to add a new dimension to airport shopping. This 24/7 complimentary service caters to passengers who value a personalised shopping experience. Patrons are served by Shopping Concierge Ambassadors (SCAs) who are equipped with product knowledge and trained to provide passengers with first-hand knowledge on the exciting plethora of retail offerings across the airport, including Changi exclusives.

SCAs can meet up with the passengers earlier in the airport to bring them around to shop ahead of their boarding time. They can also help to buy the items beforehand and have them packaged and delivered to the passenger at the boarding gate. If the passenger does not have a specific item in mind, the SCAs can help to make product recommendations based on the passenger’s preferences and budget and help enquire with the outlets on product availability.

The service is available for cross terminal shopping as well. For example, passengers departing from Terminal 4 who are keen to shop at Terminals 1, 2 and 3 can engage the SCAs to help purchase and deliver the items to them directly at their boarding gates at T4. Passengers can either pay online or the SCAs can make arrangements to meet and escort the customer to transact physically at the stores. There is no minimum spend required to engage the Shopping Concierge service.

On the digital front, besides adding more brands and products to our e-commerce platform iShopChangi, the iChangi app has also been crucial in augmenting our digital offer, making a variety of products and services easily available at the touch of a button.

For example, our passengers can now exchange foreign currency, rent a Wi-Fi router and buy things duty-free on iShopChangi beforehand, and have them ready for picking up when they arrive at the airport. The booking of various activities and events as well as the redemption of shopping GWPs (gift with purchase) and PWPs (purchase with purchase) and car parking promotions is also available on the app. Customers can make transactions digitally without the need to queue, providing them with much greater convenience while also saving manpower.

More exciting promotions and events ahead

The ‘Be A Changi Millionaire’ campaign is set to make a spectacular comeback later this year for the 11th instalment. The airport-wide year-long promotion lets shoppers stand a chance to win the highly coveted grand prize of S$1 million in cash. There will also be other attractive prizes throughout the year, such as monthly air tickets and daily cash rewards.

Alcohol connoisseurs can look forward to the second installation of ‘World of Wines and Spirits’ (WOWS) this year. A partnership with Lotte Duty Free, the inaugural event last year (from 30 September to 31 December) featured over 200 of the finest products from more than 75 brands. Throughout the period, all lovers of exquisite wines and spirits were invited to purchase from a curated selection on the WOWS online portal. About 400 Changi Rewards members were also invited to the WOWS signature event in October last year. The prestigious event was an experiential feast for the senses, with six masterclasses hosted by industry experts, artistic performances, and tastings from a selected range of rare and fine items.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.