Changi retail again tops $2 billion

Singapore’s Changi Airport says sales at retail outlets across its terminals topped S$2 billion in 2014, despite a slump in passenger numbers inbound from China.

It’s the second year in a row the $2 billion barrier was breached – Its 2013 growth represented a nine per cent increase on 2012, but the percentage growth was not revealed this year, suggesting a stable result.

The strength of the airport’s retail business – in part a consequence of the airport’s careful positioning as a transit hub, delivering a captive market of thousands of potential shoppers every day – underlines its decision to invest in the massive Jewel retail experience in partnership with CapitaMalls. The complex – already under construction and scheduled for completion by end of 2018 – will have five storeys above ground and five basement storeys, covering a total gross floor area of about 134,000sqm.

Last year, Changi hosted 54.1 million passenger movements, the highest number yet, representing an average of 148,219 every day, the most in its 33-year history.

What’ significant about Changi’s 2014 figures is that the retail sales held up despite a significant downturn in spending by Chinese passengers. China has been a key market for retailers in the airport, but fewer visited, or transited, in Singapore last year and those who did were coming from less affluent population centres, thus with more restricted budgets. It’s the same challenge retailers in the high streets and malls of Hong Kong and Singapore bemoaned all last year.

Changi Airport Group (CAG) said that – just like in 2013 – the biggest customer groups by nationality were China, Singapore, Indonesia, India and Australia.

The most-purchased retail categories were, perhaps predictably, cosmetics and perfumes, chocolates and candy, electronics, luxury goods, liquor and tobacco.



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