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HKIA unveils duty-free customer research

1 June 2011

A survey of over 2,000 passengers conducted earlier this year reveals high penetration rates at Hong Kong International airport

Airport Authority Hong Kong has unveiled the results of a comprehensive survey of its core duty-free customers ahead of the upcoming retail tender for those categories at Hong Kong International airport (HKIA). The research, which interviewed 2,093 passengers in January, revealed high penetration rates, average customer spending and cross-purchasing levels.

According to the survey, 47% of respondents had planned their purchases prior to their arrival at the airport, while the remaining 53% were unplanned shoppers. General merchandise has the highest penetration rate at 75%, followed by fragrances and cosmetics (50%) and liquor and tobacco (46%).

The research also revealed a high rate of cross-category shopping: purchasers of general merchandise tend to also buy beauty products (38%) or liquor and tobacco (31%), while buyers of fragrances and cosmetics are equally inclined to purchase general merchandise (23%) or liquor and tobacco (23%). About 30% of tobacco and liquor buyers also purchase general merchandise, while 25% also buy beauty products.

In terms of motivations, convenient locations are key browsing motivators to shoppers at HKIA, with general merchandise and liquor and tobacco products often purchased as gifts. Buyers of beauty products and general merchandise are driven by variety and prices, the survey added.

The average spend at HKIA’s core duty-free shops is HK$832 ($107), with perfumes and cosmetics buyers the biggest spenders at an average of HK$1,050 ($135) and liquor and tobacco purchasers spending the least—on average HK$608 ($78). Average browsing time at the stores is 52 minutes, according to the research

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