Thousands of people waited in line for hours until 10:30 am on 28 Oct for the grand opening of the Haikou International Duty Free City Shopping Complex — the world's largest single duty-free store.
Located near the key transportation hub of Haikou along the northern coast of the island province of Hainan, the shopping mecca covers an area of 280,000 square meters and features more than 800 notable brands, including five global firsts and more than 50 stores with the world's latest concept designs.
"The shopping complex will provide new and diverse tourism and shopping experiences for consumers. It is expected to attract overseas consumption to return and contribute to building Hainan into an international tourism consumption center," said Meng Li, general manager of the duty-free complex.
The shopping complex is just one zone of the Haikou International Duty Free City project, which comprises about 930,000 sq m. The project has six plots dedicated to duty-free businesses, high-end offices and hotels as well as talent communities.
"China has become a very important global travel destination for the retail sector. Many companies consider China to be among the most important markets or even the No 1 market," said Olivier Salmon, vice-president of Parfums Christian Dior Travel Retail China & Japan, who attended the opening ceremony. "I think Chinese customers are very open-minded in discovering new products, quality luxury and fashion trends."
At present, the annual duty-free shopping quota in Hainan is CNY100, 000 per person. There are 45 kinds of duty-free goods and the province is now home to 11 duty-free shops.