Changi Airport hits record high in retail sales

British administrator Linda Tobin, 52, with hosts Chua Enlai (far left) and Lin Peifen, emerging as the winner of a million dollars at Changi Airport. Briton Tracy Tomlinson (left), 52, was the other remaining finalist in the "Be a Changi Millionaire
British administrator Linda Tobin, 52, with hosts Chua Enlai (far left) and Lin Peifen, emerging as the winner of a million dollars at Changi Airport. Briton Tracy Tomlinson (left), 52, was the other remaining finalist in the "Be a Changi Millionaire" draw yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Sales at Changi Airport hit a record high of $2.2 billion last year, on the back of growing passenger numbers.

Spending at the airport's retail and food stores grew by 8 per cent year on year, it was revealed yesterday.

Travellers from China accounted for a third of the airport's retail market and Singapore consumers, a fifth. The other top spenders were from Indonesia, India and Australia.

Passenger traffic figures are expected to be released next week.

In 2014, Changi Airport was among the top three airports in the world in terms of retail business performance. Last year's ranking is not available yet.

Ms Lim Peck Hoon, executive vice-president (commercial) at Changi Airport Group (CAG), said yesterday: "We are delighted to achieve yet another record high for concession sales at Changi Airport in 2015. This is positive for the Singapore air hub as profits from our retail business help to offset the cost of our aeronautical operations."

Despite the depressed market conditions, Ms Teo Chew Hoon, senior vice-president of airside concessions, said CAG is gunning for an even better sales target this year.

Shoppers' favourite buys are liquor, tobacco, cosmetics and perfumes. These are followed by luxury goods, electronics and equipment and chocolates and sweets.

Ms Lim said last year's retail performance was down to a successful commercial strategy, which saw the introduction of three liquor, beauty and fashion duplex stores, the first of their kind in the world. They even have their own bar lounges and wine-tasting corners.

Well-known brands such as Zara and Samsung also launched their first stores at Changi Airport.

Other promotions, such as one for Star Wars soft toys during the year-end holidays and the "Be a Changi Millionaire" draw, contributed to the retail buzz.

British administrator Linda Tobin walked away a million dollars richer yesterday, after she won the Changi Millionaire draw.

The 52-year-old took the top prize after her niece suggested that she pick boarding ticket No. 3, which fitted into a jigsaw puzzle of a picture of a boarding pass.

Ms Tobin, one of the seven finalists picked for the grand draw, was on her third flight through the airport. She qualified after buying a $412 bottle of whisky.

"I am on top of the world," said Ms Tobin, who plans to use the money to spruce up her home and garden and buy a car. She also promised her niece a trip back to Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2016, with the headline 'Changi Airport hits record high in retail sales'. Print Edition | Subscribe