Riding on the Asia’s favorable economic growth and improved investment climate, luxury global airport retailer DFS Group is expanding its operations in the region with more innovative business concept.
The fast growing population of millionaires in Asia has become the engine that drives more avid consumers of premium brands in the luxury goods industry.
Propelled by the region’s sound economy, this prosperous condition has resulted in retailers outdoing each other in an effort to create the ultimate shopping experience.
With over 50 years of operating tax and duty free stores under its belt, DFS Group, which has more than 200 “Duty Free Shoppers” stores worldwide, has diversified its airport retailing business model into the downtown and resort based Galleria concept.
During DFS Group’s Master of Spirits II event in Singapore, which took place in March 2012, HighEnd had the opportunity to meet with Craig McKenna, the managing director of DFS for Asia South – Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Master of Spirits II is part of the Master Series 2012, a series of events exhibiting DFS Group’s expertise in the four pillars of luxury, namely Cosmetics, Fashion, Spirits & Wine and Watches & Jewelry.
“A one-stop boutique mall offering an unparalleled shopping destination, we have 15 DFS Galleries located in downtown of major cities and prestigious resorts in North America and the Asia Pacific region. Each of these gallerias carries the world’s most sought after brands such as Bulgari, Burberry, Dunhill, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, just to name a few. As Asia Pacific has contributed us the lion’s share of our revenue, we are eyeing Asian cities for more DFS Gallerias,” Craig explains.
DFS Group has recently reopened its existing Singapore Galleria on Orchard. It is home to more than 40 boutiques from the world’s top brands. The galleria’s elegant interior design is differently created to reflect DFS’s atmosphere of luxury.
“We must stand out from the pack in order to stay atop at the Asia’s luxury retail scene. For that reason, we have established Platinum Services Club for its members to enjoy a series of privileges, including limousine services, access to VIP lounges, and exclusive invitations to attend special events.”
Exceptional customer service is what differentiates DFS from other retailers. In order that every sales personnel is able to provide customers with professional information on luxury goods, Craig says that DFS routinely conducts trainings for every sales personnel. Also included on the DFS’s customer service list are personal shopping services, free delivery to the hotel and multilingual staff.
Majority owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, DFS Group is looking to invest more in Asian market. “Besides the newly renovated DFS Singapore, we plan to build our third downtown gallery in Hong Kong this year. Asia’s improved investment climate is indeed conducive to our business objective, which is offering the absolute luxury of a retail haven,” Craig asserts.
Asked if the expansion will reach Indonesia, Craig replies, “We have established one DFS store in Bali. It’s not on our expansion road map yet. Looking at the country’s favorable demographic, geographic and economic factors, I don’t see any reasons why we shouldn’t consider putting the investment there.”
Text and photos by Aulia R. Sungkar. Published in HighEnd Mag, May 2012 edition.