LVMH to build mall on duty-free island

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DFS Group, the travel retail arm of luxury conglomerate LVMH, is planning to build a significant shopping and entertainment complex on China’s tax-free Hainan island. This project is aimed at tapping into the growing tourism market in the region, which has shown resilience to economic slowdowns.

The complex will cover an area of 128,000 square meters, making it a substantial development. DFS is making what they describe as an “unprecedented investment” in this project.

The complex will feature over 1,000 luxury brands, including those from LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which is the parent company of DFS. This highlights the commitment to offering high-end luxury products to consumers.

DFS expects the complex to attract 16 million visitors annually by 2030. This underscores the company’s confidence in the growing appeal of Hainan as a tourism destination.

In addition to luxury shopping, the complex will also provide accommodation, dining, and entertainment options. This comprehensive approach aims to cater to various aspects of the tourist experience.

This marks DFS’s first physical presence in mainland China. Prior to this project, DFS had 12 stores in Hong Kong and Macau. The expansion into mainland China reflects the company’s commitment to the Chinese market.

DFS China President Nancy Liu stated that this project is part of a series of commitments the company is making in China, acknowledging the shift in consumer behaviour towards purchasing luxury goods and traveling domestically.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hainan has emerged as a domestic hub for high-end duty-free shopping. Even after Beijing eased international travel restrictions, Hainan continues to experience a sales boom.

DFS Chairman and CEO Benjamin Vuchot sees this project as a clear commitment to the long-term development of China’s tourism market. Hainan is expected to become one of the world’s largest luxury retail markets in the next five years, making it an attractive location for such an investment.

DFS Group’s investment in a major shopping and entertainment complex on Hainan Island reflects its strategic move to tap into China’s growing domestic tourism and luxury goods market. This project underscores the significance of Hainan as a luxury retail destination and showcases DFS’s commitment to expanding its presence in China.