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January 28, 2013

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Hongqiao airport's new shops for monied travelers

MORE luxury brands are moving to Hongqiao International Airport, with a new, self-styled shopping "boulevard" selling high-end brands starting to take shape inside the airport, said Shanghai Airport Authority officials.

The new shopping area is part of the departure waiting area and can be reached after passengers pass security checks.

Most stores offer clothing and accessories.

Brands like Shanghai Tang, which offers traditional Chinese clothing, and Bally were among the first to debut yesterday at the airport's Terminal 2, with others such as Burberry and Salvatore Ferragamo opening by mid-year.

More than 10 stores have opened or are opening soon at the terminal, while more than double that amount are expected at the terminal eventually.

The new area's stores have two stories, larger than most of the terminal's high-end stores.

There won't be many discounts - the goods aren't duty free. A traveler interviewed yesterday said "only a small amount of goods have discounts" after he shopped at Bally.

Hongqiao airport saw its commercial areas expanded and service upgraded in the past few years after a joint venture was established by the Shanghai Airport Authority and its Hong Kong airport counterpart in 2009.

The airport was ranked as an international four-star airport in a five-tier system last year, and also China's best airport during 2011-2012 by Skytrax, which calls itself the world's largest airline review site.

However, some customers say improvements are needed.

"Retail establishments on the premises, including restaurants, are limited," said a Hong Kong traveler, identified as C Choi on the Skytrax website.

Commercial outlets at Terminal 2 now take up over 13,800 square meters, up 13 percent from the terminal's opening in 2010.

The Hongqiao airport, which handles most of Shanghai's domestic flights, saw more than 33 million passengers last year.

That made it the fourth airport in volume among Chinese airports.


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