Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Duty free and airplane company offer

Here I am at Beijing airport in some internet coffee. 

Travels to China are always very interesting expecially for duty free zone.
Chinese people must bring home many presents in order to build up relations (networking, guanxi) with family, collegue, friends. They buy most presents in duty free, since you can not carry bottles and food products from outside in large number.

This leads me to several thoughts:

  1. Why create some duty free that get money out of the States ? In fact Chinese tourist buy more in duty free and less inside the country ! they pay less tax and this means less money for the state ! It is a huge loss for the State!
  2. These duty free zone bring a lot of money… to big companies who are lucky enough and have the networking, the means to establish themselves in the duty free. Most of the time it is always the same companies, always the same products: LVMH, Pernod Ricard... This doesn’t help smaller producers : smaller wine maker, artist, Chefs... 
  3. These duty free zone allows you to understand consumer tastes. In Moscou, Paris, Beijing, Copenhague, the duty free zone offer the same products that rich Chinese customers want as presents.  You find: watches, scarfs, famous brands in China : LVMH, Chanel, Hermes, Ferragamo… We understand Chinese people taste, Cognac, Baileys, Vodka with Aromas, Asti… golden packaging  Luxury clothes to food duty free zone tell a lot about Chinese people taste.


Airlines also ajust their offer to Chinese customers.
For instance:
For Sky Team you can choose between two menu : Chinese menu or french menu, the staff speaks Chinese. 
Today on Scandinavian airline, one menu only but selected dishes that suits both Chinese taste and western tastes. The western steward speaks English and uses a few Chinese words : it flatters Chinese ego.

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