Women in Travel Retail

WiTR members visit the fabulous Changi Terminal 4 (May 2018)

On the eve of TFWA Asia Pacific conference opening, WiTR’s representative in Asia, Chandra Mahtani, Vice President, T5 Commercial Planning (Airside Concessions Division), and her team sacrificed their Sunday morning to give WiTR members a very special tour of Terminal 4 at Changi Airport which commenced operations on 31 October 2017.  T4 is home to several carriers led by Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and AirAsia, and will welcome approximately 8 million passengers in its first year of operations.

The landside check-in and procedures include state-of-the-art self-service technology and unusually passengers can see from landside to airside while admiring the Petalclouds, another of the amazing moving artworks for which Changi Airport is renowned.

Covering 16,000sqm of commercial space, T4 is home to several new and innovative retail concepts.

At the airside area, passengers experience Changi Airport’s first integrated duty-free zone jointly operated by DFS and Shilla for the Liquor & Tobacco and Perfumes & Cosmetics categories respectively. Through their close collaboration with Changi Airport Group, the integrated duty-free zone is able to process pre-orders and purchases from both categories, ensuring a seamless shopping experience.

A range of specialist boutiques line either side of the open lounge area, starting with double-volume façade flagship stores for brands such as TWG which is its largest outlet in the world and The Cocoa Trees which house a carnival-themed concept. This culminates in the Heritage Zone which epitomises the “sense of place”, offering a unique showcase of the Straits Chinese Peranakan culture.  The beautiful shophouse façade, housing an array of well-known and beloved Singaporean brands, is complemented by a sensational immersive three-dimensional story of two families in dispute but with a happy ending in marriage….  Some of us even tried to look the part (see photos).

The hospitality throughout the tour was legendary, starting with a Hendricks cocktail on the experiential bar, tea-sampling with macaroons at the stunning TWG store, tasting of the Singaporean barbecued meats and special cakes, before being hosted for a delicious lunch by local F&B operator Select Group which showcased popular cuisines from various Asian countries.

A big thank you to Chandra and her team, and also to T4 retailers Raelene Johnson (Shilla) and Amy Chan (WH Smith).  As you will see from Chandra’s title, Terminal 5 is next and we can’t wait to see what new benchmark that will set!