IN THE NEWS

Wall Street Journal|Sep 03, 2014

If You Build It, Will They Come? China Opens World’s Biggest Duty Free Mall

With its government crackdown on corruption and excessive spending, luxury is no longer booming these days in China. But that hasn’t stopped one state-owned company from betting big that Chinese shoppers will be back buying the finer things en masse.


China International Travel Service Group, a large government-backed tourism conglomerate, opened on Monday the CDF Mall– a big swooping-roofed complex that is being dubbed as the world’s largest duty free store. 


Located in Sanya, the resort town in China’s southern Hainan province, the mall reportedly cost 5 billion yuan (US$814 million) to construct. It spans 72,000 square meters (more than 753,000 square feet) and boasts almost 300 brands, including luxe standbys like Prada, Rolex and Chanel.


While China has been flooded with new malls in recent years, the Hainan project is unique because of its tax-free status. The island of Hainan, often dubbed the Hawaii of China because of its mild weather and beach resorts, has become a major hub for Chinese tourists over the past decade.


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