Kuala Lumpur steps up the pace
As the hub for one of Asia’s most dynamic low cost carriers, Kuala Lumpur International has seen a strong accompanying growth of its retailing.
In recent months, Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA) has been busy trying to accommodate AirAsia’s apparently unstoppable growth. The low cost airline now handles over 10 million passengers, with a 15-20% forecast increase in numbers this year compared with cuts in capacity of 7% by national carrier, Malaysian Airlines.
The airport • located 50 km from the capital in the Sepang district • is keeping up the retail pace and recently, instigated the first phase of its Satellite Retail Optimisation Project by completing the East Zone, with the rest of the project due to be finished later this year. In this first zone, refurbishments have resulted in a number of new outlets including Choc Shop International, for confectionery addicts; with a Dome coffee shop nearby in case you wish to eat your purchases on the spot in café comfort; a duty-free outlet run by Eraman Malaysia (a subsidiary of the airport’s operator) that sells the usual array of liquor, tobacco and perfumes; a Harrods franchise, the only one in the region apparently; plus a Made in Malaysia souvenir shop where genuine local handicrafts are available.
In addition, The French natural beauty house, L’Occitane, has also opened a standalone shop in this area; fashion accessories can be bought at the ubiquitous Tie Rack; and there is also an electronic store, and sports and luggage outlet. The optimisation project, when completed, will increase overall retail space at KLIA by 30%.New stores are also being added in the airport’s international terminal with the addition of the Contact Pier International, where a 2,800sq m walk-through shopping area was added. Eraman Malaysia has been very focused on developing KLIA as a shopping hub and it has quickly risen in status in the region and is attracting more luxury brands in line with competitors like Hong Kong International and Singapore Changi (see listing below). The airports is being repositioned as a lifestyle destination designed to attract the local Sepang community to its shops instead of those in the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur.
One way it has managed to raise awareness is by stepping up shopping promotions. One of the latest, Spend, Fill, Drop and Win offered passengers spending RM250 a chance to reward up to 4 family members with prizes as part of its “Indulge Till You Fly” programme.
When KLIA was designed in the late nineties, the concept of an airport in the forest, and forest in the airport, was applied so that green space was paramount and co-operation with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia was sought. A section of rain forest was transplanted from the jungle and placed in the satellite building. It’s as close as you will get to a walk in the jungle at an airport but in what is otherwise a modern, sleek and usually very quiet airport • at least in the international departures area. KLIA’s green credentials also extend to its recognition by Green Globe, making it the only airport in the world to receive the Green Globe 21 certificate ever since 2004.You will find the newly expanded ZON arrivals duty free stores are located in the arrivals hall between immigration and the baggage reclaim area.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport Factfile
Passengers 37.6 million in 2011
Terminals 3 main buildings
Key retail areas:
Main terminal at Level 5 (departures)
Gift & Souvenirs – Royal Selangor Pewter, Gifts & Souvenirs shop
Chocolates & Confectionery • The Famous Amos, Chocolate & Confectionery shop
Boutiques • Sembonia, Bonia, Tie Rack
Other • The Body Shop, Perfume & Cosmetics, Pharmacy, Books & Magazines, Children’s store
Main terminal at Level 3 (arrivals)
Chocolates & Confectionery • Candy Land, Chocolate & Confectionery shop
Boutiques • Just Nice, D’Trends
Other • Liquor, Tobacco, Convenience store, Perfume & Cosmetics, Flowers
Satellite Building Kuala Lumpur Satellite Terminal Shopping
Gift & Souvenirs • Asean Touch, Imana Accessories, Made In Malaysia, Art Craft Antique, Malaysian Artworks, Royal Selangor Pewter
Gold & Jewellery • Zam Gems, Selberan, Gold City, Habib Jewels
Chocolates • Chocolate & Confectionery shop, Godiva
High Fashion •Burberry, Christian Dior, Coach, Dunhill, Guy Laroche, Hermes, Montblanc, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace
Fashion • Lacoste, Mango, Tie Rack
Others • Harrods, The Body Shop, Toys Paradise, Perfume & Cosmetics, Leather & Travel, Sportswear and many more
Gift & Souvenirs • Harrods, Gifts & Souvenirs shop, The Flying Emporium
Confectionery • The Famous Amos
Duty free shopping will be available at the new Low Cost Carrier Terminal, KLIA 2, initially scheduled for opening June 2013. This opening is now subject to a delay.
AirAsia, Air Asia X, and Malaysian Airlines.