Spending in Malaysian airports? Liquor, cigarettes and COSMETICS!

How early do most of us arrive at the airport? If it’s international and I am taking MAS, I usually arrive 2 hours before. If it’s a low cost airline, I would usually arrive 3 hours earlier, especially if I needed to drop my luggage. Assuming it’s 2 hours before, after we have checked in the luggage and walked into the departure hall and passed the immigration, we have perhaps 90 minutes left before the flight. Since we needed to board 30 minutes before, it meant that we only have around 60 minutes to shop. Is this enough? Haha. Okay, most of us do not shop in the airport. I also do not check in the luggage and then go to Mitsui Outlet Store to shop too.  Within that remaining 60 minutes, occasionally, I would buy some chocolates or liquor at the airport. I bought a bottle of Baileys just a few months back. It would last me a year, usually. I consider it cheap and the fact that I get additional discount because of my CIMB credit card meant it’s value for money.

I used to spend for food but these days I would eat and drink in the Plaza Premium Lounge instead. The reason for buying chocolates is mostly for colleagues. I think most visitors to KLIA does the same as me, right? According to an article in TheStar, liquor and cigarettes were the two best-selling items in Malaysian airports. The reason according to Malaysia Airports commercial services senior general manager Mohammad Nazli Abdul Aziz was because these items are duty-free. However he revealed that cosmetics are now catching up, especially because of Chinese travellers. He further shared that Chinese travellers spend an average of RM1,700 per person for shopping at Sepang, Bayan Lepas, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching airports. Yes, it’s RM1,700 per person! Usually within that one or two hours of shopping time since no one stays inside airport departure hall for many hours unless they are waiting for flights. Sometime back, I wrote an article about cosmetics companies too. Defensive stocks? How about ‘cosmetics’ related ones?

This is the reason why I think airports must have LOTS of brands for everyone to browse. Come on, how many like to just sit on the chair and do nothing for 90 minutes? Recent few weeks, I have travelled a bit. In fact for the month of May, I was in KL only for 6 full days. Rest of the time was spend in other countries or states. I have been to HK International Airport a few times and I still think I need more time if I would like to view all shops thoroughly. Changi Airport is the same too. There are enough shops to keep everyone occupied and well, attracted to buy too. This applies to even Thailand’s Suvarnhabumi airport. (So much to buy even if some souvenir shops are the same) Fortunately these days, KLIA has also improved a lot and the results above has shown that we can do even more. We can have an increasing number of passengers using KLIA. Just make sure these people SPEND too… Dear non-Malaysians reading this, welcome to Malaysia, a shopping haven. Your shopping starts and ends at the airport! Cheers.

written on 3 June 2017

Next suggested article: Freeze licenses for shopping malls? Well….

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