DFS Group partners for express-rail concession bid

Travel retailer DFS Group is partnering with Shenzhen State-owned Duty-Free Commodity Group (Shenzhen DF) on a tender submission for the West Kowloon MTR Express Rail Link (XRL) duty-free concession.

The MTR XRL is part of China’s strategic national express rail network, and the tender covers the Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong XRL. The tender is due for submission on Friday, with the result expected to be announced early next year.

Shenzhen DF has been running border duty-free stores between Hong Kong and Shenzhen for more than 30 years and has eight outlets in Shenzhen. If the bid is successful, DFS and Shenzhen DF intend to provide a seamless duty-free retail experience for travellers between China and Hong Kong.

“Shenzhen DF’s expertise in the management of border duty-free stores in China can be applied and integrated into the West Kowloon XRL station,” says DFS Group chairman/CEO Ed Brennan. “This collaboration creates tremendous opportunities as well as offering additional touch points beyond the scope of a typical border duty-free store.”

Shenzhen DF board chairman Chen Shao Qun says West Kowloon XRL connects Hong Kong to a vast and growing high-speed rail network in China. “The West Kowloon XRL is an extremely important Sino-Hong Kong infrastructure project, and this potential collaboration is highly symbolic of a bright and prosperous future.”

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