A unit of the group promoting the new Grand Lisboa Palace casino project in Macau said on Thursday that it has signed a “binding agreement” with China Duty Free Group Co Ltd for the latter to take retail space in the shopping mall of the under-construction Cotai casino resort.
The Thursday press release from Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA said China Duty Free would have its first non-airport retail unit in Macau at Grand Lisboa Palace. The outlet, will cover approximately 10 percent – i.e., 7,500 square metres (80,729 sq feet) – of the shopping mall at the Cotai casino resort. China Duty Free’s outlet on the first floor, will offer a range of “international brand” products including perfumes, cosmetics, watches and jewellery, clothing, shoes and accessories, groceries and travel items, said the announcement.
SJM SA is a unit of Hong Kong-listed SJM Holdings Ltd and holds the current gaming concession for the Macau casino business founded by former monopolist Stanley Ho Hung Sun.
Grand Lisboa Palace’s shopping mall will covering 75,000 sq ms in total, with a design theme SJM SA calls “Le Jardin de la Fantaisie” (“Fantasy Garden”). The casino operator noted in its Thursday release that the mall would feature what it called “Fashion Balloons” in the atrium, with what it termed “signature retail items” attached to them. The mall will also have “Catwalk Garden” and a “Fashion Boulevard”. Both will act as venues for fashion shows or other themed events.
“The China Duty Free Group shop will richly amplify the retail offerings of our resort, while elevating the Macau shopping experience for all visitors,” said SJM Holdings’ chairman Daisy Ho Chiu Fung (pictured second left) in prepared remarks in the Thursday press statement.
Charles Chen (pictured second right), general manager of China Duty Free, said in the prepared statement issued by SJM SA that the opening of the Grand Lisboa Palace outlet – its “first Macau off-airport shop”, was “significant to our overseas expansion”.
He added: “As China’s largest and the world’s most competitive duty free shop operator, China Duty Free Group is confident that our Macau flagship outlet will inject new impetus to Grand Lisboa Palace’s retail offerings.”
A recent investment note released by brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd suggested that the HKD36-billion (US$4.6 billion) Grand Lisboa Palace might not open until the summer of 2020. Ms Ho was asked about that on the sidelines of the recent casino industry trade show Global Gaming Expo Asia, but gave no information on the topic.
Grand Lisboa Palace will offer circa 1,900 rooms. They will be provided by: the group’s namesake hotel, Grand Lisboa Palace Hotel; Palazzo Versace Macau; and the Karl Lagerfeld Hotel, SJM SA noted in its Thursday release. The non-gaming elements of the Cotai project would also include a “wedding pavilion”, a “multipurpose hall”, food and drink outlets, and entertainment and leisure facilities as well as the shopping mall.
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”I do not believe that this event [the collapse of a under-construction building in Sihanoukville] will slow down the issuance of [gaming] licences. Market forces will probably dictate the process as developers evaluate projected future demand for gaming in the region”
Senior partner at business consultancy Global Market Advisors