The Cutting Edge of the Souvenir Business- "New Chitose Airport"

There's an uplifting feeling at the airport. Maybe that excitement is closely related to souvenir consumption behavior.
Words by Yukitaka Ida
Photographs by Michio Kurose
Translation by Xene Inc.

The commercial shops at New Chitose Airport were completely renovated in 2011. As explained by Yusuke Nakayama, Section Chief of Hokkaido Airport Terminal Co., Ltd., the purpose of the renovation was "to create a facility not only for travelers but as a place where residents of the area could also visit, relax, and enjoy themselves." In fact, New Chitose Airport has facilities where families can bring their children and spend the whole day. There are currently 180 shops, of which 120 are companies from Hokkaido.


Differentiating as souvenir shops has begun


Sky Shop Ogasawara, with continuous business at New Chitose Airport for more than 50 years, has an average of 2,000 daily visitors. "We haven't differentiated our souvenir shop from other stores yet. Famous best-selling sweets line the front of the shop. Although business is good for the moment, this is not a guarantee for the future. We plan to put more effort into developing more original products", says Mr. Ogasawara, Managing Director of the store. Three original sweets, such as "Shin Chitose Hatsu" produced in collaboration with the confectioneries manufacturer, Rokkatei, are available exclusively at the shop. These products are one-of-a-kind souvenirs from Hokkaido, with many repeat buyers.

Another shop of the same company, Ogasawara Shoten in the International Terminal Building, specializes in Japanese merchandise.

"Since we have many repeat visitors to Japan in recent years, we are careful in our selection of souvenirs," says store manager Asami Komuro. She also said that best-sellers also vary according to the country of the visitor. "Since the average purchase amount of the customer is higher at our shop here than in the Domestic Terminal Building, we will continue to offer a wide variety of products, while watching the needs of the customers", says Managing Director Ogasawara.

The Itoen brand expands overseas


Japanese tea company Itoen opened its shop "TAXFREE Itoen" on the second floor of the International Departures Lobby in February, 2016.
"We are a bit slow in promoting the Itoen brand overseas. However, our brand is very appealing to health conscious foreign visitors. Japanese tea is highly competitive, so we opened an antenna shop at the Hokkaido airport to gain international attention", comments Setsuei Mou and Sarina Inoue from Itoen.

The slogan of New Chitose Airport is "the showroom of Hokkaido". Each of the 180 shops has its own objective and strategy. Hokkaido Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. will continue to develop an airport with even more excitement.

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