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Beijing Airport to bring food, gift prices down to earth
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Prices on all items sold at the Beijing Capital International Airport will be cut by 25 percent to 30 percent on average by the end of this month, said a manager of the airport trading company.


The goal is to bring prices at the facility in line with those charged by downtown retail outlets.


Beijing Capital Airport Trading Development Co. Ltd. drew up plans in August to reduce the prices of 8,600 items sold at the two terminals (T1 and T2) to levels comparable with downtown department stores or supermarkets. Since Sept. 16, the company has cut the prices of more than 100 items, including imported and domestic liquor, tobacco products, clothes, toys and cosmetics, said a purchasing manager surnamed Huang


Most prices were cut by up to 40 percent. A bottle of green tea sells at 3.5 yuan (about 0.5 U.S. dollars) now, almost the same as in downtown shops. A packed roast duck is 70 yuan, compared with 98 yuan in the past.


"We found the number of customers has increased by six percent since the price cuts and they thought the purchases were worth the money," Huang said, citing customer surveys.


Company president Zhang Kunlan said price-cutting would continue for the remainder of the year, by which time all prices should be about the same as in downtown retail outlets.


Prices in the No. 3 terminal (T3) would also be monitored when that part of the airport starts operations before the Olympics.


"We will be glad if the consumers' association and press can keep watch on the prices," Zhang said.


High food prices at the airport have drawn passenger complaints. A campaign to lower food prices at the airport began back in November 2005, covering 852 items or half the food products sold at the airport. A cup of coffee that sells at 20 yuan now could have cost 88 yuan before the price-cutting campaign.


(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2007)

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