Americas Duty Free & Travel Retailing October 2021

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AN OUT OF THIS WORLD EXPERIENCE IN CANNES Visit our yacht, BANG! between October 25 - 28 at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference Palais des Festivals. We are waiting for you at the marina to explore a world of flavours and seduce your senses.

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Roundtable discussion p. 8  Lagardère balances risk & reward p. 16  GTAA talks Shops at Pearson p. 18


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New ascendance



n travel and travel retail, the Americas has been a tale of two utterly different worlds. Domestic US travel bounced back quickly, in some cases already surpassing 2019 numbers. International travel, however, has remained in very low double digits compared to pre-pandemic times. Mexico and some parts of the Caribbean have done well, as US vacationers have had few choices, but South America’s borders have for the most part remained firmly shut. The good news is, things are decidedly looking up. A short time ago, the US announced that its borders would be opening to vaccinated travelers beginning in early November. This is welcome news for duty free retailers in that country and in the corridors served between. In keeping with the trend of “haves” and “have nots” in travel retail these days, however, the land borders with the US are still remaining closed, so for now border stores remain in the dark and in the red. In this month’s roundtable, we spoke with ASUTIL’s José Luis Donagaray, IAADFS’ Rene Riedi and 3Sixty Duty Free’s Alex Anson about the state of travel in the Americas and around the world. One of the most interesting parts of the conversation involved a topic that has come up again and again over the past 20 months — how to make the agreements between operators and landlords more equitable. Industry wide, we believe it’s necessary. But is it possible? We also look at what’s happening in the cruise industry — hint, it’s very good news — and we discuss with a range of companies how they’re doing in general and in TR, as we continue to pull together as an industry to bring business back on course. Oh yes, almost forgot. You may have noticed our new logo along with a new magazine name. Well, those are just the most obvious changes, but there are more. A pandemic is a perfect time for not only a rebranding, but a revision of our entire business. In this issue, the first under our new banner, you will be able to find out about all the major things we’ve been up to behind the scenes since we all last got together. Speaking of getting together, it’s almost impossible to believe but we soon will. TFWA WE in Cannes is live again. This year’s event may not be exactly the same as in the past, but it will be magnificent to travel, to arrive at the Palais des Festivals, and to see you all again, in person. Let’s hope we never take for granted again the ability to do so. But first, we will meet at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo — while last year’s event was exceptional, this year’s will be even more so. We congratulate Martin Moodie, Dermot Davitt and their team for a truly wonderful virtual experience. And so, we wish you the very best in this season of rebirth and certainly in the months ahead, as the world we once knew just begins to pop its head up as if this were the travel retail spring after a long hard winter. Kindest Regards,


OCTOBER 2021 · VOL 33 · NO 2 The Americas Duty Free & Travel Retailing magazine (ISSN 0962-0699) is published four times a year April, June, October and November by Global Marketing Company Ltd. 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2 Canada. It is distributed throughout Central America, South America, the United States, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Pacific islands, and the islands in the Caribbean. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or the editor. October 2021, Vol 33. No. 2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © 2021 Global Marketing Company Ltd. .



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WHAT’S INSIDE Lead Stories

NOVEMBER 2020 · FDFA VOL 23 · NO 5

8 Americas Roundtable

20 Cruise Report

Common ground As the next in our series of roundtable discussions, we connected with three industry leaders to discuss the current travel situation in the Americas and reasons to look on the bright side; keep up-to-date on the introduction of a vaccine passport and the United States border re-opening to vaccinated travelers

Catching up After a complete shut down of the industry, operational cruise ships have been increasing rapidly until now over 50% of all cruise ships in the world are sailing. Better yet, bookings for late 2022 and 2023 are beating those in pre-pandemic times

14 Going Global

24 Molton Brown Update

A Leader in The Global Fashion Watch Industry for Over 65 Years.

New name, new logo, new focus Following more than three decades of serving as travel retail's regional specialist, we're proud to announce Duty Free & Travel Retailing Magazine will be re-launching as Global Travel Retail Magazine; to learn more please click, flip & read on

Positive luxury Forced to re-think its digital engagement and ecological footprint, Rosie Cook at Molton Brown notes that pandemic shoppers are likely to “buy less, but buy better”

16 Lagardère Travel Retail

42 Travel Tips & Essentials

x Lima Airport Partners

Risk & reward During this Q&A, we hear from Jean-Baptiste Morin at Lagardère Travel Retail about its signed concession agreement based on a profitsharing model to exclusively operate travel retail shops at Jorge Chávez International Airport


COVID style From practicing gratitude to packing the essentials, this lifestyle article provides an update on travel tips and essentials that reflect the current era of travel

FDFA’s Abe Taqtaq p.12 Canadian land border p.22 FDFA exhibitors p.34


16 24

Features WB Canna Co & Wellness Portfolio 26 IWSR: comparing prices & levels 30 Brown-Forman Update 34



Summit of the Americas 36 InnoTRI signifies beauty & strength 38 MONARQ gets down to busines 40


Roundtable Discussion

Common ground

Rene Riedi, President of IAADFS, says the industry has an obligation to continue the mission to create a long-term sustainable business model but he also understands that some operators might slip back into bad habits as competition heats up post-pandemic


José Luis Donagaray, Secretary General of ASUTIL, says creating a global standard for entry is much too complicated, as commerce and politics combine to make it impossible for countries to agree

On a vaccine passport

Jose Luis: Each country has a different health situation, so it's quite difficult to have one procedure. Today Uruguay has almost no COVID, 75% of the population has two vaccines, and about 25 or 30% have a third vaccine. Argentina is a mess, 35% of the people with two vaccine and a mix of Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sputnik 5, and you have 7- 14 days of quarantine. It’s quite complicated. In Europe things are difficult even with the great European Union; Latin America is a bunch of countries with no similarity. There is absolutely no coordination in terms of health between countries and will never be. Rene: The European Union has the European Green Pass. You can travel within the European Union and some other member countries with the green pass as a proof of that you are vaccinated or you have been tested. The travel bubbles in Asia don't work the way they originally planned, but a vaccination and test, either


Alex Anson, Chief Operations Officer at 3Sixty Duty Free & more, sees the “glass half full” with the recent announcement that the US will begin opening its borders to vaccinated travelers

one or the other or both together, that could be a way forward. Jose Luis: Here is an example that makes the difficulties very clear. Two weeks ago I couldn't go to France because although I have two vaccines I had Sinovac, which is not approved by the European Union. It is approved by the World Health Organisation, but not the EU. But now Uruguay is considered a green country it doesn't matter what vaccination you have you can go inside France. But my country is green because 75% of the population got two doses of the Chinese vaccination. But I’ve been able to go to Spain for two months. With no coordination between different countries or continents about the approval of the vaccines, uniformity is quite difficult. And now Uruguay has said we're going to open the borders the first of November to anyone that comes to the country with full vaccination and a negative PCR. But when you read the small print you find the closest vaccination has to have

been within six months when you get to the country. So if your two doses were in March and April you cannot come in November. It is very complicated.

News of the US border opening to vaccinated travelers

Rene: This is very good news because it opens up the transatlantic corridor for international travel. To be vaccinated and on top of it the negative test is a second layer that makes it relatively safe to travel. This is a way to go forward in the future not just between Europe and the US but this regime could be applied to other countries and other regions between corridors. We have an increasing number of people being vaccinated on a global level. It might not yet be where we would like, but we are making good progress. Alex: I'm feeling excited and positive because we've seen a real change over the past couple of months and certainly from yesterday. Most of our business is US airports servicing international traffic. We have presence outside the US, but if I reflect specifically on US I think yester-

day's announcement is the real marker we've been waiting for. We now have a road map that allows Europeans to come to the US and, as we all know, Europeans returning from the Americas are much bigger spenders than Americans departing from the US, so we've now hit a real milestone. If the formula works for the UK and Europe then this should apply to all nationalities that have been banned — the Brazilians and Chinese and so on. Which vaccines are allowed is a complex issue I agree, and it’s as political as it is commercial. But I think yesterday is a new step on this journey to recovery. Jose Luis: I agree we are much better than we were one year ago but now we need someone to coordinate everything because if not we have the States doing something, Europe doing something, South America, Asia. Alex: I don't think the airlines will agree on the common pass right because we've seen it. Two weeks ago I travelled to the UK on British Airways and I used the VeriFLY app and I have to say, excellent

experience. But then you’ve got the IATA app that’s running in parallel … I mean if the airlines can't agree how the hell are the countries going to agree? I think it's just the utopia that we will never achieve. Rene: The problem is you cannot roll out these applications if you have not negotiated with local governments. And then on top you have the airlines. A lot of stakeholders have to agree on a common ground. National interests have been politicised and that in that way becomes very complicated for creating a global regime. I think as we move forward we will see some progress but a global solution is not going to happen.

Mixed blessing as domestic traffic rises

Alex: We've all seen a resurgence of US domestic traffic. Some airports in fact exceeded 2019 numbers, and some got very close to it. Hubs like Dallas, where we operate, did very well but it was a mixed blessing because the labour market in US is still as challenged as everywhere else in the world. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Roundtable Discussion

We saw TSA not being able to open lines, airlines not having enough crew, retailers and F&B operators not being able to service the traffic that's there. We saw massive cancellations from American Airlines, SouthWest, Spirit and so on. Traffic has come back and a lot of airlines reported good Q2 numbers, but not all those passengers had a good experience, and not all traffic converted into successful commercial bottom line results for operators.

US Domestic travel vs International

Alex: Duty free has been meaningless to be to be really honest. In many cases we’re still trading at minus 70-80% where we were in 2019. The hot topic for me is how are airport commercial directors managing their own expectations? Just because there is a surge in domestic traffic they cannot expect duty free operators like ourselves to be treated in the same way that domestic retailers, F&B retailers are treated because we don't have the international passengers we normally sell to, those returning Europeans. Yesterday's news is a much-awaited game changer, but it still has to come back to making sure we have that level of inter-

national traffic to be able to operate in a way that allows us to go back to normal rental agreements

Time for a more equitable business model?

Rene: I think my colleagues would agree that there was a misalignment of the business model and how it worked pre-COVID. In the immediate aftermath after the outbreak we reached out to the airports to negotiate immediate relief. We couldn’t accept paying minimum guarantees the way we had been, with no passengers. I must say we were pretty successful to negotiate in the first place reduction of the MAG, temporary relief, because the situation was so clear if the airport is closed and you have no passenger in the airport and then there's nothing to argue. Now the more complicated part comes when you have to go back to the airport and have to negotiate, because the airports have expectations that at some point you're going to go back to the contractual obligations. We have to sit together and discuss how to make this business model work again. We have to look at minimum guarantees and at different aspects. The way to


go forward is that we have to have variable concession fees which, if you have a lot of passengers you have the ability to pay more; if you have no passengers or little passenger volume and less revenue you cannot afford to pay that much. It has to be this way. Also capital investment has gone out of proportion, and the labour force as Alex mentioned. Airports are not efficient places to work. Hours are complicated, you have to organise commute, in some instances it's complicated or even dangerous, and you also have to look at operating flexibility. Alex: Rene is making important points. Some exemplary airports like DFW have taken a very pragmatic approach waving MAGs trading on percentage rent, extending terms all of those things. Other airports I'm having to explain the difference of the impact of international traffic versus domestic traffic, either because they don't want to hear it or it's not convenient for them to hear. And obviously everything in between. The partnership model is certainly the conversation when it comes to new contracts, because when you don't have certainty of traffic and you don't really

Roundtable Discussion

know the level of risk you're taking on board for whatever capital investment you're going to make then the only fair and equitable solution is saying okay well we're in this together. But I think in spite of having many of those conversations that the level of take up is relatively low. Although we never want to go back to where we were my fear is that we'll be back there in three years’ time. It's the competitive nature of our market. Jose Luis: Airports need to understand that things have changed. We have an absolutely different world. Everyone must understand that 100% of zero is zero. So we need to sit around the table, start long-term agreements between the operators and the landlords for the future. I'm worried about how we are going to work through the next three or four years. Alex: I agree with you and don't get me wrong. But you know one of these big airports comes up for tender, an airport that is $100 million business. As much as I don't want us to go there, I think the pragmatic reality is because it's such a competitive market it's inevitable that with competition we’ll end up having much more competitive bids and people

doing similar things they say they will never do again. These big airports become very competed and you know when we've got some of these crisis situations behind us I just don't believe we won't be making some of the same mistakes, fundamental imbalances of contracts once more. Jose Luis: The other thing we need to understand is that Covid-19 has not ended. We need to be around the table trying to make short- and mid-term agreements helping the development of the business and the recovery of the business for everyone. If you sit at the table and say you have to pay me this percentage minimum guarantee it will crush. Alex: I agree, but these conversations will take place next year for some of our existing contracts. I guarantee you there will be airports that will say hey Covid’s over. Pay your MAG. Some of us will have to say sorry it doesn't work for me, and maybe in some cases people will walk away from those airports, and some will take it on. As much as we'd like things to remain in this new environment for the better for longer, not everybody is on the same page as us.


Rene: You both are right. There will always be an outlier not behaving as he should and in any situation. You cannot predict this things. But we have to continue the mission for changing the way we all behave in this environment because otherwise we destroy the environment. I think we have an obligation to continue the mission that this is not a long-term sustainable business model but I’m also not to too confident that we come out of this pandemic and everybody behaves differently. Alex: The truest words were from your colleague Brian from Hudson. He said at the end of the day we have a responsibility to our businesses to not bid what we shouldn't bid and if it doesn't make sense don’t bid. Jose Luis: This is the moment when you will know what landlords prioritise, the money or the partnership. They want to create value or they want only to get the money. For me in this moment the first thing is to prioritize the partnership, but we see in every business you will have some terrorists. NOTE: Quotes edited for clarity and space


SHOPPING CHINA: THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DECADES OF EXISTENCE The challenges for the largest border store in South America were overcame thanks to teamwork and a firm and committed board of directors, before, during and after the pandemic.

Shopping China store in 1933

On October 5th, 2020, Shopping China reopened its doors, after almost 7 months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Paraguay-Brazil borders. Felipe Cogorno Álvarez, one of the directors of the company, emphasized that with the reopening of the stores, all the collaborators returned to their job in the company, leading the board of directors to fulfill the promise to rehire all the employees, despite the deep crisis that crossed the borders. At beginning of the pandemic in March, the board of directors decided to work with half of the employees and rearrange the working system to remote work and the products were offered in the ecommerce. Currently

the reality is different since the borders were opened, tourists returned to make their usual purchases in Shopping China. Once the doors of Shopping were open, a whole plan of sanitary measures has been implemented, installing infrared temperature measurement, modern hand sinks so that customers can feel safe. A difficulty that the company went through was the loss of products mainly in the confectionary area, despite the adversity, Shopping China decided to make a large donation of

Shopping China in Ciudad del Este, with 70.000 m2

its products to children in needy neighborhoods before products expired and have a double benefit in the situation of not wasting the products and carrying out an action of social responsibility. Felipe Cogorno Álvarez stated that, "crisis is synonymous of opportunity", referring to the fact that during the pandemic the construction of its largest store began in Paraguay, the stores of Shopping China in Ciudad del Este, with 70,000 m2, 7 floors, parking for 1,000 cars, and

food court, the large-scale project will be inaugurated in a year and a half. The Cogorno Group reaffirms its commitment to clients and collaborators, to continues carrying on the 88 years of tradition.


global When our magazines began over 30 years ago, Europe was the only focus in travel retail. Our publisher Aijaz Khan noticed the need to expand beyond these limited horizons, and therefore created magazines focused on each of the regions that he thought would become important in the channel: Asia, Gulf-Africa and the Americas. His foresight was impeccable, as these regions grew in importance to the point that Asia in particular far surpassed Europe. In recent years, however, travel retail is becoming increasingly more global; now so are we


Going Global

NOVEMBER 2020 · FDFA VOL 23 · NO 5

A Leader in The Global Fashion Watch Industry for Over 65 Years.

FDFA’s Abe Taqtaq p.12 Canadian land border p.22 FDFA exhibitors p.34

Along with our new focus, new name and rebranding comes our new website. You can find all our news, interviews, articles and issues at



he past year and a half has brought a great deal of reflection, and with it change. That is as true of us at this magazine as it is of others in the industry and the world at large. As a result of that reflection we are now undergoing a transformation. We are so proud to announce our new magazine branding, our new logo and our new focuses, and we are incredibly excited to share these with you. In the past, our magazines were created for specific regions and we released issues specific to trade events such as TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, Summit of the Americas, TFWA Asia Pacific, FDFA and MEADFA. While we will certainly continue to report on regional news and create issues with a focus on events such as these, as with the industry at large in recent years, we are going fully global. As one travel retail leader recently stated to me, while in the past we approached the traveler and channel on a local or regional level, travel has become increasingly global and that is how we must now approach the channel. And so we have now become Global Travel Retail magazine. Beginning in January, 2022, our issues will be released


monthly. These monthly issues will give you cutting-edge features including interviews and roundtable discussions, where the industry’s leading minds discuss topics that are hugely relevant to all within the industry. We will offer special reports on topics such as sustainability, with news and insight into the infrastructure and behind-the-scenes decision making that affect travel the world over.

Targeted B2B in China

You could not discuss global travel retail in 2020 without talking about China, as so many factors came together to bring incredible success to the duty free landscape in that country. From the decision to make Hainan a duty free haven, to the partnerships between China’s duty free companies and western companies, to a pandemic that did not allow the 1.4 billion Chinese to travel outside of their own borders, the result has been sales that sometimes topped even 2019 numbers. While Chinese people will soon begin traveling outside the country again, this will not decrease the domestic market, but rather will increase the impor-

tance of this demographic as a global whole. We are so proud to be able to offer to you highly targeted access in Mandarin to both traveling Chinese consumers and the Chinese travel retail decision makers. In our new, exclusive Chinese B2B channel, our translated magazines, articles, ads, videos, online posts and targeted advertorials will reach the exact key Chinese decision makers you want to reach. We also have editors on the ground in China, reporting on news, launches, openings and events happening within the country.

Direct to consumer

Normally, B2C can be challenging – how do you reach the exact people you want to reach and not throw money away sending your message to those who aren’t interested or who don’t have the financial ability to purchase your item? Our partnership with China i2i Group allows for the most efficient and effective choice for reaching your target consumer. We have direct access to i2i’s 7.2 million followers (and growing!) on all popular social media outlets in China. Every one of these individuals has received a visa to travel to other countries. In non-pandemic times they travel outside of China on average four to five times per year, and on average 50% of all their travel-related expenditure is spent on shopping. This group includes high-net-worth individuals and business travelers, and when they are not spending outside of

China, they are traveling and spending in China, with 93% of these followers traveling domestically in the past year.

Recovery on the horizon

We have all been through an exceptionally challenging time. “Unprecedented” is the word most commonly used, and with good reason. While there is no magic fix coming and recovery will take much time and effort, signs that the recovery has begun in earnest are clear. Vaccines are being distributed, and they are working. Borders are opening to those who are vaccinated. Air routes are returning and planes are beginning to fill with passengers. The airline industry is hiring people and buying planes. While full recovery is forecast to take two to three more years, the pent-up travel demand is real and palpable. Online searches for travel information have reached record levels, and as soon as people are able to do so — and feel safe to do so — they are snapping up tickets. This, along with the return of such events as TFWA WE and the planning for live events next year, has led to a feeling of industry-wide optimism and excitement. We all here at Global Travel Retail magazine are truly looking forward to working with you in the coming year and beyond.


PD_Travel_Retailing_Magazine_DutyFree_188x134mm_20210924_bel.indd 1



Lagardère Travel Retail x Lima Airport Partners

Balancing risk & reward Lagardère Travel Retail and Lima Airport Partners signed a concession agreement based on a profitsharing model to exclusively operate travel retail shops at Jorge Chávez International Airport by LAURA SHIRK

Previously established at CHC Airport and CNS Airport, Morin says the introduction of Aelia at Lima Airport will offer passengers the best of international brands



escribed as “pioneering a new era of travel retail business models,” Lagardère Travel Retail (LTR) and Lima Airport Partners (LAP) signed a long-term concession agreement based on a profit-sharing model to exclusively operate travel retail shops at Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Peru under the duty free brand Aelia. When asked about LTR’s process to bringing its vision to fruition, Jean-Baptiste Morin, COO Americas, Lagardère Travel Retail, states LAP demonstrated an open mindset from the start. Following a series of work sessions, the pair agreed on an innovative model that would offer the greatest benefits to both parties – and most importantly, passengers of the airport. Morin notes that both partners are willing to try new approaches and recognize the importance of balancing risk and reward in order to expand brand range, product assortment, customer engagement and competitive price strategy.

Jean-Baptiste Morin, COO, Americas, Lagardère Travel Retail

According to Morin, throughout the years (and decades), the travel retail industry has been focused on the sales percentage rather than the absolute value that could be generated by a concession agreement. Although profit-sharing has been previously discussed throughout the industry – and implemented in a number of countries as part of small-scale contracts – this is believed to be the first large-scale agreement of its kind to be signed in Lima. “Industry professionals agree that the relationship between the operator and the landlord needs to be challenged. We believe that with this first-time contract, Lagardère Travel Retail can play a role in opening the market to new opportunities.

“Obviously, this model is not onesize fits all. We understand that every airport is different and the specifics will need to be adapted depending on the country and/or market. Profit-sharing might not be relevant to every case, but we think this will serve as an example to showcase something different. The main message: profit-sharing can be a win-win,” says Morin. Beyond approaching tenders and/or renewals, the LTR team encourages open discussion with landlord partners in regards to evaluating what model is most appropriate based on a different set of factors. This dialogue supports a call to action and permanent change across the industry.

The introduction of Aelia at Lima Airport

During conversation, Morin points out that this concession agreement meets a couple of LTR’s core strategic ambitions: to increase its global footprint and to deliver operational excellence to business partners and travelers via a new model to the duty free market in Lima. Spending time learning more about Latin America and its key duty free players, the company believes that the region offers great prospects to better serve the needs of domestic and international travelers at LIM and emphasize local brands, producers and partners.

“The introduction of our internationally recognized duty free brand, Aelia, will offer passengers at Lima Airport the best of international brands, as well as, create new experiences by providing travelers with a real taste of Peru and showcasing the best of Peruvian culture through sense of place,” he adds.

Re-investment & replication

Moving forward, this agreement will maximize sales growth and establish new investment opportunities. Since the potential for available revenue in a profitsharing model is based on the percentage of operating profit, this means LTR and LAP have a greater ability to re-invest in duty free shops, services, management teams and more. Morin explains that these investments will benefit travelers, who will experience a higher level of service – and ultimately the airport, which will receive a majority of the profit generated by the retailer. “While profit-sharing concession models have been discussed in the past, there wasn’t incentive to make the change in a dynamic global traffic environment. The pandemic has helped the industry embrace more innovative, balanced ways of working. We can only hope that this change is sustainable and that we can capitalize on our global coverage and strong partnerships to replicate this model elsewhere,” he concludes. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Toronto Pearson Airport

GTAA talks Shops at Pearson

The authority will continue to leverage its digital presence and encourage all consumers to plan their future shopping and dining experience at Toronto Pearson




ooking to enhance its online experience and diversify its business model, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) recently launched Shops at Pearson. The goal: to create one branding experience and blend the airport’s physical and digital offering. As Toronto Pearson’s first online retail store, Shops at Pearson gives consumers the ability to select how they want to engage with and shop at the airport. Joe Daiello, Senior Manager, Duty Free & Retail Development, GTAA, states Toronto Pearson has a wide range of services available for all tastes, from the value seekers to the first-class experience seekers. “The expansion of a more commercially focused platform via the airport’s website and its newly introduced: allows passengers to reserve parking, pre-book services including lounge and concierge and prepurchase products to pick-up at Terminal 1 pre-flight. “Without booking a trip or taking a flight, customers can now shop from the comfort of their home and choose to have purchases delivered to their doorstep,” he adds.

Choice, brand & service perspective

Elaborating on GTAA’s plan to expand its digital presence via platforms, partnerships and/or campaigns, Daiello explains that the authority continues to leverage its digital and social assets to promote onsite businesses and collaborate with commercial business partners to offer new and exclusive offers at the best available price. “Our aim at Toronto Pearson has always been to provide the best-in-class retail, dining and services from a choice,


brand and service perspective. We will continue to strengthen our digital and social presence to generate awareness, drive traffic and engagement, and ultimately, increase sales. “We must do this in a way that establishes interest not only among current passengers, but also future passengers and non-travelers. Shops at Pearson encourages all consumers to explore, learn and plan their future shopping and dining experience at Toronto Pearson,” comments Daiello. Reflecting on the position and execution of the online retail store, the GTAA representative notes that the concept of Shops at Pearson offers easy navigation, convenience and exclusivity at a competitive price.

Daiello at GTAA notes that Shops at Pearson offers easy navigation, convenience and exclusivity at a competitive price

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Carnival has now launched its first mega ship, Mardi Gras. With a 6,500-passenger capacity and as the first cruise ship with a roller coaster, it is sure to get plenty of attention as cruises get booked up for next year and beyond

Catching up by WENDY MORLEY

After a complete shut down of the industry, operational cruise ships have been increasing rapidly until now over 50% of all cruise ships in the world are sailing. Better yet, bookings for late 2022 and 2023 are beating those in pre-pandemic times


hile travel the world over was virtually decimated in 2020 and 2021, the cruise industry was halted in its entirety, but as of fall of 2021, things are very much looking up. In its recent Q3 report Carnival Corp stated that, while the cash burn continues, voyages for the third quarter were cash flow positive, with increased passenger spend. The cruise company expects this trend to continue. Carnival’s bookings for the second half of 2022 were ahead of 2019 levels. Booking is already taking place for 2023 and 2024 will launch soon.

Executive team optimistic

With partner Starboard Cruise Services, Costa Firenze is offering a unique and exclusive Italian-based shopping experience


As Carnival restarts its global business, the executive team is positive and optimistic. “To date we have carried half a million guests and have 50,000 onboard our ships every day,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO. “We expect to have all our ships sailing by next summer." He added:“Pre-bookings are three times higher than previous levels.” Carnival retired 19 ships from the fleet, resulting in an improved unit cost, Donald stated. He said the expected cash

Celebrity Cruises has identified that cruise passengers want more selection, more stores on more decks, so they can shop at ease throughout their cruise

passengers, this is by far the largest ship in Carnival’s fleet. Each of the larger cruise lines is restarting multiple ships in the month of October, sailing from ports throughout Florida in addition to Galveston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Hong Kong.

flow will return the company to investment grade. Given current bookings, he expects that by 2023 the full fleet will once again be in service, with occupancy levels comparable to historical levels or better.. In the meantime, the company is launching more new ships, improving cost infrastructure, and keeping a leaner operation.

Global fleet resuming operations

As markets reopen to vessels and cruising restarts, 50% of the global fleet is now operational. The combined fleets of the nearly 90 active cruise lines currently comprise approximately 410 cruise ships. As of October, 2021, 206 ships are now sailing. During winter of 2020/2021 only 20 cruise ships on average were sailing globally. In May of 2021 this number increased, but the reopening of ports in the industry’s top market of the US was the real watershed moment; in July 141 ships were back on the water, and that number has continued to increase since then. In addition to number of ships sailing, the capacity has also grown. Between May and September, the average guest capacity per ship grew from 994 to 1454. Capacity grew 8.3% in October — while the global fleet grew by only one ship, this belies the number of berths, as larger ships were brought back while some smaller ships do not sail in October. Over 50% of berths are now available.

Slight slowdown due to Delta

While the aggressive booking restart in the summer months proved beneficial, Carnival stated that booking volumes for future cruises during the third quarter settled down because of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines also stated a slight decrease in booking volume with the surge in Covid cases.

Carnival expects its monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter to be higher than previous quarters, as it prepares for the busy season ahead after much more than a year.

Covid and cruising

If any segment of global travel has the right to be concerned about the risk of Covid spread, it is the cruise industry. The reality is, the virus spreads more easily in this environment than others. After the horror of ships with virus outbreaks, infecting hundreds, to ships in isolation, others unable to dock and ultimately a 100% shut down, it’s imperative that this segment of the travel industry get it right. The CDC continues to recommend that anyone with risk of severe illness or those unvaccinated should not take a cruise, and indeed the cruise lines are taking this very seriously. Most ships setting sail from the US have strict vaccine policies. The majority of ships within the majority of cruise lines (there is some variation by ship) require at least 95% of passengers to be vaccinated, with few exceptions. Unvaccinated passengers also must provide negative PCR tests within three days of sailing, and in some cases need to provide specific additional health insurance. These rules seem to have made prospective passengers feel secure enough to book — as reported, bookings for later 2022 and 2023 are already ahead of prepandemic bookings.

Current operational ships by company

With the most capacity currently operational, Royal Caribbean International has 16 ships with over 60,000 berths. MSC Cruises has 13 ships sailing with just under 50,000 berths. Carnival Cruise Line has 13 ships in service, including its first megacruise ship, Mardi Gras. With 6,500

Shopping on board

While cruise ships always had stores, increasingly, cruise lines are looking at how they can make shopping a more important part of the cruise experience. Ships are being built or renovated with shopping in top of mind. Recently, we reported on the Costa Firenze, which offers a magnificent Italian-themed retail environment created by Starboard Cruise Services, with rotating stock and shipexclusive collections. Ross Henderson, senior vice president of onboard revenue operations for Norwegian Cruise Line, says shopping is an essential part of the cruise vacation, adding that cruise passengers are dictating this trend with their changing tastes and expectations. Adrian Pittaway, head of retail at MSC Cruises, states: “Historically, the cruise lines have used a set formula featuring jewellery, liquor, watches and a small fragrance area. Today, we’re looking at how you integrate shopping into the cruise experience. We don’t want it to be in segregated areas.” Virtually all cruise lines are increasing their shopping options, bringing stores out of faraway corners and making them front and center in the Atrium. Celebrity Cruises is simply making it easier to shop, without being “sold to.” This cruise line has created a whole new sensory shopping experience intended to engage all the senses. This trend has been increasing as cruise lines have partnered with travel retailers, giving the opportunity to sell a far more extensive and high-quality line. Brands are extremely keen to access the cruise traveler, who tends to be higher income and more willing to buy, and where the shopping does not have to take place as they wait for a flight. As a trend that increases revenue for cruise lines, offers travelers more of what they want and also benefits brands, this one is bound to grow. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Essence Corp. Update

Delina is a floral women’s fragrance from Parfums de Marly, a niche supplier that’s new to the Essence Corp portfolio

Essence Corp’s yo-yo year Miami-based master fragrances and cosmetics distributor Essence Corp is starting to see the return of strong passenger spending and a comeback for fragrances after a difficult year by MARY JANE PITTILLA


ssence Corp, the family-owned, Miami-based master fragrances and cosmetics distributor, has experienced the ups and downs of a yo-yo year, VP Sales Antoine Bona tells Americas Duty Free. As Bona prepares to travel to Cannes in October to meet his customers at the TFWA World Exhibition, he describes how the company has fared over the past pandemic-hit year and how he feels about the future. Americas Duty Free: How is your business performing? What’s your focus on currently? Antoine Bona: This year has turned out better than expected but it’s been a bit of a yo-yo of a year, like a roller coaster. At the start of the year, holiday sales were better than expected because of the vaccine rollout, but then in March we heard about the third wave and there was a stronger shutdown in Europe and South America. The Delta variant hit in the summer and there was panic, but sales are pushing

through again. But 2021 has been nothing compared with 2020. More markets are open and retail is picking up. Domestic spending is thriving in the US and Mexico and there’s travel along the border. We’re also seeing strong sales in Miami and Atlanta airports, and better sales in New York. Sales are strong in the Caribbean and Mexico City and Cancun airports. The border business is also strong as people turn to their cars and drive from up to 300 kilometers away to buy liquor, food, perfumes and other items. But now we’re facing a drastic inventory issue. We saw the storm coming at the beginning of the year but it only hit at the end of July. We’re seeing short shipments from the manufacturers. They appear to have underestimated sales and there’s a shortage of product. Component manufacturers are also being hit in Asia due to lockdowns and there are shipment delays in Asia and Europe. Containers have been stuck at the ports and we’ve had a hard time booking containers consistently.


Antoine Bona, VP Sales, Essence Corp

ADF: How has the Covid-19 crisis impacted your business? AB: The pandemic impacted us because of the border closures, which impacted travel. But as travel has picked up and border restrictions have been lifted, it’s still not easy for travelers. They’re wondering if they need a test, do they need a vaccination? The US is lifting the border restrictions on Europe and allowing travel in November, so there will be a sales spike in places like New York, Newark, Chicago, Dallas and Miami. Argentina is lifting restrictions in October/November, so these are positive moves and looking to the future, we see travel picking up. We would like it

ADF: What beauty trends are you seeing? AB: There’s been a comeback to fragrances. Skincare and cosmetics were impacted by the pandemic, but when people were at home they continued to use fragrances. The scents help transport you to somewhere else. We see that some retailers are streamlining their assortment and delisting smaller brands to focus on the bigger brands. In the US domestic market, niche fragrances are a huge trend and we believe this could come to travel retail. Niche is an opportunity if travel retail operators want to be different from downtown. We have added Parfums de Marly to our portfolio and we’ve seen quite a lot of interest. Travelers have the purchasing power and they can afford expensive fragrances. We see Rituals and Bath & Body Works as a focal point for retailers as they delist the makeup brands and they are one of the few companies offering home and body including soaps.

A high-profile promotion for the Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue men’s fragrance at Duty Free Americas’ Miami Airport store

to be easier for travelers, as the rules are constantly changing. We see strong travel numbers between Mexico and the Dominican Republic, as you don’t need a test or a vaccination.

Explorer Ultra Blue and Jimmy Choo’s I Want Choo. Rituals is bringing out The Ritual of Jing. It’s been a successful year for newness and innovation during the pandemic.

ADF: How important is digital innovation to Essence Corp? AB: Digital is a very strong focus to promote the business and the brands. We work with the retailers and schedule the marketing calendar. We’ve been using Instagram and Facebook. Last year we started Instagram Live and now we’re doing Instagram Reels to promote the brands. Digital is underdeveloped in travel retail and it’s expensive to develop. We’re basically catering to travelers when they’re traveling. Not that many retailers do pre-order or downtown deliveries. In the Caribbean, they have click & collect and home delivery. The airports don’t, but inflight are starting to do pre-order and home delivery. Aeromexico is starting to do home delivery from October.

ADF: Can you update us on the Brazilian border store business? AB: There are 21 stores open today. International operators Dufry and Duty Free Americas have two stores, and DFA is opening a second. There are seven or eight locally owned companies who operate the majority of stores, so we’re working with these retailers for the first time. We’re developing new relationships with these new retailers and helping to educate them as a partnership. Essence Corp was one of the first companies to enter the market. Some of the brands we work with in the Caribbean have now entrusted us with their business in Brazil. They include Shiseido, Puig, Hermes, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Rituals and Euroitalia. We have an account supervisor in Brazil. Brazil has high import duty and Brazilians get $300 to purchase, and it rolls over every 30 days. ASUTIL has been lobbying for the limit to be increased, as the airport allowance is $1,000. Essence is a member of ASUTIL and I’d urge others to join in order to lobby for duty free business development in South America.

ADF: What are the new fragrance launches and innovations? AB: The marketing calendar has been busy this year, as some companies postponed their launches until 2021. Versace is one of our best-performing brands and has a very strong campaign for Dylan Turquoise. There’s also Montblanc

ADF: Have you noticed any changes in customer behavior? AB: People in stores are buying and the average ticket is going up. Conversion is also up. One of our cruise ship operators, which is operating at 50% capacity due to regulations set because of Covid-19, sees their sales surpassing their forecast budget. Retailers can drive sellout, as people want to get out there and spend. Digital is important, but people need to feel, touch and experience a product, so it’s a complement, not a replacement. ADF: How do you see the continuing impact of the pandemic? AB: We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We had forecasted a later recovery, but we see the recovery increasing. As border restrictions are lifted, there’s an opportunity for growth. The virus is not going away tomorrow, especially with the vaccination pushback, so we need to make it easier for travel and align aviation and governmental requirements. Every country is operating solo and we need some unification. ADF: How do you feel about 2022? AB: We hope to get back to normal. We had a yo-yo effect this year and we think it will be less in 2022. We’re fairly optimistic, but there is uncertainty. Governments need a clear vision to keep the borders open and keep commerce going. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Molton Brown

luxury Positive



eading into Q4 2021, Rosie Cook, Associate Director, Global Travel Retail & Export, Molton Brown, states the company is feeling “cautiously optimistic.” Despite recent challenges, the British luxury fragrance and personal care brand continues to believe in the significance of travel retail. Considering the last several weeks, Molton Brown has started to experience positive steps in regards to reaching pre-pandemic performance. Although Cook acknowledges the pent-up travel demand and loosening of restrictions across the globe, she says following the past 18 months, the GTR team has recognized the importance of remaining agile and flexible. In the midst of preparing to welcome back traveling consumers, the company understands that it will not be a “smooth ride.”

The Fragrance Finder

With the release of its new Botanical Hair Care Collection in the channel, Molton Brown is building a sense of excitement and demonstrating its commitment to creating a sustainable beauty market. One way the brand is greatly supporting the movement is by using ingredients grown

in once-abandoned underground tunnels, with the application of LED technology and hydroponic systems. Forced to re-think its digital touchpoints, Molton Brown is working to enhance the shopping experience – instore and beyond. The brand is dedicated to collaborating with travel retail operators to build digital marketing strategies that are creative and meaningful in order to connect with travelers before entering the store. “The Molton Brown Fragrance Finder is an example of how Molton Brown is creating engaging digital experiences, which work both at-home and in-store. We know that choosing a personal signature scent can be overwhelming. Therefore, Molton Brown has developed this interactive profiling tool to help customers learn more about their unfiltered personality through a series of questions. “The Fragrance Finder charts shoppers’ emotional response and takes them on a journey of self-discovery to determine the perfect fragrance to match their personality. This advanced digital tool has rolled out at select travel retail counters. “As we re-build travel retail business at Molton Brown, we are enthusiastic about


continuing to learn and practice via technology and innovation to stay relevant and engage with passengers throughout the end-to-end travel experience,” explains Cook.

Botanical Hair Care Collection

When asked how shifting consumer behaviors and expectations of the postCOVID consumer will impact Molton Brown’s value chain in travel retail, Cook notes that pandemic shoppers are likely to “buy less, but buy better.” As an early champion of positive luxury, health, wellness and sustainability remain at the heart of Molton Brown’s mission. “This push toward positive luxury can be seen with our new Botanical Hair Care Collection, which is inspired by the heritage of Molton Brown’s founders, who created natural hair care products in their original 1970s Mayfair salon. Today, we continue to keep this pioneering spirit alive through our ongoing sustainability journey. This means investing significant time, energy and resources into improving our positive impact on the planet – and bringing our customers on this journey with us,” adds Cook.

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WB Canna Co & Wellness Portfolio

The integration of CBD The new subsidiary’s brand portfolio showcases cbdMD, Marley, Secret Nature, Dream Water and BioSteel and includes products that will be available for the first time in the regional markets; available for purchase: oil tinctures, topical creams, capsules and more

Expanding into the cannabidiol realm of the growing cannabis industry, WEBB Banks’ new subsidiary taps into health & wellness



efore the implementing of unprecedented social cues and travel restrictions, WEBB Banks started to question how it could successfully diversify its brand portfolio and evaluate a number of business opportunities – some of which are still under review. Considering its history, the top distributor of wine and spirits in the Atlantic basin believed that expanding into the cannabidiol (CBD) realm of the cannabis industry offered the greatest opportunity to succeed. With this in mind, WEBB officially launched WB Canna Co & Wellness earlier this year, with the mission to distribute quality CBD and wellness products in domestic markets in the Caribbean, Central America and travel retail.

WB Canna Co & Wellness team

According to Phillip Jarrell, COO, WB Canna Co & Wellness, and previously VP of Sales, WEBB Banks, the new subsidiary’s brand portfolio showcases cbdMD, Marley, Secret Nature, Dream Water and BioSteel and includes products that will be available for the first time in these markets. Available for purchase: oil tinctures, topical creams, lip balms, capsules, edibles, hydration mixes and more. Realizing the existing regulatory issues within the cannabis industry, WEBB Banks strategically established its presence in the health and wellness industry at the same time. Following a basic formula, similar to its approach in the wine and spirits category, Jarrell explains WB Canna Co & Wellness aims to develop quality brands with the support of great partners in the marketplace.

Contributing to the local culture

Describing the domestic markets in the Caribbean, Central America and travel retail as inter-related, Jarrell reveals the company applies the same 360° approach to the CBD and wellness category as it does the wine and spirits category. Having spent more than two decades working on the ground and not only getting to know, but also learning from the local


population, WEBB Banks is rooted in the people and culture of the Caribbean and Central America. Therefore, it made sense to maximize the company’s established working relationships and knowledge of the marketplace. By improving local availability of its innovative range and educating its consumer base, WB Canna Co & Wellness seeks to act as a cultural contributor. “Whether being of the region by birth or choice, WEBB Banks considers giving back to the community a big piece of its company mission. Through its philanthropy work behind-the-scenes, WEBB has supported hurricane and earthquake recovery. “Our personal and professional relationships with those living in the Caribbean and Central America have allowed us to add value to family-owned and local businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re familiar enough with its people, culture and business network to help navigate the ongoing challenge and find a solution to strengthen partnerships,” states Jarrell.

CBD integration & casual consumption

Although WEBB Banks continues to cater to the tourist population and vacation lifestyle, since some of its products naturally move in this direction, there are many segments to WB Canna Co & Wellness’ curated portfolio that allow the subsidiary

WB Canna Co & Wellness Portfolio

where CBD is legal there is a severe lack of product and category education at all levels. From the federal government to consumer base, existing regulations act as a primary obstacle or “mental hurdle” and cause shared uncertainty. Although there is “an underground of people” that know exactly what they’re looking for, it’s often a challenge to access CBD in their home country. Jarrell adds it’s the responsibility of the category representatives to educate and convince “the gatekeepers” of the health and wellness benefits and revenue streams offered by the growing industry.

A permanent change in habit

to become a part of everyday life among the local population. Jarrell compares the integration of CBD into one’s day-to-day to the casual consumption of a vitamin or mineral supplement. WB Canna Co & Wellness plans to prioritize the availability of better choice items to improve both physical and mental health and cover a wide range of need states such as pain relief, stress management, quality of sleep, skincare, diet and hydration. Referring to himself as a “convert,” Jarrell points out that it’s easy to make believers out of the CBD category. After conducting a series of studies in which participants might be suspect to the benefits of its casual consumption, he expresses the high conversion rate is universal with many people finding value in WB Canna Co & Wellness’ product range. As someone who suffers from sleep deprivation, Jarrell has personally integrated CBD into his daily regimen. In addition to serving as a sleep aid, he expects CBD to be used more and more as a relaxation method, a skincare product and/or an alcohol replacement.

the health and wellness industry is leading the innovative team to think outside the box and consider new channels including pharmacies, wellness centers, hospitals, schools, fitness clubs, yoga studios, salons, spas and smoothie bars. Additionally, leaning on its team to learn more about consumer profiles, behaviors and habits and counting on Instagram to generate awareness, Jarrell says the type of social influencer and brand ambassador selected to represent the company will be different from the ones recruited to promote the luxury side of the wine and spirits category.

Product & category education

Defining education as a critical pillar to the success of WB Canna Co & Wellness, Jarrell states the company needs to understand the local culture and political scene in its regional markets – even in countries

A new take on direct marketing

WB Canna Co & Wellness is made up of a young, dynamic team that is social media and tech savvy and combines traditional and non-traditional relationship and brand building techniques. The unique position of the subsidiary offers the opportunity to further explore direct marketing channels in comparison to the fixed channels of the wine and spirits category. For example, the expansion into 28 THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING OCTOBER 2021

When asked about category and subcategory growth, Jarrell expects the health and wellness subcategory to experience a quicker path to success via broader distrubtion simply because of less regulatory issues. He comments the priorities and routines that consumers picked up while staying at home throughout the pandemic in regards to wellbeing will carry over post-recovery. “We often need something ultra-disruptive to occur in order to force a change in habit. The pandemic took effect globally and caused an explosion of consumer demand for this type of product range. “When it comes to complementing WEBB Banks’ wine and spirits offering, the company has championed premiumplus, super-premium and luxury brands that people recognize, trust and include in their day-to-day. In many cases, consumers discover WEBB’s portfolio while traveling and purchase a product to bring home. This kind of brand loyalty is available to tap into within the CBD and wellness category,” concludes Jarrell.



IWSR Drinks Market Analysis


IWSR discusses national spirits, non-air travel channels and the flow of info by LAURA SHIRK

Thorsten Hartmann at IWSR says if the at-home experience continues to grow at the expense of depressed hospitality channels this should provide additional growth for GTR


ccording to new data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis (IWSR), the global beverage alcohol market is demonstrating gradual signs of recovery after COVID19 caused alcohol volume sales to drop by 6.2% globally. It’s expected that total beverage alcohol consumption will return to pre-crisis levels with consumption steadily increasing until 2025. More specifically, Thorsten Hartmann, Director of Custom Analytics, IWSR, states the company expects volume sales of spirits sold via global travel retail to return to pre-COVID levels by 2024. On a more positive note, Hartmann advises that the channel will likely experience an earlier return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of value by 2023. Since IWSR is expecting a more long-term decline in business among air travel, particularly in connection to intra-company, Hartmann says its recovery will be “a touch slower” than among domestic markets. This is the case even with e-commerce and greater digital content playing a significant role. “Nowadays, it’s easier for consumers to compare prices between GTR and domestic markets and departures duty free and arrivals duty free. In other words, consumers can research high-price ticket items and select their channel of preference pretravel to receive the best available deal,” he comments.




Visit us at TFWA Cannes, Red Village Stand J21

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis

When asked about how the recovery of global travel retail will be impacted by the momentum of e-commerce and the sophistication of the at-home experience, Hartmann points out that as an offpremise channel, GTR has always catered to the home occasion. He explains if the at-home experience continues to grow at the expense of depressed hospitality channels this should provide additional growth for GTR.

Shochu, soju & baijiu in GTR

Published by Global Drinks Intel, IWSR recently reported the Top 100 Spirits Brands of 2020 with national spirits leading this year’s rankings. With a limited number of minor exceptions, national spirits are believed to only be prevalent in their country of origin. With this in mind, the domination of national spirits applies to global travel retail in the form of shochu (Japan GTR), soju (South Korea GTR) and baijiu (China GTR). However, their presence elsewhere is curtailed – especially with respect to shochu and soju. As a subcategory, Hartmann says baijiu offers select premium and luxury products, which means its presence in the channel is slightly more pronounced than shochu and soju. The subcategory is starting to expand its GTR presence and appear in other airport locations, primarily at hubs and destinations that are heavily frequented by Chinese nationals. “Importantly, the taste profile of most national spirits has yet to make the necessary leap to consumers outside their natural target group, which means any GTR activity remains limited to their traveling populace. Even in Japan, South Korea and China GTR, international spirits are far more prevalent than their national counterparts,” he explains.

Shifting behaviors and bulk purchases

Along with the cruise industry, border store business is guiding recovery. Hartmann believes that shifting behaviors of the post-COVID consumer such as traveling by car (vs. airplane) will lead to brand owners implementing a more refined approach to different types of GTR business. “The events of last year demonstrated that non-air travel formats are more important than they had originally been given credit for. Broader trends such as sustainability might impact choices around business and leisure air travel. Many businesses are believed to have figured out how to operate without extensive travel and will be asked in the name of sustainability to reduce their dependence on air travel. Additionally, some environmentally-minded consumers might start to increasingly prefer holiday plans that don’t involve boarding an airplane,” adds Hartmann. The IWSR representative also notes that captive browsing time, which exists more at airports and on cruises and less at border crossings, needs to be re-assessed. This is mainly the instance because a conscious effort needs to be made on the part of the consumer to make a stop, leave the car and enter a border shop. Due to the

The specialized taste profile of most national spirits has caused GTR activity to remain limited to their traveling populace


presence of a vehicle, ferries and border shops lend themselves well to bulk purchases including cases of wine, beer and RTDs, which aren’t feasible in an airport or cruise environment.

The flow of info

As the transition to the new normal continues, industry professionals are urging businesses to embrace the sharing of data to create personalized offers across the industry. Moving forward, this will likely become a priority within the spirits category. Hartmann reveals e-commerce and digital content not only provide immediate commercial opportunity, but also a greater way for a brand to learn more about its consumers. From brand owners to GTR operators, he states in any trading environment there are varying levels of co-operation. “It’s true that the flow of information between GTR components has not been the best in the past – in our assessment of the sector this is primarily a result of the frequent tender system, which appoints GTR operators for a set period of time. This system by nature encourages the restriction of information flow. However, there are existing legislative restrictions regarding data sharing across borders and indeed a reluctance on the part of operators in particular,” concludes Hartmann.

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Steadfast and true Contrary to holding back launches, Brown-Forman launched an exclusive with Gebr. Heinemann. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Travelers Sweet and Oaky and Bold and Spicy are currently being placed on shelf at Heinemann locations around the world

Jack Daniel’s is an iconic American whiskey, and Woodford Reserve is a favourite of Bourbon drinkers. As a subcategory, American whiskey was on fire leading up to the pandemic; this, along with strong domestic sales, helped BrownForman stay strong during this challenging time by WENDY MORLEY


erhaps more than any other category, Spirits have had the benefit of domestic sales throughout the pandemic, and the American whiskey subcategory fared exceptionally well. “The resilience of the American whiskey market throughout the world has proven to be quite remarkable,” says Aude Bourdier, VP Managing Director Global Travel Retail for Brown-Forman. “Loyal Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve consumers unable to make their usual purchases in a duty-free shop merely shifted their buying practices to domestic outlets for home consumption.” As can be expected, Brown-Forman saw some disparities in the sales of American whiskey within certain countries, including a decline in Europe, but Bourdier says this was more than compensated for by an uptick in the US market: “In the end, overall consumption of American whiskeys led by Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve increased in 2020, with good momentum toward more premium products which, of course, favors the Brown-Forman portfolio.”

Supply chain issues

Borders are now beginning to open, offering hope for the channel — in particular the recent announcement that the US border would soon open to fully vaccinated travelers, a decision that 34 THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING OCTOBER 2021

has sent ripples of positivity through the industry. But other challenges remain, Bourdier says: “As if dealing with a once-ina-lifetime (hopefully) pandemic wasn’t enough, there is another hurdle currently bedeviling the international spirits industry: a serious supply chain disruption. This could have been anticipated, given that the supply chain relies heavily on the availability of storage and transport containers and movement by trucks and rail, and would therefore be disrupted by the constant opening and closing of borders by individual countries with little or no warning. However, transportation experts as well the BrownForman team and our partners are working diligently to deal with this challenge, and we have every confidence that we will overcome it.”

Domestic travel increases

Meanwhile, domestic travel has been on a continued upward trajectory — in the US in particular — and this has translated into improved sales in the channel for Brown-Forman. “There has indeed been a substantial increase in air passenger loads across the United States, reflecting a pent-up desire for a return to a normalcy that includes personal, business and vacation travel that was lacking during the lockdown,” says Bourdier. “We have access to consumer insights that overwhelmingly

Hainan: the bright light

Hainan has been the one bright light in global travel retail, and this has been the case for Brown-Forman as for others. “Hainan has proven to be a welcome oasis for the travel retail channel during an otherwise bleak trek across the Covid landscape,” says Bourdier. “With its progressively advantageous duty free environment, it has quickly evolved into a major attraction for both travel retail business concerns and the Chinese traveling public. Members of the Brown-Forman travel retail team have worked closely with their Hainan business partners to create a productive brand-building environment for our brands. We feel that Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve have a strong presence in the market, and with Scotch whiskey remaining a spirit of choice in the region we are fully engaged with our award-winning single malts BenRiach and The Glendronach.”

Cruise still a focus

Brown-Forman VP Managing Director Global Travel Retail, Aude Bourdier, says the resilience of the American whiskey market has been remarkable

confirms a desire by people across the world to travel again. The same enthusiasm for travel as seen in the US is also reflected in expanded passenger manifests across European airports this summer. This, of course, translates to a nice uptick in travel retail sales including Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve and other brands in our portfolio. We obviously are not yet at pre-covid sales levels, but things are trending in a very positive and encouraging direction.”

Launches and exclusives

Many companies postponed launches during this time, but Brown-Forman partnered with Gebr. Heinemann to launch in travel retail a pair of unique whiskeys under the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Travelers banner — Sweet and Oaky and Bold and Spicy. These are exclusive to Heinemann, and are just now beginning to appear on the retailer’s shelves globally. That being said, Brown-Forman purchased Ford’s Gin just prior to the outbreak, and subsequently determined that the time was not right for introducing this brand to the world. “Under the circumstances we decided it wouldn’t be fair to Ford’s to not be able to fully implement the launch plan we had in place until a semblance of travel normalcy returns,” says Bourdier. The company continues intent on creating travel retail exclusives, however. “International travelers look at travel retail as a unique shopping opportunity for exclusive products and premium offerings,” affirms Bourdier. “Those feelings are enhanced considerably when the product carries the name of or is associated with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. A good example is the previously mentioned Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Traveler launch. We have long recognized the important contribution travel retail exclusives and innovations involving Jack Daniel’s have made to our success in the channel. With that in mind you can be assured that the Brown-Forman travel retail team and our partners made good use of the time afforded by the pandemic to work on and explore a number of exciting projects involving not just Jack Daniel’s but other members of our portfolio as well. We will be announcing these developments with considerable fanfare at the appropriate time.”

The pandemic hit the cruise industry fast and hard, but leading up to the pandemic, cruise was on a continued record-setting path. For Brown-Forman, that channel has not lost its importance. “The cruise line industry plays an extremely important role in our travel retail brand-building efforts. It has an upscale clientele and provides an exciting and exploratory environment conducive to tasting and sampling new spirits products and cocktails. With the health advances shown by the embracement of Covid vaccines and a greater understanding of the virus transmission methods, we feel that the industry is on the path to recovery and we intend to make it a priority in our brandbuilding efforts.”


During this time, many companies have had a stronger-than-ever focus on sustainability, and Bourdier says this is “absolutely” the case for Brown-Forman. “From a company perspective, BrownForman is committed to a wide range of sustainability targets — from our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our owned operations and supply chain to our goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030. From a travel retail perspective, we are actively working to refine our sustainability target in line with our corporate strategy, with hopes to release to the public by the end of October 2021. We are encouraged by the increased conversation surrounding sustainability and are looking forward to our continued participation in sustainability-specific initiatives in travel retail.”

The Brown-Forman team is “immensely looking forward to reconnecting with our friends, partners and customers on our stand on the Beach Village,” says Bourdier. “There is a tremendous amount of anticipation across the channel for the upcoming TFWA exhibition, and I can assure you that Brown-Forman will be well represented in Cannes THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Summit of the Americas 2022

IAADFS President and CEO Michael Payne has announced that Summit of the Ammericas will be a live, in-person event in 2022, taking place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach, Florida

LIVE AND IN PERSON After many years in Orlando and then halted altogether due to Covid, the springtime event that was once the IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas and then, with ASUTIL, the Summit of the Americas, has moved to West Palm Beach, where it will take place in April of 2022 by WENDY MORLEY


n another piece of continued good news for the industry, IAADFS President Michael Payne has announced that the Summit of the Americas will take place live and in person next year from April 10 through 13 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach, Florida. While the event will have the goal of serving the needs and offering something valuable to delegates from all over the Americas as it has in the past, Payne immediately stated that the format would not be the same, adding in a subsequent conversation: “In other years we had a large exhibition hall, with many exhibitors and booths. We do not feel the time is right for that, currently, so our model will be different. There will be a heavy emphasis on executive learning and networking, with face-to-face interactions.” While there will not be a trade show floor, there will still be opportunities

to exhibit — just not on the same scale. “Some companies will have private suites, which has already been the case,” he says. “And there will be the opportunity for exhibitors to have booths, but a limited number, and in different locations.” Payne says rather than one session lasting the entire day, sessions will take place on parallel tracks, covering a multitude of topics. He would love for people to end the event saying they wish they’d been able to attend all. He won’t speculate on how many attendees they expect. “At events preCovid we had 1800-2100 delegates, and I’d by happy to see it reach anywhere close to those numbers, but who knows what will be happening by that time in terms of travel?” At this point, the Associations are looking into a couple of areas they have yet to decide on, such as whether sessions will be in Spanish and English, or whether


there might be a hybrid model where people can attend virtually. For many of these decisions the biggest factor is cost. “To present an event virtually is not inexpensive,” he says. “We need technology, cameras, operators … we are considering whether to tape the sessions as opposed to presenting them live.” As with the industry at large, associations have been in a challenging spot the past couple of years. They have year-round responsibilities lobbying, advocating and looking after the best interests of their members. When asked what the industry can now do to support the associations, Payne says: “Step up, get engaged, contribute. Clearly in these times all companies are not able to take part in all events; they have their own budget constraints and travel constraints. But we do need people engaged.”


Laying the foundation Signifying beauty and strength, InnoTRI’s Cihuatán Obsidiana delivers to all aspects of the travel retail market by LAURA SHIRK

Following its ranking as a top ten finalist in Qatar Duty Free’s QDF Factor competition in 2020, InnoTRI launched Cihuatán online via 3Sixty Duty Free and KrisShop in June


s a boutique distributor, InnoTRI is recognized for prioritizing individuality and providing tailored service to each of its brand partners. When it comes to navigating the pandemic, the company relied on its personalized service and holistic business approach – the management of the US domestic market and global travel retail channel – to build a diverse network of valuable synergies and strengthen its partnership with Cihuatán Rum. The ultimate goal: to position Cihuatán as the number one ultra-premium rum in duty free and travel retail. Christoph Henkel, Co-Founder & Manager, InnoTRI, says through continued expansion of the brand in key markets including France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, InnoTRI is laying the foundation for growth in travel retail. “In essence, we let the success of the brand and/or product with the end consumer create the desire for the brand in travel retail,” he states. Following its ranking as a top ten finalist in Qatar Duty Free’s QDF Factor competition in 2020, InnoTRI launched Cihuatán online via 3Sixty Duty Free and KrisShop, Singapore’s omnichannel retailer, in June. Benefitting from KrisS-

hop’s strong online and in-flight presence and focus on the traveling consumer, Cihuatán was featured as the premium rum brand in its anniversary campaign. Describing InnoTRI as transparent in terms of sharing brand results and success stories, Henkel notes that local market presence and consumer awareness is key to drive innovation in travel retail.

Cihuatán Obsidiana: beauty, strength & protection

Specifically produced for travel retail, Cihuatán Obsidiana is one of only several SKUs in the premium rum segment that delivers to all aspects of the travel retail market. Inspired by the unifying of beauty and strength, each component of the award-winning travel retail exclusive – juice, bottle, design and story – is 100% dedicated to the traveling consumer. The specialty rum is named after Itzpapalotl or “Obsidian Butterfly,” who in Mayan mythology is known to protect travelers. “During times like these, protection becomes even more valuable to our traveling consumers and we are proud to present this special SKU to our travel retail base,” he adds. Cihuatán’s international success throughout the past 16 months has


showed that the product has a quality in-store appeal among repeat customers and loyal consumers. Henkel says while most of its competing brands lowered their retail pricing via price promotions, InnoTRI and Cihuatán took a different approach. “In many cases, competing brands decided to delist their portfolio, which led to domestic and travel retail consumers finding their products in more discounted stores. This provided the company with an opening to position Cihuatán as an ultra-premium and above artisanal brand,” he comments.

Trading up and learning more

Since its conception, the company has considered travel retail as a whole; however, Henkel notes that airport travel and the cruise business has been impacted the most by COVID-19. As in the past, he says the success of a brand doesn’t come from branding alone – it comes all those who contribute to the value chain. “From our experience, consumers have developed over time – many trading up with a strong desire to learn about the history behind the brand. We believe that the travel retail consumer not only values discounted pricing, but also the satisfying of curiosity,” concludes Henkel.


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MONARQ gets down to business

MONARQ and Goslings Rum extended their six-year distribution partnership in the Caribbean and Latin America to include US duty free

With the return of travel in sight, MONARQ Group has established new partnerships to preserve momentum and promote premiumization by LAURA SHIRK

de Monchy at MONARQ describes Rhum Barbancourt as “a jewel in the industry”


eading into Q4 2021, Robert de Monchy, CEO, MONARQ Group, understands the post-pandemic challenges ahead – and how to tackle them. “The world is rapidly changing and moving to digital including hybrid models, where travelers will pre-order online. Our focus remains to be part of this (r)evolution through several ongoing initiatives,” he explains. Recently, experienced duty free executive, Danielle Glazier, formerly at Starboard Cruise Services, joined MONARQ to head its US duty free business. Today, the company’s primary focus is to best serve the travel retail channel including cruise ships, airports and border shops.

This involves every aspect of the business, spanning commercial terms, logistics services, brand portfolio, promotion and programming. Acknowledging that the pandemic is not over, de Monchy says there is light at the end of the tunnel. This summer, MONARQ celebrated two milestones. First, the company entered into a regional distribution partnership with Pernod Ricard in the Caribbean and Central America. From July 1, MONARQ represents Malfy Gin, Lillet and Del Maguey Mezcal in both markets, which coincides with its strategy of building premium and innovative spirits brands across the region. MONARQ is establishing the best route-to-market for the portfolio; followed by brand-building exercises during the next phase. Also, MONARQ and Goslings Rum extended their six-year distribution partnership in the Caribbean and Latin America to include the US domestic market. “We have partnered with Goslings Rum for many years and have recently expanded this partnership to include the US domestic market for Goslings Rum and Goslings Ginger Beer. In regards to Goslings Rum, the present focus is on duty free retail stores on cruise ships, in airports and on the norther border. Once traffic comes back in full force, we want to be in the pole position. By extension, Goslings world-famous Black Seal Rum


and Ginger Beer are essential items onboard cruise ship bars and restaurants in order to offer Dark n’ Story and Moscow Mule cocktails,” he adds.

A sharp increase & stern warning

Announced in March 2021, as another exciting development, MONARQ forged a distribution partnership with Rhum Barbancourt in Latin America, Caribbean and US duty free. Described as “a jewel in the industry,” de Monchy reveals that the Haitian company is supported by national pride and a true and historic brand of exceptional quality. Turning to COVID-19, the CEO says the industry has been impacted by the sharp increase in logistics costs, which in turn has affected the value chain; however, consumer behavior have remained similar to pre-pandemic. Looking ahead, he provides a warning about the future. “In the years to come, we expect impactful changes to the industry. In essence, the duty free channel exists because of a difference in taxation, not born from consumer perspective. This, in itself, shows the vulnerability of the channel. Now is the time for the industry to increasingly re-invent itself toward a travel retail model, rather than duty free. We need to put the consumer at the center and focus on digital convenience and added value,” he concludes.

E N J O Y R E S P O N S I B LY. P R O D U C T O F C A N A D A . 4 0 % A L C . / V O L .



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Travel Tips & Essentials


COVID Style From practicing gratitude to packing the essentials, this article provides an update on travel tips and essentials that reflect the current era of travel


ince COVID-19 has forced passengers to deviate from their standard travel experience, there has been a major shift in go-to travel tips and essentials. As part of the trade publication’s new lifestyle series, the team reached out to Aude Bourdier, VP, Managing Director, Brown-Forman GTR, and Natalie Jackson, General Manager, Organico Travel Retail – SEVA Group, to learn more about how passengers are thinking ahead in order to ensure a safe and simple travel experience. From practicing gratitude to packing essential products, these industry professionals provide a handful of key tips and tricks to remember when booking a flight and heading to the airport in the future.

Aude Bourdier, VP, Managing Director, Brown-Forman GTR

After almost 18 months of minimal business travel for most, the excitement of returning to travel, meeting in-person and responsibly enjoying our premium brands with our customers and teams is high. My first tip is perhaps the most obvious. I personally encourage all travelers to be vaccinated not only for their own safety, but also the safety of others. This will also ease the international travel process. Second, the pandemic has taught us an important lesson – to pause and reflect. I believe that we should carry this lesson forward, as in the past, many of us became accustomed to rushing around while traveling rather than embracing the experience. Let’s not rush less, let’s take time to appreciate every moment that traveling provides us – even the waiting at the airport. Let’s be thankful for the opportunity to travel and make the most of the experience.


Natalie Jackson, General Manager, Organico Travel Retail – SEVA Group

Considering the new normal, our go-to travel tips are simple: 1.

Make the journey hands-free: Since we need to sanitize our hands regularly and avoid touching high traffic areas, stylish crossbody bags and versatile backpacks are critical for 2021 – and beyond. Our partners at Samsonite have created antimicrobial linings to ensure the travel journey is as hygienic as possible.

2. Take advantage of allowances in travel retail: For most people, it has been close to a year and half since booking a flight. Maximizing duty free allowances and indulging in luxury retail is now a “real perk” of the trip. Featuring brands such as Hendrick’s Gin and Monkey Shoulder Whisky, we are teaming up with our partners in the spirits category to offer travelers products and promotions that are not available in domestic markets.

Taste chocolate in full colours. Visit us at Booth N18 Mediterranean Village TFWA Cannes.






Virtual Travel Retail Expo


The Virtual Travel Retail Expo has a new look for 2021, embracing its digital possibilities more than staying true to a traditional event look as it did last year

Hainan was the one beneficiary to the halt of global travel last year, but will undoubtedly continue strong even after the rest of the world opens back up. With so much possibility, Hainan truly is a place for those in travel retail to consider investing

With travel still uncertain, Moodie Davitt’s successful Virtual Travel Retail Expo is back for the second year, with a new look, new experiences and new partners by WENDY MORLEY


ast year was one of true global upheaval. It’s impossible to overstate the disruption to virtually all areas of life, and none more so than that of travel — thus our industry. Between valid health concerns, laws governing gatherings of people and closed borders, live events were unsurprisingly canceled industry-wide. But despite this — or even because of it — during this crisis it


was more important than ever to create a space to meet, conduct whatever business was possible, learn about how others are coping and about what to expect, in addition to simply catching up with colleagues after months in lockdown. Together with his team, Martin Moodie, one of the most well-respected individuals in the industry, created the solution: The Virtual Travel Retail Expo. Last year Moodie told us that as he realized his own events would have to be canceled, he became convinced that the larger ones soon would be too, and he was proven correct. While he and his team first looked at “webinar-type activities,” they realized these would not help him in their financial plight. They therefore identified the opportunity to create something “groundbreaking.” And that they did. Before long they had created a virtual event that was as close as could be imagined to a live event. Entering the Virtual Expo felt like entering the lobby of an event space. From there, delegates chose one of three

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Virtual Travel Retail Expo

CDFG & The Moodie Davitt Report

The Knowledge Hub was a popular destination last year with approximately 75 speakers discussing virtually every relevant aspect of the industry; that is sure to also be the case this year

places that would feel familiar to anyone who regularly attends conferences and trade shows. First was the Exhibition Hub, a virtual trade show floor where buyer met seller. Next was the Knowledge Hub, which had a stellar lineup of speakers and thoughtprovoking dialogues. Finally, the Engagement Lounge featured four platforms to launch, promote and educate about products. Of course there was also a space for networking. The biggest names in travel retail offered support as Platinum and Diamond Partners; along with the exhibitors and attendees, they helped to make this first virtual event a success.

Second annual event

While the announcement that TFWA WE would be once again taking place live in Cannes this year was welcome in a time when we are all crying for some hint of normality, still many people around the world are having difficulty traveling, whether because of border closures, slow rollout of vaccines in their country, health concerns, workplaces that are not yet embracing travel or other reasons. The subsequent support for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo again this year proves that it is serving an important purpose. Again, the event has a starry lineup of the industry’s giants as sponsors. Confirmed attendees include all the biggest names in the business. As with last year, the Knowledge Hub will be a huge draw. At approximately 75 speakers, the list is too long to reproduce, but these speakers include those who head many of the biggest travel retail operators, in addition to airports, conces-

sionaires, consulting companies, retail analytics, travel companies and more.

APAC Dialogue

We are all aware of the increasing importance of the APAC region in travel retail, despite the temporary plunge in travel and thus sales in virtually the entire region with the exception of China. In light of this importance, the Virtual Travel Retail Expo will host The APAC Dialogue – a partnership between the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) and The Moodie Davitt Report. This session will focus on digitisation, diversification and domestic travel retail in China, Australasian recovery and “veracity of industry research.” A highlight of the Expo, this three-segment programme addresses key regional opportunities and issues.


In further demonstration of the importance of China as a duty free region, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and The Moodie Davitt Report formally signed an Exclusive Strategic Cooperation Partnership agreement for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo this year. The CDFG management, buying, branding and merchandising teams will reportedly be “out in full force.” China Duty Free Group has its own dedicated virtual area called CDFG City, where it will showcase its most exciting current and planned projects, and CDFG President Charles Chen will deliver the morning keynote address in the Knowledge Hub on the first day of the Expo.

Sustainability Partner

While the topic of sustainability had already been increasing in importance in recent years, the events of 2020 skyrocketed its significance. Companies are creating — and achieving — tangible sustainability goals. The Virtual Travel Retail Expo has announced a Sustainability Partner. Ocean Bottle is pledging to rid the ocean of the equivalent of 500,000 plastic bottles as a direct result of the Expo presence. That’s the equivalent of a hefty 5,000kg of ocean waste. Ocean Bottle aims to help stop ocean plastic pollution at the source and simultaneously improve the lives of millions of people. We at Global Travel Retail magazine wish the Moodie Davitt team, its partners and all delegates the greatest of success, and we look forward to meeting up at the event.

The virtual event has industry-wide support this year, with retailers from around the globe taking part

FDFA BRAND DISCOVERY PROGRAM FALL 2021 REQUEST FOR SUBMISSIONS Do you have a great product or new brand you would like to introduce to Canada’s duty free stores? We are currently looking for all categories. The Frontier Duty Free Association, representing Canada’s border stores, has developed a Brand Discovery Program to source new products for the Canadian market.

For more information on how to apply, contact the FDFA: Submissions accepted until November 30, 2021.

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