The Americas FDFA 2018

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FDFA 2018


Sea change for FDFA p. 6  Creating a digital airport environment p. 12  IGL attracts non-traditional customers p.14


P U R E.

C A N A D I A N.

P A S S I O N A T E L Y C R A F T E D F R O M R E A L C A N A D I A N I C E B E R G S. I C E B E R G . C A


Letter from the Editor

NOVEMBER 2018 · FDFA· VOL 28 · NO 4 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. November 2018, Vol 28. No. 4. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © 2018 Global Marketing Company Ltd.

THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING 26 Pearl Street Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2 Canada Tel: 1 905 821 3344; Fax: 1 905 821 2777 PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hibah Noor ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jas Ryat ART DIRECTOR Jessica Hearn CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla Kian Gould


New beginnings I

t’s probably safe to say the entire extended Canadian duty free industry is collectively intrigued and excited to see what is in store at the new convention this year. After 31 years where the event remained essentially the same, it has now been completely transformed, with one mandate: bringing value to the suppliers and operators in terms of time, networking, budget and business opportunities. When the changes were announced last year, some suppliers expressed concerns. But it quickly became clear that great thought and consideration had gone into every aspect of the transformation, and concern converted to enthusiasm. The new convention model was not the only transformation that occurred with the FDFA in the past year or so, however. The board has hired a new Executive Director, Barbara Barrett, whom delegates will undoubtedly be eager to meet. Additionally, the board has appointed an advocacy firm, Impact Public Affairs, to ensure a “proactive and effective” advocacy voice in Ottawa and across the country. If that were not enough to ramp up enthusiasm, the industry will also be celebrating the fact that Canada-US negotiations on free trade were finally resolved at the 11th hour and just in time for the convention. Among all these changes, however, business also continues as usual. In this special FDFA issue of Americas Duty Free, you will learn about marketing initiatives and business practices that have spelled success for retailers and suppliers both, and perhaps you will be introduced to some new ideas or products that will augment your own success in the coming year. We wish you a very successful event in Toronto this year, at the new location of the King Edward hotel – a luxurious location befitting the industry. Kindest Regards,




What’s inside Lead Stories 6 Frontier Duty Free Association

6 6

Sea change for FDFA

The Frontier Duty Free Association decided on some harsh changes to its senior management and the convention last year. This year, the decisions all come to fruition

12 Guest Writer

Creating a Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem


Kian Gould, CEO and Founder of omnichannel e-commerce company AOE, reveals the key to sustainable growth and stability for airports and airlines amid the digital revolution

16 Importations Guay Ltée Staying current

Importations Guay Ltée stays on top of trends in offer and payment options to attract non-traditional customers and take advantage of a growing market

18 Niagara Duty Free Targeting clientele

While new habits of consuming media offer an advertising challenge, it’s possible to target very specific demographics at the most opportune time, and Niagara Duty Free has developed a system to do just that


20 Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free In this together

Partnership marketing has helped bring success to Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free, those it partners with and the community at large

26 Al Fakher


As the shisha market has seen explosive growth around the world in recent years, market leader Al Fakher reconfirms its focus on duty free to complement its global position

Costa’s healthy ocean challenge 24 Haleybrooke shares brand spectrum 2 7 Godiva unleashes chocolate carnival 2 8 KROMA brings beauty to duty free 30

A growing community

ALFA celebrates 25th anni in Toronto 31 Time for superheroes 32 Liquor News 33 All About Steven Ciccolini 34

advertisement removed for legal reasons

Frontier Duty Free Association

Sea change for


The Frontier Duty Free Association decided on some harsh changes to its senior management and the convention last year. This year, the decisions all come to fruition by HIBAH NOOR


he year 2017 heralded a new beginning for Canada’s Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA). In its first 31 years of existence the annual Convention and Trade Show had remained virtually unchanged in terms of format and meetings. Board members recognized that the convention fell short on providing relevance and value to its members and decided something profound must be done. Over the years the association had slipped further and further away from focusing on its mandate, and the board recognized that this was having negative effects on its strength, viability and ability to fulfill its role. As an extension, the convention seemed to no longer be achieving the goal of serving all participants, for a similar reason: that it was trying to do and be too many things. Early 2017, therefore, the board made some major decisions. In addition to deciding on and later carrying out changes at the executive level, the Strategic Convention Committee was formed, led by Tania Lee, VP Sales of Blue

Water Bridge Duty Free and Vice President of FDFA. The committee’s mandate was to look in depth at the convention and bring back recommendations to the board of directors, based on the key criterion of bringing value to the suppliers and operators in terms of time, networking, budget and business opportunities.

New direction

Recently, the association’s Board of Directors unveiled a new strategic direction to ensure a “proactive and effective” advocacy voice in Ottawa and across the country. After an extensive review process, the Board endorsed the appointment of Impact Public Affairs, a nationally renowned association advocacy firm to represent the interests of the FDFA members and build opportunities. Impact has 20 years of experience in building advocacy campaigns for trade associations, with a specialty in the retail and small business sector. The advocacy firm is also known for building partnerships with association leadership to support


Tania Lee, VP Sales of Blue Water Bridge Duty Free and Vice President of FDFA

member recruitment and retention. It is the only advocacy firm to win the Canadian Society of Association Executive’s award for business excellence to national associations. Abe Taqtaq, President, FDFA, says: “The clear message from our membership was to re-evaluate our representation and develop a coordinated government-relations strategy to take the association to a new and higher level, proactively creating the regulatory environment for our members’ long-term success and growth.” This year the board also announced Barbara Barrett as the new Executive Director. “Barbara and our team will be embedded in Ottawa with Impact to

implemented and developed communications strategies to leverage global sponsorship programs with Formula One Racing, Invictus Games, the Canadian Cancer Society and First Nations groups. Barbara Barrett appointed new Executive Director of FDFA

provide members with a full range of lobbying, communications, media and social media support,” said Taqtaq. With over 20 years of high-level public affairs expertise, Barrett has held senior leadership and executive roles for Jaguar Land Rover, where she contributed to record sales and media results. She has worked as Canadian communications lead with corporate leaders in the UK and the US and has


One of Barrett’s first major concerns in her new role has been the trade agreement between Canada and the US. The agreement was finally reached mere hours before a congressional deadline that could have seen the treaty move forward without Canada. “The new United States-MexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) reaffirms commitments to the flow of goods and people across the border,” says Barrett. “This is good news for duty free stores, where border delays or hassles would only deter cross-border travelers.” Most important for the duty free industry, the agreement increases Canada’s de minimis threshold for duties and tariffs from the current CAD$20 to CAD$150. While this will make it

easier for Canadians to buy from online stores, the tax threshold was raised to only CAD$40, which is much better for Canadian retailers than it might have been. “We have been dialoguing with political offices and trade officials since the announcement in order to complete the analysis on potential impacts or unintended consequences,” says Barrett. “Our initial analysis is that this will likely have limited impact on Canadian’s willingness to travel to the United States. “Canada’s de minimis rate remains the same for now, with the agreement yet to be approved by the US Senate. Legislation and regulatory changes will also be required in Canada, which will take some months. We will continue to monitor the situation and actively engage with Ottawa decision makers and stakeholders in the retail sector as well as with MPs, political staff, and bureaucrats.”

The new convention

“Value to all members remains the basis for the convention, now centered around THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Frontier Duty Free Association

Snapshots from the FDFA convention held in Montreal in 2017

the objectives of brand building, collaboration and growth. These concepts were woven into each change that will be part of the new convention,” says Tania Lee, Strategic Convention Committee Chair. “The committee recommendations capitalized on the size of the convention and on its Canadian identity, all positive benefits. While the convention is certainly not the largest, it does allow for intimate meetings and is cost effective, with most meetings occurring in suites rather than expensive trade exhibits. It also promotes close relationships between operators and suppliers, some of whom have forged great friendships over the years. We want suppliers to look forward to, and enjoy, our convention every year; we want it to be a bright spot in their yearly calendar.” The new format will include the following major differences: 1. There will no longer be a trade show floor 2. Days will be divided by product categories 3. Networking opportunities will be enhanced to focus on collaborating with our suppliers and working as partners in our industry 4. Brand building will also feature heavily throughout the convention

How will this work?

One of the biggest questions the association has received, according to Lee, is how category days will work. “The division of categories is to give options to suppliers,


many of whom had felt the length of the event was prohibitive,” she says. “Suppliers are able to manage their schedules according to category, with the option to stay

Frontier Duty Free Association

for fewer days without compromising the time they are able to meet with operators. It really allows for a more efficient booking process. We are letting all suppliers know that they are welcome to stay for the entire show, however.”

Value to suppliers

Thus far, suppliers seem to appreciate the efforts and the new way of doing things. Lee says new suppliers confirmed for this year’s event include Swatch Group, Timex, Fielding Group, Noble Packaging, PK Staffing and Bugatti Group. “We are adding new components to the convention to address the removal of the trade floor and allow for participation of new members at the convention. This year we are having an event centered around craft distillers, for example. This will allow new suppliers an opportunity to exhibit and sample new products while also adding excitement and interaction with operators.” Added value to suppliers will begin during opening night. “The opening cocktail will highlight a number of different brands within a mini-event format. The supplier is able to customize space within the opening cocktail, and brand the space accordingly. Some suppliers are bringing

in mixologists and ambassadors to mix drinks, others are spotlighting a number of brands with visuals, advertising elements and special cocktails.”

Information and ideas

Of course, suppliers are only one part of the event’s success. Access to innovation and resources forms part of the value equation to operators. “Larger suppliers have access to research, merchandising and professional companies that provide them with valuable ideas and insights into growth, marketing, logistics and more that may benefit duty free operators,” says Lee. “We have invited a few operators to share ideas and collaborate with us, with the goal of achieving growth in our different regions. This is meant as a supplement to the individual meeting format that forms the basis of the convention. These presentations will be interspersed throughout the week to allow for concurrent attendance to individual meetings.” Another new inclusion in the schedule is Airport and Associate Member Day. “This allows for airport and associate members to start their meetings on Sunday and have longer meetings on that day, if they so choose,” says Lee.


First year begins

“The theme of this year’s convention is Collaboration for Innovation, which encapsulates the findings of the committee and brings forward the full implementation of the changes originally recommended to the board,” says Lee. “All suites are sold out and we are working on a waiting list for rooms. Suppliers and operators are excited with the change, and the FDFA has been teasing highlights of what’s to come.” Top of mind for the board is making sure the association follows through on its commitment to operators and suppliers to bring them value. “This is a smaller, intimate show where relationships play a key role,” says Lee. “We also meet in a way that promotes networking, allows for flexibility and maximizes dollars spent at the show. We aim to make this show enjoyable and special, welcoming all to Canadian hospitality.” The social calendar presents three very different concepts over as many nights, celebrating the suppliers and joining them in mixing, dining and enjoying their products of choice. This is interspersed with a number of innovation presentations that occur concurrent with meetings during the day.

NATURAL QUALITY RANGE PERFORMANCE PRODUCT COLLECTION COMPOSED OF: Botanical, Mineral, Organic, Custom Blend, Refillable, Water-Resistant, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Gluten-Free And Paraben-Free

Guest writer

Creating a Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem Kian Gould, CEO and Founder of omnichannel e-commerce company AOE, reveals the key to sustainable growth and stability for airports and airlines amid the digital revolution

The US$68.5 billion (2017) global travel retail market is contracting, spend per head is decreasing Source: TFWA, IATA, ACI


Kian Gould, CEO and Founder of omnichannel e-commerce company AOE


on-aviation revenues are the most important financial source of income for airports today. The problem: The days when passengers wanted merely to purchase duty free alcohol and perfumes at unbeatable prices are over. Today’s passengers have different expectations of travel retail offerings and, above all, are interested in other goods – particularly highend electronics and premium consumer brands. At the same time, spend per passenger is declining globally – despite a steady increase in passenger numbers. As a result, airports must rethink their non-aviation revenue business model. To make their business models ready for the

Beneficial collaboration of travel retail stakeholders with a digital marketplace Source: AOE

future, airports need to know their customers and their customers’ needs. Armed with this knowledge, airports can address their customers with targeted offerings. The challenge here is twofold. Firstly, airports don’t always have the necessary information to really know their customers. Secondly, digitalization is disrupting traditional revenue streams and business models of airports and airlines. To resolve these issues, airports need to collaborate with the other stakeholders in the aviation industry – airlines, retailers and brands – and digitalize their business. Only through cooperation and creating a Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem will they be able to create sustainable business models.

The future of travel retail lies in The New Quaternity

We believe that success in this new digital travel retail environment, and the foundation of the Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem, is what we call “The New Quaternity of Travel Retail”, which includes retailers, airports, airlines and brands. Through collaboration, these stakeholders can create a truly seamless omnichannel customer experience and a digital airport ecosystem. Airports, airlines, brands and retailers pursue different, and sometimes competing, interests. This makes it seem difficult at first glance to find a solution that is equally beneficial for all parties. However, if one considers the overall benefits that can be created with appropriate cooperation and which takes all major concerns of each individual stakeholder into consideration – and factoring in the risks of major e-commerce competitors beyond

the aviation industry, such as Amazon or Alibaba – then the question can really only be “How can such a joint solution be achieved?” Airports, airlines, brands and retailers all have some advantages and disadvantages in terms of e-commerce, but none of the stakeholders can fully meet all requirements. Everyone is dependent on partners in certain areas or has to build up capacities at great expense. The overall goal for all players is to create a truly seamless customer experience in a Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem. This is where a mutual collaboration between all stakeholders must start. Each key player can contribute his or her core strengths to this joint proposal. In this model, the airport evolves into the (digital) marketplace provider, bringing all key players together and providing the required services such as logistics, wayfinding, real-time delivery, real-time flight information, etc – services that only airports have the facilities to provide. The retailers and brands can provide a fitting and compelling product offering, both digital and physical. Collaborating with airlines, retailers and brands allows airports to engage with the passenger from the very beginning, even before the passenger starts his or her journey.

Competitive advantages for e-commerce at airports

However, what competitive edge do airports have when implementing e-commerce? Is an airport competition for Amazon or Alibaba or is it a completely different value proposition? The airport is a unique environment where service and product tend to blend seamlessly, unwittingly into each other. During the past five years of helping airports to realize their digital potential, we

Benefits of a holistic Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem for all stakeholders Source: AOE THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Guest writer

Some promising results of digital marketplaces based on OM³ Source: AOE

have come to realize that airports have several unique competitive advantages: Competitive advantages for consumers: • Immediate product availability: No waiting time for passengers, immediate access to purchased products • Product look & feel: Passengers can look at and check out real products in the store, before taking them with them • Omnichannel experience: The combination of online and offline contributes to a higher conversion rate and creates a more satisfying customer experience Competitive advantages for retailers: • Low cost of returns: Approximately 30% of costs for e-commerce are for shipping and returns. For airports, return costs are very low, as most people either return the product directly or don’t return it because they are already abroad • Low traffic acquisition costs: Traffic acquisition is the second major cost driver in e-commerce. But for airports, traffic acquisition comes almost for free, as potential customers are already at the airport and/or checking out the airport’s website

All products and services consolidated in one digital marketplace

A key aspect for the development of a digital airport marketplace is the consolidation of all digital products and services on one platform. When all stakeholders such as airports, airlines, retailers and brands offer their own digital solutions, customers face a wide variety of e-commerce platforms. Only very few platforms are noticed by passengers, and even less are actively used. The redundant costs for operating and marketing these digital solutions are not even considered. A shared digital marketplace has the advantage that passengers only have to register once and then have access to all products and services from all providers. Creating these consolidated digital marketplaces has already shown dividends at airports across the globe. For example, the digital marketplace at Frankfurt Airport, based on AOE’s OM3 Suite, has increased the customer growth rate by 62% and the average basket value increased by 230%. Webrooming (researching information about available items and prices online before buying in-store) has also had a positive effect on retail sales; 14% of the people using the site to browse products and check prices actually end up not buying online but in the store. These figures indicate solutions such as OM³, once integrated with all non-avi-


ation revenue streams at an airport, have the potential not only to reverse a downtrend, but also provide significant additional revenue potential for international airports.

Premium product range with cross- and upselling

An important factor for successful digital commerce is a suitable and attractive product range. Passengers use airport e-commerce platforms primarily to gain access to the entire range of luxury and high-end products such as jewelry, handbags, leather accessories, watches, laptops, cameras and noise-canceling headphones. One reason for this is that these are the categories where scarcity is a real concern for global shoppers. Accordingly, an attractive product range with a focus on electronics, luxury and premium articles is highly effective in meeting passenger needs. This approach is also ideal for targeting advertising and marketing efforts. Sophisticated digital platforms enable brands and retailers to offer targeted products and convenient crossand upselling.

Set-up of partnerships for API commerce and relevant traffic

In addition, the premium products and tailor-made promotions must be offered to passengers at relevant touch points. In order to generate sufficient traffic and meet passengers at the right time at the point of sale, the relevant sales channels need to be utilized more efficiently. For airports, for example, partnerships with airlines and booking portals such as or C-Trip make sense when offering travelers airport services such as Fast Track or VIP services during flight booking or in an aircraft – via API (Application Programming Interface) commerce in the partners’ channel – without acting directly as the airport.

Creating sustainable growth and a unique customer experience

Airports, airlines, retailers and brands are currently facing unparalleled challenges in the aviation industry, both in the way they do business as well as in the industry itself. Rapidly changing purchasing behavior by customers is having a profound impact on travel retail, and the evolving e-commerce industry as well as digitalization are disrupting traditional revenue streams and business models of airports and airlines. The key for sustainable growth and stability for all stakeholders is in collaborating to build a Digital Airport Commerce Ecosystem – which will benefit the industry and customers alike.



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Importations Guay Ltée


Importations Guay Ltée stays on top of trends in offer and payment options to attract non-traditional customers and take advantage of a growing market

current by HIBAH NOOR

IGL Vice President Justin Guay says that offering WeChat and Alipay has been beneficial in the continued growth of Chinese tourists to the store


mportations Guay Limitée (IGL) has firmly established itself as one of the premier border stores not just in Canada, but around the globe. Its flagship store is located close to Montreal and the Laurentians, close to Vermont and the Adirondacks, and just a few hours’ drive to New York City, offering an opportunity to cater to a large range of clients. The retailer is renowned for doing just that, providing an environment and a selection of goods that offers consumers what they’re looking for almost before they know they’re looking for it. Be that all as it may, IGL faces the same challenges as all border stores – educating people about the fact that they are allowed to shop there, and attracting them into the store. In typical fashion, IGL has taken that bull by the horns, making great strides forward in both of these areas recently.

Known and trusted

Last year, a Starbucks location opened in IGL Duty Free, and the partnership has been extremely successful to the retailer. “With Starbucks, we have seen duty free sales increase and our food and beverage department sales more than double,” says Justin Guay, IGL’s Vice President. “The brand presence has encouraged highway traffic to come into the store, bringing people who do not understand how duty free shopping works. Our capture rate has increased, and so has our customer average spend as a result.


Outdoor seating a place to enjoy

The addition of a Starbucks at IGL has attracted highway drivers who would not normally stop in duty free, increasing F&B and also overall sales

Growing Chinese market

It is perhaps safe to say IGL is in a continuous state of reinvention, keeping on top of trends. One of those trends is the increase of Chinese tourists to the country. In last year’s Americas Duty Free FDFA issue, we discussed the importance of mobile pay to the increasingly influential Chinese tourist market. Canada has specifically targeted the Chinese for tourism, and that effort has paid off. Chinese nationals now make up the third largest nation of origin for Canadian tourism, behind the US and the UK, and are expected to surpass the UK any day. Only 9% of Chinese own passports, but 120 million Chinese travel outside of the country each year. This number is expected to double by 2020, while Chinese tourists to Canada are expected to triple. Additionally, while such a small percentage travel outside of China, they account for 32% of global luxury goods sales – an especially important figure in duty free.

appeals to passers-by as a y their Starbucks purchase

Familiar payment options

The addition of La Prairie is IGL’s most recent brand development

Shoppers know and trust Starbucks products, and this has helped us lift duty free sales simply by encouraging new shoppers into our retail space.”

Informative video

Among other marketing initiatives in 2017, the retailer produced a series of videos aimed at the local consumer who might not think to stop by the store. The videos had to be both entertaining and informative, while demonstrating that duty free offers shopping options often not considered. As an example of unexpected shopping options, the addition of La Prairie is the store’s most recent brand development. “We have had it for almost one year,” says Guay. “Despite being an ultra premium brand, it’s quickly become one of our top sellers and a favorite of the Asian traffic. “We are faced with the challenge of getting travelers to stop, as they often don’t associate duty free land border shopping with high-end brands and specialty products,” he continues. “We are proud to say that from first-time shoppers at our store we repeatedly hear comments about how pleasantly surprised they are. With the increased shift to digital and the unquestionable need to appeal to and educate Millennials about the benefits and accessibility of duty free, we have developed a social media awareness video campaign to communicate with them in a fun, relatable and unique way.”

The Chinese are traditionally reluctant to use credit, especially when traveling. Some credit card companies charge over 3% on international transactions in addition to exchange rates, which are often converted at least twice, with interest. Not only does this make the purchase a great deal more expensive than ticket price, it also creates a question mark around the true cost of an item. While credit card use has never been widespread in China, mobile pay has exploded. As of the end of 2016, 74% of all payments in China were made through apps, and that figure has only increased since then. This is especially true of the Millennial and younger generation, who make up the majority of travelers out of country, and who rarely use cash. “By offering both WeChat and Alipay we are also providing customers with the possibility of a beneficial exchange rate as both services do not always charge the same rate and the customer is free to use the option of their choice,” says Guay. “The amount owed is displayed on their phones in Yuan and they approve the transaction. This rate is final; there are no added exchange charges once their statement is received.” Importations Guay Ltée has seen an influx of Chinese customers over several years, and this growth shows no signs of abating anytime soon, according to Guay. “When one considers the small percentage of Chinese who are passport holders, we can only imagine the effect it will have as that number increases in coming years. We have seen steady growth in the usage of this WeChat and Alipay since we first introduced them.” Tour guides are telling their customers ahead of time that mobile pay is available at IGL if needed, and staff members are seeing positive reactions to the signage posted in store that displays the price in Yuan. “Having the purchase amount in Yuan eliminates the question of how much money is being saved, resulting in less confusion and increased purchases,” says Guay. “We are happy to be able to provide our Chinese clientele with a service that makes payment smoother and shows them that we care about their business.” WeChat and Alipay together comprise well over 90% of mobile transactions. While WeChat began as a social network, it quickly created other reasons to be used, mobile pay being an especially popular one. As of Q1 of this year, the app has over one billion regular users, with over 900 million of these users checking in every day. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Niagara Duty Free

Targeting clientele While new habits of consuming media offer an advertising challenge, it’s possible to target very specific demographics at the most opportune time, and Niagara Duty Free has developed a system to do just that by HIBAH NOOR

Niagara Duty Free store looks at new advertising options to entice customers


This map shows the area covered by geofencing surrounding the Niagara Duty Free store. Bell Media helped the retailer identify Americans who are in the vicinity of the store, and then have a targeted advertisement about duty free appear on their mobile devices when they are using the web or social media


uty free stores have traditionally relied on advertising to help drive customers to their stores. While the need for advertising has not changed, traditional forms of advertising no longer carry the impact they once did. Instead of reading printed newspapers and listening to the radio, potential customers now use cell phones and social media. Steve Richardson, General Manager, Niagara Duty Free, says: “We needed a method of getting our message in front of potential customers.” But reaching the desired audience is not a simple matter. “In Niagara Falls at any given time there are thousands of tourists, yet they are not all from the US. The vast majority of visitors are from two groups: Americans

People receiving the ad had to meet all of the following criteria: 1. They had to be Americans crossing into Canada at any of the four land border crossings in our area. 2. The cell phone owner must reside 200km or more away from Niagara Falls, allowing the retailer to target American tourists visiting the Falls on a vacation rather than those living just across the border coming in for a day trip. 3. The advertisements must appear to them only after they’ve been in Canada for 24 hours, allowing the retailer to target tourists who stayed the night and therefore were allowed duty free purchases. 4. The individual with the device receiving the advertisement must be in the Geo-target area, within 30 km of the marked flag, allowing the retailer to target Americans in the direct vicinity. Since it is widely understood that ads displayed on a cell phone are viewed but have a very low “click-through” rate, the strategy was to use the ad to remind the visitor about duty free rather than sending them through somewhere else to receive information, though the retailer did create a landing page in case the viewer did decide to click on the ad.

Testing the content Niagara Duty free is reaching out to potential customers through their cell phones and social media

who will be crossing back into the US, and Canadians who visit Niagara Falls and remain in Canada. To be cost effective, we needed to separate these two groups and advertise only to the Americans.” An effective strategy would be to identify Americans who are in the vicinity of the store, and then have a targeted advertisement about duty free appear on their mobile devices when they are using the web or social media. “We reached out to our Bell Media contact with our goals and together developed a plan,” says Richardson. They created an advertising campaign using Geofencing, which fulfills the retailer’s exact need: find the specific potential customers and give them a strategic message. “We were able to put together a program where we could advertise to American tourists in a geographically defined area through their cell phones,” says Richardson.

Very specific targets

Geofencing is the practice of using global positioning (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define a geographic boundary. Then, once this “virtual barrier” is established, the administrator can set up triggers that send a notification when a mobile device enters (or exits) the specified area. Bell was able to set up a geo-fence around the Clifton Hill tourist area and Fallsview tourist area during the promotional periods. “The network was given parameters in order to cost-effectively identify the people we wished to send ads to,” says Richardson.

Niagara Duty Free ran the program in two different phases, to test different approaches: Phase #1, which ran for 11 days from June 25th to July 5th, offered a generic message Phase #2, which ran 16 days from July 16th to July 31st, offered a specific message.


Phase 1: 119,995 impressions were delivered 14, 925 unique people Average person saw the ad 7.4 times 447 clicks were recorded, which is .37% Phase 2: 119,993 impressions were delivered 10,555 unique people Average person saw the ad 9.2 times 611 clicks were recorded, which is .51%

Measuring success

While the results indicate success in targeting the desired demographic, determining the translation to sales is very difficult – though this is similar with the older, more traditional forms of advertising, Richardson reminds us. The number of impressions was noteworthy, however. “This plan was the result of working together with one of our existing partners in an effort to deliver ads with a duty free reminder to potential customers who are not reachable using traditional marketing methods,” he says. “We are pleased with the results and the potential this new method of advertising has going forward. We look forward to engaging in new programs using this targeted approach.” THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free

In this

Car racing is a popular event in the Sault Ste Marie area, so the retailer partnered with the racetrack on the US side and a local driver to target racing enthusiasts


Partnership marketing has helped bring success to Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free, those it partners with and the community at large by HIBAH NOOR


arketing is a perennial challenge with Canada’s land border stores, and one that we often write about here at Americas Duty Free. Supervisor and Marketing Co-ordinator Wilma (Willie) Deplonty of Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free says this year the retailer decided to focus on partnership marketing. “Partnership marketing is about finding people or businesses that have access to the group you are targeting by already having a relationship with the marketplace, and getting them to introduce your business to their network,” she says. For this type of marketing to be successful, it’s necessary to collaborate on ways that would benefit each business. The store is in a perfect location to reach American hunters and anglers, as northern Ontario is the home to some of the best fishing and hunting areas in North America. “Many hunters and anglers from the US already visit the area and thus have the opportunity to stop at the Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free Store when traveling home,” says Deplonty. “We focused on targeting this specific group of travelers to stop at our store when leaving Canada.” To that end, the duty free retailer partnered with Watson’s Windy Point Lodge on Kabinakagami Lake, 60 miles north of Wawa, Ontario by air. “We decided to offer a summer fly-in fishing trip contest, and then added several items to the package to enhance the fly-in fishing trip,” says Deplonty. “This is a


Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free partnered with Watson’s Windy Point Lodge to offer a summer fly-in fishing trip contest

great way to get people talking about and following your business while creating a buzz about the duty free shopping experience.” At the store’s Currency Exchange Kiosk, which travelers often use when entering Canada, employees handed out Watson’s Windy Point Lodge brochures along with contest ballots. Instore merchandising was visible at both the Currency Exchange Kiosk and the Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free store. Customers had to visit the duty free store in order to enter the contest, which was promoted on Facebook, through word of mouth and via radio advertisement. In mid-August, representatives from the Windy Point Lodge and the Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free store drew the winning ballot. “We utilized a local radio station to announce the winner live

on our Facebook page, giving our contest more exposure and excitement,” says Deplonty. “The Wisconsin resident was thrilled to hear he had won, and enjoyed his prize in September, even extending his stay by a few days. Together with Watson’s Windy Point Lodge we built a powerful partner relationship that increased revenue and built up our customer base for each other. We plan on continuing and expanding this partnership with even bigger plans for next year!”

Other promotional partnerships

Sault Ste. Marie is known for its beer consumption, and the duty free store has had very successful promotions on its beer-focused Facebook page. This summer, the store partnered with Labatts. “We utilized Facebook as well as inside and outside signage provided by Labatts to offer an amazing five-case beer special at a ‘can’t resist’ price on holiday weekends,” says Deplonty. This promotion was well received by the local market and tourists alike. “Our beer sales have continued to grow since starting our Facebook page a few years back, and in the last year alone beer sales have doubled by expanding our network of followers on Facebook who share our beer posts as well as customers who have seen our advertising signage.” Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free also partnered with other companies such as PMA and Wine Classics, which offered promotional items to utilize in the contests featured on Facebook and in store.

“We have structured a plan on how to reach our target audience by using contests and humor to expand our network of potential customers, inviting followers to like our page. We have been able to use Facebook successfully to also bring awareness to the public that “YES YOU CAN SHOP DUTY FREE!” Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free also partnered with a local radio station FM 93.9 (“the oldies”) once again this year to plug its 45-second jingle radio clip, played right before the weather broadcast. The broadcast reaches a 75-100 km radius that reaches the local population, those on the US side as well as US tourists visiting the area.



Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free

Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free hosts a “superhero day’ for a young boy named Kayge who is battling a rare brain tumor called DPIG. The event raised funds to help get Kayge his medical treatment

Car racing is a popular event in the Sault Ste Marie area, so the retailer partnered with the racetrack on the US side and a local driver to target racing enthusiasts. “We posted an ad in the program promoting our store, the T-shirts sold at the track had our Duty Free logo and we sponsored a car as well,” says Deplonty. “We also donated gift baskets for draws held at the track on race days. During races, the track would announce our sponsorship and our duty free logo car would race around the track. Our car even won a few races! Although it is difficult to measure its impact on sales, we are satisfied from the feedback we’ve received that it was beneficial.” Deplonty says we look forward to continuing to grow partnership relationships in the future.

Giving and gaining

A business must succeed for its own success and to provide for its staff, but being a member of a community means a little more. “Investing in our community has been a great way to promote awareness to duty free shopping and it is very important to the staff and owners of the Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free,” says Deplonty. “Giving back to our neighborhood has given us a pleasant feeling of connectedness and also the satisfaction of making the world a better place. This year our hearts went out to a very special five-year-old child who was diagnosed with DIPG (a rare pediatric brain tumor) that no child has survived because of lack of funding for research. Imagine for a moment having a child with a serious illness. It cuts to the very core of everything you hold dear in your heart.” The store reached out to the family of seven to offer a superhero day to their young son. “When we told the parents the date we were planning to hold the event, they said it was their Super-


hero Kayge’s sixth birthday that day. What a wonderful coincidence this was! And the idea of hosting a Superhero Birthday was born,” says Deplonty. The event not only raised funds to help get Kayge his medical treatment in Mexico (not offered in Canada), but it also helped bring staff closer together, creating a more positive environment that benefits staff and increases store sales at the same time. At the superhero event, Kayge received birthday gifts from Sault Ste. Marie Duty Free, CBSA, US Customs and store customers; his siblings received gifts as well. The store offered superhero balloons, cake and refreshments, hired an ice cream truck, rented a popcorn machine and partnered with a number of businesses to offer pizza and live music. Partnerships with suppliers provided prizes to encourage customers to donate, and donation boxes were placed throughout the store. The Fowler family sold T-shirts and bracelets to raise additional funds. Staff wore superhero costumes and T-shirts made by Jessica Findlay, a staff member, and the Special Olympics mascot made a visit wearing a superhero cape. An online news team interviewing Findlay and a Fowler family member and live radio broadcast brought awareness to the event. “Thanks to all of this, we were able to raise a good amount of funds in a short amount of time to help his family to continue his treatments in Mexico,” says Deplonty. “Good news! His tumor has shrunk again, and Kayge continues to be a trooper throughout it all.”


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Costa Sunglasses

The Untangled Collection will include four new frame styles made from 100% recycled fishing nets, each featuring mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos, PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads, and a distinctive tumbled finish

Costa takes on healthy ocean challenge

Performance eyewear supplier Costa Sunglasses has developed an eyewear collection that’s true to its sustainability values


osta Sunglasses, the initiator of the growing Kick Plastic campaign, is helping to bring positive solutions to the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution through its new Untangled Collection—a collection of frames made entirely from recycled fishing nets. The brand is partnering with Bureo, the pioneer in recycled fishnet products, to turn discarded fishing nets into quality sunglass frames. Identified as the most harmful form of ocean plastic, discarded fishing nets and gear account for 10% of ocean plastic pollution, which grows by an estimated 640,000 tons every year. The new collection was launched with US retailers and online in late May 2018. “Healthy oceans have always been a crucial part of our core mission at Costa,” said Holly Rush, CEO, Costa Sunglasses. “The Untangled Collection is helping to raise awareness and provide a solution to keep discarded fishing nets from being lost in our oceans each year. Through this important program, we will also help Bureo scale and replicate its net collection program to a growing number of fishing communities.”

Distinctive tumbled finish

The collection will include four new frame styles made from 100% recycled fishing nets, each featuring mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos, PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads, and a distinctive tumbled finish. It includes two male/unisex styles, Pescador and Baffin; and two female styles, Victoria and Caldera. All styles feature Costa’s patented 580 Lightwave Glass lenses, providing 100% UV protection and polarization. The Costa 580 color-enhancing lens technology selectively filters out harsh yellow light for superior contrast and definition and absorbs high-energy blue light to cut haze and enhance sharpness. In addition, Costa’s lens technology reduces glare and eye fatigue. “Aligning with partners that really want to support us and expand our mission is how we’ve grown over the past five years,” said David Stover, CEO and cofounder of Bureo. “Working with Costa to develop the Untangled Collection is another step in the right direction—not only for us, but for the replication of solutions to secure a healthy future for our ocean and its ecosystems.”


Bureo’s Net+Positiva recycling program is working to prevent fishing net pollution by partnering directly with fishermen to collect back discarded nets at their end of life and providing funds to local communities for every pound of fishing net collected. This in turn creates value in the discarded material, to generate a net positive impact for this once harmful material. Costa’s Untangled Collection supports Bureo’s ongoing efforts where they have collected more than 220,000 pounds of discarded fishing nets to date. Once collected, the discarded fishing nets are washed and prepared for a mechanical recycling process. They are shredded, cut into small recycled pellets, and then injected into steel molds to form products, including Costa’s Untangled Collection. Models in The Untangled Collection retail from US$199 to US$269. As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and durability. Still handcrafted in Florida, Costa has created performance sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983.





Al Fakher

A growing

community As the shisha market has seen explosive growth around the world in recent years, market leader Al Fakher reconfirms its focus on duty free to complement its global position

Ziad Jabre, Head of Global Travel Retail, Al Fakher



ince its inception approximately 20 years ago, UAE-based Al Fakher has firmly established itself as the top shisha company in the world. The global popularity of shisha might be described as explosive, in part because of the millennial-inspired global trend toward experience-based enjoyment. As a shared experience, Al Fakher shisha is a perfect complement to this trend. “Taking the time to enjoy shisha is an opportunity to pause, connect with others, share a moment and relax, it’s a time to strengthen between friends and family and build bridges,” says Ziad Jabre, Head of Global Travel Retail for the company.

While Al Fakher has been extremely successful in travel retail in the Gulf region, the company has now turned its travel retail focus to the rest of the world. “As the top shisha company, our travel retail sales have been in line with our strong domestic sales. Within the Cigarette and Tobacco category at Dubai Duty Free, Al Fakher has a YTD growth +72.5% in volume and +88.3% in value,” says Jabre.

Strategic placements

North America is an essential highlight of this refreshed focus. It’s important to the company to be available wherever its consumers’ journeys might take them, and Jabre says this definitely includes North America. “Shisha is a global phenomenon that travels across borders just as the traveler does,” he says. “It is only natural that given the large population of North America and its diversified demographics, the growth of shisha consumption is also growing at a healthy pace in this region.” Attendance at the FDFA Convention is important to Jabre for several reasons. “This is the premier travel retail trade show for Canada, and as the country is a strategically significant market for

Al Fakher, it is only natural that we take part in this convention,” he says. “Our aim is to increase awareness around our brand in travel retail and illustrate how Al Fakher can bring value to travel retail operators’ business.” Additionally, while Jabre is now based in the UAE, he was raised in Canada,


so he has personal understanding of the importance of the country’s border stores in addition to airport retail.

Lasting partnerships

Jabre and Al Fakher believe in a strong partnership model, working closely with travel retail operators on the best options for their stores. “Based on the duty allowances in the region, we will be introducing 250, 500g and 1kg variants in select flavors that will be carefully chosen from more than 100 exquisite flavors included in our brand portfolio,” he says. “With a loyal consumer following already in place around the world, Al Fakher will work closely with partners to determine the best way to highlight the introduction of Al Fakher’s products in specific markets such as travel retail in Canada.”

While Al Fakher has been extremely successful in travel retail in the Gulf region, the company has now turned its travel retail focus to the rest of the world


Haleybrooke shares brand spectrum at FDFA event The consumer trend for smaller liquor brands is paying dividends for Haleybrooke International on the world stage of duty free by JAS RYAT

and also Lemongrass & Ginger, which are now available in liter bottles for travel retail. Snow Queen Organic Vodka has been totally repositioned in a very attractive tall, slim bottle and is now produced in France.”

Doors opening up for craft brands

Haleybrooke wants to recreate the same success in North America that Mozart Chocolate Liqueur has had in Europe and South America


S-based spirits distributor Haleybrooke International is attending the Frontier Duty Free Association Convention with its growing portfolio of brands. The brands include Bottega still and sparkling wines and liqueurs, Laboure-Roi wines from Burgundy in France, Whitley Neill Gin, Mozart Chocolate Liqueur and Wild Tiger Rum from India. Haleybrooke will also be showing and discussing other brands that it handles in Canada, including Louis Royer Cognac, Tullibardine Single Malt Whisky, Snow Queen Organic Vodka and Red Eye Louie’s Vodquila. Haleybrooke’s Patrick Nilson and Roger Thompson are pleased with the company’s results for the first three quarters of 2018 as sales are up over double digits. Bottega has shown phenomenal growth in Canada with year-to-date sales up almost 40%. Louis Roger Cognac continues to be strong. The brand has shown a lot of potential, but like most Cognac houses, there have been allocation issues. Nilson shares his excitement for the productive growth the brands have shown in the Americas market. “Bacur Gin from Bottega S.p.A is growing very quickly in travel retail around the world and we are getting good traction for the brand in the US and Canada. Gautom Menon from Wild Tiger Rum has done an excellent job of getting his message out to the travel retail market about his Wild Tiger Special Reserve Rum and Wild Tiger Spiced Rums from India as well as his new Rum Box, which has mini bottles of 20 rums from around the world,” enthuses Nilson. He continues: “Mozart Chocolate Liqueur is very strong in travel retail in Europe and South America, and Roger and I have been working hard to do the same for North America. Whitley Neill Gin has two new line extensions, being Blood Orange Gin

Nilson acknowledges that the duty free spirits category is changing to align better with consumer interests. “In the past the airport operators focused almost exclusively on the major global liquor brands and it was difficult getting listings for brands that did not have a very high profile around the world. Things seem to be changing a bit, and I think it is due to consumer interest in craft brands, which is opening up the door for smaller scale brands. Since we represent mostly small to medium size brands in travel retail, this is very good news for us,” he points out. An example of this is Red Eye Louie’s Vodquila, which targets millennials. The goal for Haleybrooke is to get this into travel retail shops quickly as it is now available in liters for travel retail. Unlike Singapore Changi, London Heathrow and Dubai, North American airports house much smaller wine and liquor sections in their duty free shops. These space restrictions can often hinder their openness to new listings. “This is especially true for wine, where in some shops the wine section is limited to just one or two bays for all wines, both still and sparkling. In fact, there are some Canadian duty free border stores that have much bigger wine and liquor departments than airports in the US,” notes Nilson. Haleybrooke is on a mission to put its brands on the mainstage in North American duty free. Nilson observes that price-off promotions are an easy way to be showcased on the shopfloor for a month and are growing at the expense of value-added promotions, which are better for brand image, he says. Although these price-off promotions are great for immediate exposure, Nilson does not feel in the long run that this is in the best interests of a brand. *Haleybrooke International will be showcasing its portfolio at the FDFA Convention in suites located in the King Edward Hotel, Toronto. Canadian consumers have responded well to Bottega still and sparkling wines and liqueurs as sales results are up almost 40% year-to-date THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING



Godiva unleashes

a colorful chocolate carnival Godiva’s Chef Chocolatiers have sought to capture the energy and sensations of the world’s carnivals to drum up daring chocolate recipes

The new Godiva Chocolate Carnival 18-piece limited edition was unveiled in travel retail at the TFWA World Exhibition

Belgian chocolatier Godiva is getting set to celebrate the sights and sounds of the world’s most exciting carnivals at airports across the globe


odiva’s Chocolate Carnival Collection aims to shake up the premium chocolate experience next year with product offerings inspired by the tantalizing sights, sounds, and tastes of the world’s most vibrant celebrations of life and love. The Belgian chocolatier will invite adventurous customers from around the world to join their year-long Chocolate Carnival to celebrate each of life’s wonderful moments with edgy Belgian chocolate creations. The new Godiva Chocolate Carnival 18-piece limited edition was unveiled in travel retail at the TFWA World Exhibition in October 2018, where buyers could sample the product. The company’s visionary Chef Chocolatiers have sought to capture the energy and sensations that define the world’s most exciting carnivals to drum up daring chocolate recipes. The Chocolate Carnival Collection contains some of Godiva’s boldest flavor and texture combinations yet, such as popping candies nestled in a refined milk chocolate and white chocolate mango ganache flavored with a hint of chilli pepper. The carnival will extend to selected airport stores as shoppers are invited to

shake up their senses at a series of minifiestas from April through August 2019. Each month, one of the five senses will be the hero of a dedicated activation, including a street art event to celebrate sight, a dance event to celebrate touch and a music event to celebrate hearing.

Splashes of vibrant color

Carnival-style activations in-store will offer shoppers the chance to sample the new flavors by choosing one of three large gold Shaker Surprise cups, shake it up like a set of maracas and win a prize. Every aspect of the campaign celebrates the exuberance of a carnival, with splashes of vibrant colors and flashes of gold against a white background under the headline Shake up your Senses and signed off with Treat Yourself Wonderful. Godiva Chocolatier was founded in Brussels in 1926 by Belgian chocolatier Pierre Draps. Nearly a century later, every piece of Godiva chocolate exudes quality, Belgian craftsmanship, and the world’s finest ingredients. Godiva has distribution in more than 100 countries across the globe. Customers can experience Godiva at the brand’s chocolate boutiques, chocolate cafes, and at many fine retailers.


The brand specializes in truffles and shell-molded chocolate pieces, European-style biscuits, individually wrapped chocolates, gourmet coffees, hot cocoa, Chocolate Soft Serve and other indulgences. As a socially responsible business, Godiva has global practices and programs designed to provide meaningful support to cocoa farmers, safeguard the environment, and empower communities. Godiva is a participating member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), a leading non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector by providing cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and strengthen their communities. The WCF’s work has led to increased productivity and profits for cocoa farmers, helping to ensure a sustainable supply of cocoa for generations to come. The company also participates in cocoa sustainability activities through the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, which seeks to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through the promotion of sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity, and community development.


Patrick Nilson +1 845 981 7240 Roger Thompson + 1 203 322 9691


KROMA brings its beauty to duty free

Lee Cristou, Founder of KROMA Makeup, wants to duplicate the domestic success she has cultivated and bring it to duty free

Natural cosmetics brand KROMA Makeup is turning its attention to the Canadian and Mexican duty free markets as travelers discover its customizable products by JAS RYAT


ROMA Makeup offers to duty free a collection of botanically rich, high-grade mineral and preservative-safe products. The brand will be showcasing a multitude of mineral eye shadows, organic lip kits and a number of other best-sellers that offer customizable and health-conscious alternatives to regular makeup.


“For over a decade, before refillables, ethnic ranges and natural products were popular, we’ve had the privilege to create customizable blends from listening to real consumer needs via our Professional Studio and nationwide clientele that we ship directly to,” says Lee Cristou, Founder of KROMA Makeup. She continues: “Traveling women and men of various skin tones and demographics have turned to us for the natural and botanical aspect to offer solutions for their concerns. KROMA Makeup truly hydrates and balances without suffocating skin or clogging pores, vital for healthy skin during travel. The size and packaging is also ideal for effortless use.” The brand currently works with a number of duty free operators in multiple locations. At the moment, KROMA Makeup is focusing on the Americas duty free markets, with Mexico and Canada on the horizon. Ultimately, Cristou reveals, she would like to reach Europe, Asia and Latin America. “Expansion plans are ongoing from broadening our connections domestically within the duty free market to further fine-tuning select product skus that best fit that market. We have also recently relocated our new headquarters in beautiful Winter Park [Orange County, Florida] to better focus and cater to those needs,” explains Cristou. KROMA Makeup has a number of best-selling products with a solid customer base. The brand has proven its quality with a less than 1% return rate, as its focus on customizability and natural ingredients widens the appeal to travelers alike. Cristou highlights that the brand is going through “growing pains”. The brand recently moved to a new office as it continues to meet the developing needs of the market. “We’re analyzing ways to raise the shopping curiosity towards a newer, more niche brand. We know clients like to venture out in finding new items as they’re browsing and want to capture that inquisitiveness by discovering the full spectrum of KROMA.” KROMA Makeup plans to have an additional digital platform selling via a luxury online boutique and will soon pilot the line in a duty free airport store in Cleveland, Ohio, opening the way for multiple locations in the future.

ALFA Brands


ALFA celebrates


Bombata laptop bags have recently gained additional listings at Blue Water Bridge, Niagara Duty Free and Emerson Duty Free

anniversary in Toronto

With new brands in its ever-growing portfolio, ALFA Brands will mark a quarter of a century in the travel retail industry at this year’s FDFA Convention



uty free agent ALFA Brands Inc is gearing up for the FDFA Convention as it celebrates 25 years in business on November 3 – the day before the event begins in Toronto. To mark the occasion, the company will be co-hosting this year’s Post-Gala Lounge, along with DFX Distribution. ALFA will be featuring Hardy Cognac, Chabot Armagnac and Pillitteri Estates Icewine after the Gala. At this year’s FDFA event, ALFA Brands is showcasing a host of products in the liquor, accessories and confectionery categories. Amy Hildreth, Operations Manager, ALFA Brands Inc, is optimistic about sales over the past year and has a positive outlook. “We have experienced slight growth [this year] due to the most recent additions of Bombata laptop bags and Newby

King Henry’s new Private Reserve Line of Trail Mixes will be introduced at the FDFA Convention

Tea. We look forward to growing our sales once our latest additions are entrenched into our portfolio with the new liquor brands and the pending ones.” Pointing to a number of recent brand highlights, she continues: “We were successful in establishing a key position for Pillitteri Estates Winery in the AerRianta Loop store in Montreal Airport, which should have a tremendous increase in sales.” In addition, Iceberg Vodka saw a sales lift due to various promotions this year.

Gaining momentum in travel retail

A major launch for the first semester in the Americas travel retail market is the Bombata range of laptop bags. Available in a variety of attractive colors, they come in various sizes and are suitable for both men and women, with plenty of folders and pockets to store additional items. “Bombata keeps gaining momentum shown by the most recent additional listings at Blue Water Bridge, Niagara Duty Free and Emerson Duty Free,” enthuses Hildreth. Another new launch is Newby Tea from London, which offers a variety of flavors, from fruit and herbal teas to classic green teas. Each tea is sealed in a triple-layer alu-foil to protect against heat, light, moisture, and pollution to preserve their freshness and character. Also new in the ALFA portfolio is King Henry’s new Private Reserve Line of Trail Mixes. King Henry’s is a family-owned

snack manufacturer of premium candy, nuts, trail mixes, and assorted sweets. All bags are resealable and can stand on a shelf or be pegged. In a further development, PEZ Candy Inc has announced a partnership to bring an all-new line of Stranger Things products to market, inspired by the popular Netflix drama. PEZ, in collaboration with Netflix, has developed four new dispensers to be included in Stranger Things Gift Sets. Each gift set will be presented in retro-style packaging and include six PEZ Candy refills. The sets became available in September 2018. ALFA Brands has added two new wines to their Colio portfolio: White Sangria 750ml and Girls’ Night Out VAQ Rose in a Can, 473 ml. White Sangria is Spanish inspired Sangria with ripe peach flavor, crisp citrus notes and a hint of ginger. Hildreth points to a number of challenges that the company continues to face. They are retail margins, the USCanadian currency exchange rate, and Liquor Boards’ procedures. She notes that the firm’s Caribbean accounts are still dealing with the devastating effects of last year’s hurricanes. But looking ahead, ALFA will be implementing a Pillitteri Estates Icewine and Guylian chocolate tasting and pairing at the International Shoppes store at New York JFK Airport in December. The end of the year will certainly be sweet for the company. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Citizen Watch Co

Time for

superheroes A new collaboration between Citizen Watch Co and Marvel has produced eight timepieces inspired by iconic comic and movie characters

The new Citizen Marvel Timepieces are inspired by Marvel superheroes



itizen Watch Co’s partnership with Disney and Marvel has produced its first specially designed, superhero-themed timepieces. They were launched in front of an enthusiastic crowd at New York Comic Con, the East Coast’s biggest pop culture extravaganza, in October 2018. The new Citizen Marvel Timepieces, eight models in total, take their inspiration from Marvel’s most popular characters from both the comic pages and the big screen. Dials, cases, and straps evoke the spirit of the Avengers, the Black Panther, Captain America, the Hulk, and Spider-Man. The Citizen Avengers Watch pays tribute to Marvel’s premier supergroup with the gold-colored Avengers “A” in the center, beneath the golden luminous hands and red seconds hand. The red, black, and gold color scheme also evokes the armor of Iron Man. The solid caseback features a Marvel logo. Marvel’s Black Panther – aka King T’Challa of Wakanda – appears on two black timepieces, both with dials etched with a tribal pattern from the hightech jungle kingdom. Both have silver, diamond-shaped indices that look like the pendants on T’Challa’s necklace, and violet-colored accents that echo the look of the energy fields that emit from the Panther’s uniform. One model is a three-hand with a panther mask motif on the dial and a rubber strap; the other is a tricompax chronograph on a blackened steel bracelet.

Spider-Man timepiece in red and blue

Captain America’s background as a US army soldier during World War II inspired the design of Citizen’s Captain America watch, which features a 24-hour time track and a triple date window on the dial in the style of a vintage military field watch, as well as a sturdy leather strap with a camouflage pattern. The dial of the Citizen Hulk watch is dominated by the green fist of the Hulk smashing through the surface. The Arabic hour numerals are appropriately large, and tinted in green. Green is also used for the stitching on the strap, which is made of heavy buffalo leather. Spider-Man, Marvel’s iconic hero, is also honored with two timepieces, both sporting the red and blue colors of his costume. The three-hand version comes with a black rubber strap and a blue finish on the steel case. A white spiderweb pattern spreads across the bright blue dial, and the hero’s spider emblem appears at 12 o’clock. On the chronograph model, offered on a steel bracelet, the spider logo appears in the chronograph subdial at 6 o’clock. Finally, the whole universe of Marvel Heroes is celebrated on the dial of the Marvel Heroes timepiece. The navy blue dial features a patchwork of panel artwork from vintage Marvel Comics. Contrasting red highlights are used for the minute


Everyone will be able to recognize Hulk’s green fist smashing through the Citizen Hulk watch

hand, the tip of the seconds hand, and on the blue textile strap. All the watches are equipped with Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive movements, which are powered by any light source and thus do not require battery replacements. Canadian retail pricing will be announced in 2019 when stock will be available.


A tour of rums around the world Wild Tiger Rum has brought its “Think outside the bottle” philosophy to TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes this year. The company is unveiling the Rumtastic Rum Box, an experience dubbed “Around the world in 20 Rums”. This exclusive collection of 20 miniatures features carefully curated rums from around the world. Featuring rums of every style and variant’s with strong provenance, the Rumtastic Rum Box is one’s passport to travel the world of rum in a fun, engaging and experiential manner, which has already received significant pre-orders from travel retail operators. Gautom Menon, Founder and Brand Owner of Wild Tiger Rum, says: “We are optimistic about the opportunities in the tax free industry, which we believe will see the next new wave of Asian consumers and millennials embracing unique and standout rums as their drink of choice.” The Rum Box will feature a different and distinctive selection each year in two variants, one with 20 rums and a 10-pack variant, which is aimed more at inflight listings and cruise ships, where space is limited. Wild Tiger is also working on limited-edition versions of the Rumtastic Rum Box to celebrate participating nations of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and for Chinese Year of the Tiger in 2022.

Wild Tiger aims to introduce products through innovation, a compelling back story and a strong point of differentiation, to add value to travelers and increase sales opportunities for operators.

The Rum Box is a unique collection of various rums from around the globe. Available in a 20-pack and a smaller 10-pack variant to accommodate for limited inflight space

Beam Suntory unveils travel retail first with Maker’s Mark 101

Maker’s Mark 101 represents Maker’s Mark’s signature bourbon bottled at a higher proof (50.5%abv) for a bolder taste

Beam Suntory has announced the launch of Maker’s Mark 101 – the brand’s first-ever global travel retail exclusive. Building on the travel retail success of Maker’s Mark Original, the brand’s key expression, Maker’s Mark 101 is said to combine the smoothness of signature Maker’s Mark with the intense flavors of cask strength bourbon for a bolder taste. This limited edition is exclusively available in travel retail. This new expression from the leading craft whiskey brand capitalizes on the popularity of American whiskey, allowing travelers across the world to experience the bolder side of Maker’s Mark’s refined wheated whiskey. The founders have only ever shared this exclusive whiskey with special visitors at the distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, and now Maker’s Mark 101 will be available to global travelers. Retailing at US$49.99 for a one-liter bottle, Maker’s Mark 101 represents Maker’s Mark’s signature bourbon bottled at a higher proof (50.5%abv) for a bolder taste. Sweet on the nose with dark, bold spice, Maker’s Mark 101 is described as rich and creamy with spicy fruit and caramel to taste, with a mellow, creamy and lingering mid-palate finish. This limited edition is available exclusively in travel retail and features luxurious gold bottle decoration alongside the Maker’s Mark hand-dipped red wax seal. The bottle will be presented in a bespoke carton to honor the craftsmanship. THE AMERICAS DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING



All about

Steven Ciccolini, Iceberg Vodka Chief Operating Officer

Where were you born and raised? Toronto, Canada

Do you prefer country or city? City

If you attended post-secondary school, what did you study? Master’s Degree in Business Administration

What is your favourite place to vacation? Biased but yes… Italy

Are you married? Do you have children? Married with 2 sons

What’s the first thing you do in a new place? Assuming I’m staying at a hotel… call the front desk and ask for more hangers. There are never enough for my stuff

What is your favorite movie? Tie. Scent of a Woman / American Gangster What is the last book you read? Behind the Bench: Inside the Minds of Hockey’s Greatest Coaches What would you choose as your last meal? Rack of Lamb and for dessert Tiramisu and an espresso. Double servings for both Your favourite drink? Biased but yes… Iceberg Vodka and Soda with Lime Do you have a passion in your life (or more than one)? What? Sports, Cars, Sports cars

If you could choose any place in the world to live, where would it be? New York

Which living person do you most admire? Pope Francis

Which historical figure do you most admire? Winston Churchill

What is the most important piece of advice anyone ever gave you? If you’re going to do a job, do it right or don’t do it at all

Where and when were you happiest in your life? On vacation in Europe with the family

What is something about you that most people would find surprising? I’ve been coaching minor hockey for over 10 years