Gulf-Africa TFWA WE 2019

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TFWA WE 2019


Legend Colm McLoughlin celebrates 50 golden years p. 10 Building the future in Istanbul p. 14  Hamila Duty Free’s new operation p. 16

Letter from the Editor

A region

to be proud of A

s this issue went to press, we heard the head of the NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, say he is extremely concerned that tensions will escalate after an attack on Saudi oil facilities. The knockon effect was a 5% cut in global oil supplies and soaring prices. Stoltenberg said the situation could have negative consequences for the whole region. While we wait to see how this plays out, we know from past history that the region is capable of great resilience. Back to this issue, where we focus on a major border store opening for Hamila Duty Free in Tunisia. The operator recently inaugurated Melloula Duty Free – the first border duty free shop in Tunisia and North Africa. It officially opened July 17 and Mr Tarek Hamila, a well-renowned businessman with a thriving duty free operation, was in attendance. The ceremony was also graced by His Excellency, the Prime Minister Mr Youssef Chahed, together with two government ministers. Melloula Duty Free is a 2,000 square meter commercial complex with many facilities, including the 500 square meter duty free shop. It also features a restaurant and coffee shop; a rest and fun area; and other facilities. Meanwhile, in Turkey, the new Istanbul Airport opened almost a year ago with its sights set on being the busiest in the world. Now, nearly 12 months later, we report how business is taking off. The job of running this travel retail operation falls to Unifree Duty Free, which is 60% owned by Gebr Heinemann. Unifree CEO Ali Şenher expressed his delight at the early operation of the stores: “The size of the area, many significant domestic and international brands as well as the concepts we developed amounted to a [successful] project in the [travel retail] world and we [have] established a duty free zone worthy of our pride.” In this issue, we also salute the amazingly successful 50-year career of Dubai Duty Free’s superstar CEO Colm McLoughlin. Colm, we appreciate all that you have contributed to the duty free industry and your immense kindness and generosity. This is my first memory of the famous Mr Dubai Duty Free. During our Middle East and Africa Duty Free Symposium in Jordan back in 2000, I spent a day at Petra with Colm and his lovely wife Breeda. I returned to my hotel excited about all the pictures I had taken. I told my father, Aijaz Khan, Publisher of Gulf-Africa Duty Free and organizer of the Symposium, that I had met a very friendly Irish couple from the industry. As a carefree teen, I told him that Breeda loved my handbag and that I would have to mail one to her when I returned to Toronto… My father stopped me and said ‘do you know who these people are?’ He told me that if one day I joined the industry, they were the sort of professional, polite and humble people I would meet. The next day during the conference, I realized they were like the celebs of the duty free world. Our industry has much to be proud of, as illustrated in this exciting issue. I look forward to catching up with you in Cannes. Kindest Regards,

OCTOBER 2019 · TFWA WE · VOL 29 · NO 2 Gulf-Africa Duty Free & Travel Retailing (ISSN 0954-0592) is published four times a year (Spring, Fall and Winter) by Global Marketing Company Ltd., 26 Pearl Street, Mississuaga, Ontario L5M 1X2 Canada. It is distributed to duty free operators and distributors in the following countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Namibia, Pakistan, Reunion, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Zaire, as well as to duty free suppliers worldwide. Subscriptions: $200 for one year, $300 for two years and $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. October 2019, Vol. 29, No.2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © 2019 Global Marketing Company Ltd.

GULF-AFRICA 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 DEPUTY EDITOR Jas Ryat SENIOR EDITOR Mary Jane Pittilla SENIOR WRITER Rebecca Byrne ASIA CORRESPONDENT Elena Owyong AMERICAS CORRESPONDENT Ronnie Lovler ART DIRECTOR Jessica Hearn CONTRIBUTORS Chris Madden



Aer Rianta International: Duty Free Inventor and Innovator



What’s inside Lead Stories

10 Dubai Duty Free

Industry legend Colm McLoughlin celebrates 50 golden years in duty free We look back at the amazing success story of Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free

14 Istanbul Airport

Building the future in Istanbul The new Istanbul Airport opened almost a year ago with its sights set on being the busiest in the world. Now, nearly 12 months later, business is starting to take off


16 Hamila Duty Free

Hamila Duty Free flexes its muscles in new operation Hamila Duty Free has unveiled its latest significant opening – Melloula Duty Free – the first border duty free shop in Tunisia and North Africa

20 Iraq Duty Free

As good as new in Iraq Iraq Duty Free expects an “excellent” sales performance for the year 2019, thanks to store upgrades and exciting new brands

24 Muscat Duty Free

A new home for Muscat Duty Free The launch of a new airport for Oman has created a raft of opportunities for Muscat Duty Free and the company now has its eyes on becoming a bigger player in the region


26 Bahrain Duty Free

A new look for Bahrain The impending arrival of a new terminal heralds a big opportunity for Bahrain Duty Free and the company is gearing up for growth and evolution

28 Abu Dhabi

Taking the next step in Abu Dhabi The imminent arrival of Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield Terminal building has not stopped growth at its current aviation hub

36 Oettinger Davidoff

Investing in the future Exclusives are paying dividends for Oettinger Davidoff, but now the premium cigar manufacturer is looking to educate both shoppers and staff as it writes its next chapter

28 Features Anthon Berg continues to reinvent 30 Gin makers toast newness 32 Mazaya brings flavor to Cannes 38

David Dayan in Africa Pernod builds on insights Diverse Flavours’ passion

39 42 44
















Our readers will have the chance to vote online for their favorite suppliers and retailers in six different categories. Winners and runners-up will be announced in October 2019.


Readers will vote for the best company in six different categories for each of the three regions: the Americas; Middle East and Africa; and Asia. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Best Perfumes & Cosmetics Supplier Best Confectionery & Fine Foods Supplier Best Spirits Supplier Best Tobacco Supplier Best Jewelry, Watches, Handbags & Accessories Supplier Best Airport Retailer Best Border Store, Downtown & Non-Airport Retailer



March 2019 – Voting opens for readers September 1, 2019 – Voting closes October 2019 – Winners announced

Your input can help shape the future of the industry by recognizing the best and brightest in the business – and if your company falls into one of these categories, encourage your colleagues to vote too.

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Dubai Duty Free

Industry legend Colm McLoughlin celebrates 50 golden years in duty free We look back at the amazing success story of Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free by HIBAH NOOR


olm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, celebrated 50 years in the duty free industry on June 1, 2019. McLoughlin began his five-decade long career in an industry that was started by Dr Brendan O’Regan in Shannon Airport in Ireland in 1947. “Dr Brendan O’Regan was a great man and was the founding father of the duty free industry that we know today. He was not in Shannon in my time, but he was talked about with great respect at all times. When I started in Shannon, I reported to Bill Maloney in the early days. Bill was a great manager and I learnt a lot from him,” said McLoughlin. The 1970s witnessed expansion at Shannon Airport, which was the major gateway and refueling stop between Europe and the US. The airport authority, Aer Rianta, had developed a reputation for successfully running the duty free business. In 1983, Shannon was the first port of call for Dubai International Airport’s then Director General, Mr Mohi-din Binhendi, who was tasked with the job of setting up a duty free operation in Dubai. Mr Binhendi met with the Aer Rianta senior management, including then General Manager of Shannon Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin. 10 GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING OCTOBER 2019

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin with Gulf-Africa Duty Free Publisher Aijaz Khan

“I remember when Mr Binhendi visited Shannon and we were excited to hear about the plans he had for setting up a duty free operation in Dubai,” said McLoughlin. “I have to admit, though, that not many of us knew where Dubai was at that time and we had to look it up. But we were left in no doubt that Dubai meant business and they wanted to open a world-class duty free operation very quickly.” Within weeks of the visit, McLoughlin moved to Dubai in 1983 as part of the 10-man team from Aer Rianta at the request of the Dubai Government to set up the duty free operation as part of a six-month consultancy agreement. “We had only six months to turn the project around,” remembers McLoughlin. “During that time we had to recruit and train 100 staff, we had to purchase products, we had to establish systems, and so on, so we had no time off and worked around the clock. It was worth it, though, when we opened for business on December 20 and took US$44,000 in that first day and generated sales of US$20 million in the first full year.

Daily sales hit US$20 million

“Fast forward to 2008, when Dubai Duty Free celebrated its 25th anniversary, and in one single day, our sales reached US$20 million, which is incredible. Fast forward further to 2019 and it is also incredible that 25 of the original 100 staff are still with the organization,” he added. Within months of the opening of Dubai Duty Free, McLoughlin was asked to remain as General Manager. Two other mem- GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Dubai Duty Free

bers of the original Aer Rianta team also remained in Dubai, including John Sutcliffe, who went on to head up Aer Rianta International, based in Bahrain, and George Horan, who became President of Dubai Duty Free in 2011 and retired in 2016. “I never would have thought that I would still be working in this industry 50 years on, and now 36 years in Dubai Duty Free. I appreciate all of the support that I have received over the years and I thank my own family, especially my wife Breeda, for being supportive throughout the years,” he said. The operation grew under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Duty Free. Commenting on McLoughlin’s 50-year career anniversary, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “I remember in the early days when Dubai Duty Free consisted of a few scattered shops around the airport; now it is a world leader. Along the way DDF has played a pivotal role in building Dubai’s aviation brand and leadership position. This is thanks to its excellent management team highlighted by the experienced people who remain in top management. Throughout it all, from day one, Colm McLoughlin has been in charge, leading the way. I would like to congratulate Colm on marking his 50th year in the duty free business and thank him for all his hard work during his 36 years in Dubai.” From the mid-1980s onwards, Dubai Duty Free’s reputation as a world-class operation was sealed. In 1985, the operation was named Airport Duty Free Operator of the Year at the inaugural Frontier Awards, an award it subsequently won a record nine times. The Frontier Awards honored McLoughlin with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2004, making him only the second person after Dr Brendan O’Regan to receive the accolade. Dubai Duty Free has won more than 700 awards, and McLoughlin has received 70 personal awards. On December 20, 2018, Dubai Duty Free celebrated its 35th anniversary. History was made as the retailer crossed the US$2 billion mark on December 29, while annual sales reached a record US$2.015 billion. Dubai Duty Free accounts for around 6% of global airport retail sales and is the largest single airport retailer in the world.

Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, marks his 50th year in the duty free business and 36 years of transforming Dubai Duty Free into a world-leading travel retailer

Happy 50 years to an industry superstar Colm, we appreciate all that you have contributed to the industry and your immense kindness and generosity, writes Editor-in-Chief Hibah Noor. My first memory of the famous Mr. Dubai Duty Free was when I met him at our Middle East and Africa Duty Free Symposium in Jordan back in 2000. After spending a day at Petra with Colm and his lovely wife Breeda, I returned to my hotel excited about all the pictures I had taken. I told my father, Aijaz Khan, Publisher of Gulf-Africa Duty Free and organizer of the Symposium, that I had met a very friendly Irish couple from the industry. As a carefree teen, I told him that Breeda loved my handbag and that I would have to mail one to her when I returned to Toronto… My father stopped me and said ‘do you know who these people are?’ He told me that if one day I joined the industry, they were the sort of professional, polite and humble people I would be surrounded by. The next day during the conference, I realized they were like the celebs of the duty free world. Thank you, Colm.

Dubai Duty Free Foundation

McLoughlin has not only helped shape and influence a multibillion-dollar industry, he also raised the profile of the city of Dubai as a premium sports and leisure destination through highprofile international events, such as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, and Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. To mark the operation’s 20th anniversary celebrations in 2003, Dubai Duty Free offered a 20% discount to travelers on the day and sales roared to US$1.9 million. On McLoughlin’s instructions, the operation donated the day’s proceeds to nine local charities and this resulted in the formation of the Dubai Duty Free Foundation in 2004. In 2019, the success story continues.


Center left: Gulf-Africa Duty Free, Editor-in-Chief Hibah Noor reunites with McLoughlin and the Dubai Duty Free team at the popular Dubai Duty Free Golf tournament

Istanbul Airport

Building the future in Istanbul by CHRIS MADDEN

The new Istanbul Airport is up and running with its sights set on being the busiest airport in the world

The new Istanbul Airport opened almost a year ago with its sights set on being the busiest in the world. Now, nearly 12 months later, business is starting to take off


he new Istanbul Airport is a building block for the future of the aviation industry. That was the summary of Kadri Sumsunlu, Chairman of the Executive Board at IGA Airport Operations, which runs the new facility. The airport is scheduled to be able to handle 200 million passengers every year when it is completed in 2028 and the first phase boasts a PAX potential of 90 million and more than 50,000 square meters of retail space. That first phase officially opened in October last year, but went fully operational in the spring, when all flights and activities were transferred across from the old Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Since the opening the team at Istanbul have not rested on their laurels. The first duty free stores were opened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in October, across an area of 8,000 square meters. Since then, that area has extended to 53,000 square meters, making it the largest duty free area in the world, with stores ranging from 4,200 square meters to 28 square meters.

Speaking at the opening, Sumsunlu called the duty free area “the soul” of the new Istanbul Airport, adding: “We aim to provide an extraordinary and highly enjoyable travel experience to the passengers of Istanbul Airport. “We will not only provide a service at Istanbul Airport, but also promote our country and, most importantly, promote Istanbul.”

The power of experience

The job of running this gargantuan travel retail operation falls to Unifree Duty Free, which is 60% owned by Gebr Heinemann. Unifree CEO Ali Şenher expressed his delight at the early operation of the stores: “The size of the area, many significant domestic and international brands as well as the concepts we developed amounted to a [successful] project in the [travel retail] world and we [have] established a duty free zone worthy of our pride.” The Heinemann board members have spoken for a long time about their desire to move duty free shopping beyond “box stores” to create a more flexible space to


meet the demands of the modern shopper. Work to bring this to life in Istanbul is, according to the team, still ongoing. “We are still in the ‘ramp up period’,” explains Gebr Heinemann Vice President EMEA 2 Richard Hoyer. “We are quite in line with our expectations. The majority of our sub-contractors have exceeded their expectations.” The duty free zone at Istanbul is designed inspired by the Bosphorus and is divided into seven different sections; Fashion Garden, Family Palace, Fashion, Jewelry and Watches, Accessories, Style Beach and Icon Gulf. Each area is packed with concept-relative brands from the domestic and international markets. Local products are a central part of the offering and feature heavily in the ATU Duty Free-operated Bazaar store, which features more than 100 brands in a 3,000 square meters store. According to Hoyer, Turkish brands are making their mark with shoppers: “There are substantial increases within the local Perfume & Cosmetics and Confectionery categories,” he explains. Unsurprisingly for an airport which boasts stores from the likes of Bulgari, Christian Dior, Hermes and Prada, luxury is already making big headway with shoppers in Istanbul. This is in part thanks to

A number of dignitaries turned out for the opening of the second phase of the duty free area in the spring

The second phase of the Istanbul Airport retail area was opened earlier this year, making it the biggest in the world

the high-spending Chinese shoppers, who have surpassed the expectations of bosses with how fast they have come to dominate the market in Istanbul. “There is an increase in Chinese shoppers,” Hoyer says. “They are already our second-best customers. “Even though there are very strong luxury brands under the same roof there has not been any [negative effects].”

The next stage

The construction of the new Istanbul Airport promised technological advances which would put the facility at the forefront of the aviation world. IGA sought to take passenger tracking and personalisation to the next level with biometrics and self-service booths to create seamless passage, while hand beacons and geolocalisa-

Local brands have made a strong impression with shoppers in the first six months at Istanbul

tion technology were deployed to provide directions. In stores, 3D holograms, smart shopping carts, mobile cash registers and digital profiling were among the ideas touted to help create the first airport of tomorrow. Beyond the duty free infrastructure, the work to create the busiest airport in the world continues. As the airport went fully operational earlier this year and second phase of the duty free stores were inaugurated, construction of the next phase of the airport was getting underway. IGA has confirmed that the third runway is set to come into service in the first half of 2020, making Istanbul the first Turkish airport to be capable of independent parallel operations and only the second in Europe, after Amsterdam Schiphol.

By the time the runway comes into service, Istanbul will boast three independent runways and two backups, increasing the number of aircraft movements from 80 to 120 per hour. It will also reduce taxi time for domestic flights by 50%. Built in record time to be the world’s biggest airport, the new Istanbul Airport has already welcomed 17.5 million passengers since it went fully operational in the spring and with more development on the horizon, the sky is the limit. “Istanbul Airport is the most important economic asset of our country,” Sumsunlu reflects. “There’s no other airport in the world with these characteristics of construction or relocation.” GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Hamila Duty Free

Hamila Duty Free flexes its muscles in new operation Hamila Duty Free has unveiled its latest significant opening – Melloula Duty Free – the first border duty free shop in Tunisia and North Africa by HIBAH NOOR

A shot of the exterior of the new Melloula Duty Free store

A golden plaque with a Tunisian flag marks the opening of Melloula Duty Free on July 17, 2019



amila Duty Free recently inaugurated Melloula Duty Free, a border store located between Tunisia and Algeria. The store officially opened July 17 and Mr Tarek Hamila, a well-renowned businessman with a thriving duty free operation, was in attendance. The inauguration ceremony was also graced by the presence of His Excellency, the Prime Minister Mr Youssef Chahed, together with the Minister of Transport, Mr Hichem Ben Ahmed, and the Minister of Tourism, Mr René Trabelsi. Speeches were made by Mr Tarek Hamila, Mr Laroussi Sfar, General Manager, Melloula Duty Free, and Youssef Chahed, the Prime Minister. Melloula Duty Free is a border shop located on the Tunisian/Algerian border, less than 20 minutes’ drive from the famous tourist village of Tabarka, known for its Jazz Festival, beautiful landscape, magnificent beaches and vacation resorts. The new operation is important because it is the first border duty free shop in Tunisia and North Africa.

Melloula Duty Free’s opening ceremony took place on July 17 in the presence of Mr Youssef Chahed, Prime Minister of Tunisia, and Mr Tarek Hamila, CEO, YKH Holding

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Hamila Duty Free

Important border location

Melloula Duty Free is a 2,000 square meter commercial complex designed to fulfil the specific needs of border passengers. The complex has many facilities, including a 500 square meter duty free shop, where alcohol, cigarettes, wines, tobacco, perfumes, cosmetics and confectionery are available at very competitive prices. Also part of the complex is a restaurant and coffee shop offering a very wide range of snacks and hot meals; a rest and fun area; and a number of other facilities, such as rest rooms and praying rooms. The terminal of Melloula is the biggest border location between Algeria and Tunisia, welcoming 2.5 million passengers annually, of whom 70% are Algerian. Melloula Duty Free is a significant addition to the terminal, as it is the first border duty free shop in Tunisia and the whole of North Africa. Hamila Duty Free was awarded a 10-year concession to build and manage the duty free shops and restaurants in this area. The commercial complex was built in less than six months and opened its doors officially on July 17. Melloula Duty Free employs 60 staff, most of whom come from the region of Tabarka. “We think that this project will create a new dynamic in the region of Tabarka and motivate business opportunities between Tunisia and Algeria,” says Mr Laroussi Sfar, General Manager, Melloula Duty Free. “It is also an open door for local suppliers to promote their products, especially artisanal products, and promote them in the Algerian market, as our duty free shop will be their promotional window,” he tells Gulf-Africa Duty Free magazine in an exclusive interview.

From left to right: Mr Tarek Hamila, CEO, YKH Holding; Mr René Trabelsi, Minister of Transport; and Mr Laroussi Sfar, CEO Hamila Duty Free and Melloula Duty Free

Mr Ali Marmouri, Governor of Jendouba (where Melloula is located); Mr Youssef Chahed, Prime Minister of Tunisia; Mr Hichem Ben Ahmed, Minister of Transport; and Mr René Trabelsi, Minister of Tourism

Duty free leader in Africa

With an expertise spanning more than 30 years, Hamila Duty Free is one of the leading African duty free retailers. In its many stores, the travel retail specialist carries a wide range of premium products ranging from fragrances to cosmetics through designer clothing, jewelry, accessories, leather goods, wines and spirits. Hamila Duty Free has a successful sales operation onboard the flights of the Tunisian airlines, Tunisair, Tunisair Express, Nouvelair and Jasmin Airlines, the ferry boats of the Tunisian Navigation Company, as well as the duty free shops at all the Tunisian airports in partnership with the international operators ATU and Gebr Heinemann.

Melloula Duty Free is a 2,000 square meter commercial complex designed to fulfil the specific needs of border passengers


Iraq Duty Free

AS GOOD AS NEW IN IRAQ Here’s a look at the renovated Iraqi Airways Departures terminal where Iraq Duty Free saw a 20% sales upswing over last year’s first semester

Iraq Duty Free expects an “excellent” sales performance for the year 2019, thanks to store upgrades and exciting new brands by HIBAH NOOR


raq Duty Free has achieved doubledigit growth at Baghdad International Airport, thanks to newly refurbished stores and fresh brands added to the existing assortment. With the recently renovated shop at the Iraqi Airways Departures terminal, Iraq Duty Free saw a 20% sales upswing

Fouad A. Jabbour, General Manager, Financial Links General TradingIraq Duty Free


over last year’s first semester. The operator continued the momentum with the Arrivals Yellow store that was revamped last year, which generated an increase in sales of 39%. Fouad A. Jabbour, General Manager, Financial Links General Trading-Iraq Duty Free, is confident that, by maintaining the sales momentum as well as catering to the expectations and needs of travelers, the company will end the year with “excellent” results. Late last year, Iraq Duty Free unveiled a new store at Baghdad International Airport. The shop is performing as expected, according to Jabbour. The operator has seen a surge in sales over last year’s first semester by 39% overall. Fresh brands were added in various product categories, giving travelers new items to purchase. Travelers have felt more at ease during their shopping experience at the new store, leading to an increase in the average purchase value per passenger, thanks to the addition of new brands. The fashion category sees a new range of souvenirs handmade by Iraqi women with all types of traditional materials.

Iraq Duty Free

In terms of the performance of different product categories, Perfumes is number one, followed by Confectionery, Liquor, and Tobacco. Jabbour has noticed a substantial increase in the Timepieces category over last year with the introduction of new brands, as well as Souvenirs.

Excellent performance

The company has made some “great” additions to some of the categories, noted Jabbour. In the Perfumes category, it introduced the following brands after a long absence from Iraq Duty Free shops: Givenchy, Kenzo, Dolce & Gabbana, Narciso Rodriguez, and Issey Miyake, along with the niche L’Arc perfumes that have shown an excellent performance in a very short period of time. In the Tobacco category, the operator has finalized an agreement with JTI, whose products will be available on the sales floor as of this September, in addition to the existing brands from Philip Morris International as well as Oris Cigarettes. The company is still in negotiations with both BAT and Imperial Brands in order to expand the tobacco category to accommodate all demands of travelers. In Confectionery, the operator has introduced this year brands from Iraq such as Ali Baba for Nuts & Coffee, and the Iraqi Dates Company with a variety of

dates, which have been high in demand. In the Eyewear category, it has introduced Ray-Ban, Guess, Caterpillar, and Superdry, along with a new and upcoming niche brand in this category, Monogram. “This brand shows great potential because of the high-end lenses used, the titanium frame, and it is handmade. The best feature, in addition to the quality, is the extreme light weight,” says Jabbour. The Toys category has seen the introduction this year of Lego, which has been very popular with young travelers in addition to the youth market.

New airport for Iraq

As of August 1, Iraq Duty Free has started renovating the Arrivals shop in the International Airlines Terminal at Baghdad International. This should be complete by the end of September, which will be followed by the Departures shop, resulting in all Baghdad Duty Free shops being fully renovated. Meanwhile, the Basra Arrivals shop renovation will take place in the first quarter of 2020. Iraq Duty Free has also signed a contract with Kirkuk Airport for the duty free shops in both the Arrivals with 150 square meters and Departures with 200 square meter terminals. The work started August 2018. The new airport, located around 200 kilometers north


of Baghdad, will be operational in the first quarter of 2020, as per the airport authority’s indications. “This will give us an extra boost in business, as the airport will be a brand new airport for Iraq in a new location, and thanks to the oil exploration sector, will be a highly frequented destination,” he says. Iraq Duty Free signed a contract to provide travel retail at Baghdad, Basra and Sulaimaniyah until March 2029. Jabbour explains: “Such a contract shows the mutual trust between the Iraqi authorities and our company. It is a mutual advantage to both parties, granting us the freedom to improve our shops, transmitting Iraqi hospitality to travelers’ first arrival into the country. The contract will benefit both parties: the Civil Aviation and Iraq Duty Free operation.” More changes are in the pipeline. They include the new opening of Kirkuk Airport’s duty free shops, the renovation of the Departures shop at Basra Airport, along with the new location of the Arrivals shop at Basra that will take place also in the first quarter of 2020. In addition, Sulaimaniyah’s duty free store will be upgraded, to bring it in line with the other duty free shops in Iraq. “This will grant us excellent exposure with the new look of all our outlets in Iraq,” enthuses Jabbour.

Muscat Duty Free

Muscat Duty Free has developed its retail offer since moving into a new home

A new home for Muscat Duty Free The launch of a new airport for Oman has created a raft of opportunities for Muscat Duty Free and the company now has its eyes on becoming a bigger player in the region

The company has promoted sense of place with the addition of Omani brands such as Amouage



n November the new Muscat International Airport officially opened its doors. The launch, which coincided with Oman’s 48th National Day celebrations, was an exciting event for the whole country and the next step towards the future for Muscat Duty Free. The company, which is a joint venture between ARI and Oman Air, has a 10-year concession lease at the new facility and unveiled a 6,200 square meters retail area, which represents a 300% increase on the space it formerly operated. The stores, and the airport itself, opened for business last March, about seven months before the official launch. The initial retail offer included luxury brands such as Jo Malone, Hugo Boss, MAC and Tumi, alongside a new tech offering from Capi, a dedicated gourmet store and sports brands such as Timberland and North Face. Muscat had also put a strong sense of place into the new retail offer, to enhance its standing as a gateway to Oman. Local brands played a key role in the stores, with a dedicated boutique for Omani fragrance house Amouage showcasing this focus. Reflecting on the new offer, then Muscat Duty Free General Manager Martin Mullen said the retail offer had been “transformed” by the new site and the opportunities it provided to “ensure [that] brands are presented in a way that both

resonates with shoppers and delivers the best brand experience.” Development brings its own challenges. ARI’s 2018 report showed a “challenging” year for the Middle East operations with the “repricing of concession contracts” in Muscat and Beirut and adverse foreign exchange slowing growth. But the new Muscat operation is already making headway, with ARI confirming it has “improved sales and margin results”, despite a continued challenge posed by the high number of transfer passengers.

Creating a shopping experience

The response to those challenges has been the continued creation of a new and exciting shopping proposition in the new airport. Between the March opening and November’s official launch, Muscat Duty Free unveiled a host of new stores and concepts for travelers, including Victoria’s Secret and Ralph Lauren Polo outlets as well as a bespoke in-house sunglasses concept called Spectrum. The developments, the team say, are a move to help Muscat Duty Free become a regional player and offer a truly top


class experience for shoppers. The sense of place proposition has been ramped up, with the Oman-inspired design – such as the palm tree ceiling in the Muscat Market store – enhanced by bespoke high-profile offerings such as a Lego Sinbad model and a Chupa Chups Dhow decorated with Omani flags. The new retail offer, as elsewhere in the industry, has included heavy investment in experience and technology to create activations and theatre, while also streamlining the shopping experience. A digital aquarium and frankincense tree sculpture offer unique in-store propositions, while the addition of mobile shopping carts was hailed by Muscat Duty Free CEO and General Manager Rob Marriott as a “fantastic opportunity to support the pier shops and passengers by having a mobile “shop” cart which can go straight to the gates.” The new airport and retail space will provide further opportunity for development and innovation from Muscat Duty Free, as ARI Middle East CEO Nuno Amaral reflected: “[The new store] further underpins our mission to continue to deliver world class retail and customer experiences.”



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Fuller lashes* after 28 days Longer lashes** after 56 days

Apply Double Lash every evening on clean lashes and allow it to work overnight.

* Results measured on 23 women aged 19 to 64, daily application. ** Results measured on 21 women aged 19 to 64, daily application. Survey satisfaction index : fuller lashes = 72% ; longer lashes = 81%.

Ophthalmologically tested. Fragrance free. TFWA 2019 – RIVIERA VILLAGE RG16

Bahrain Duty Free

The arrival of a new terminal will provide more than 4,600sqm more of retail space

A new look for Bahrain The impending arrival of a new terminal heralds a big opportunity for Bahrain Duty Free and the company is gearing up for growth and evolution by CHRIS MADDEN

Bahrain Duty Free is gearing up for a period of sustained growth



hange is in the air for Bahrain Duty, with the arrival of a new terminal, a massive increase in retail space and a new trading name all set to be unveiled in the coming year. The new terminal, which Bahrain Duty Free General Manager Bassa Al Wardi calls “the biggest change” the business has ever delivered, is currently being completed and will create a 50,000 square feet retail area. Once operational, the new terminal will almost double the airport’s capacity from 9 million passengers a year to 14 million. Coming off the back of an “amazing” year, Al Wardi and his team are excited for what is ahead. “The next year will see the biggest changes to our business that we have ever delivered,” he enthuses. “We are increasing our retail footprint by more than 65% compared to our offering today. The new terminal will see us trade under a new trading name, and in conjunction with new business partners.” What the new retail offer will entail is not yet clear, but Al Wardi says the new offer will put Bahrain’s duty free offer up there with the best for innovation and digital integration. “Creating a positive retail experience is key to success, and this has formed one of the cornerstones of our new outlets in the upcoming terminal,” he says. “I won’t go into too many details on this, but we are confident that our experiences in our new stores will be reflective of our plan to create a world-beating retail experience in our stores.”

Core categories are growing year-on-year in Bahrain as the company plans for its expansion

A surge in sales of fashion items has contributed to growth for Bahrain Duty Free

Invest in the future

It is no surprise that Bahrain Duty Free is investing heavily in this new project. The company has not only secured a massive increase in retail space, but also the time to develop it. Earlier this year the company signed a 15-year extension to its operations at Bahrain International Airport, in a deal which Al Wardi calls “critical to our future success”. That success rests as much on the existing stores as the new ones and this is a point the team are keenly aware of. “We are walking a fine balance between developing the new stores while ensuring that our customers today continue to receive the highest level of service in all of our stores all of the time,” Al Wardi reflects. That high level of service is paying off. In the first seven months of this year, Bahrain Duty Free’s overall sales grew by 4.2% year-on-year, driven by an 8.5% increase in the departure stores. Core categories have supported the growth, with sales of fashion items up 34% on last year. The company is also reaping the rewards of investing in its offer, with a 103% year-on-year increase in luggage sales after Bahrain Duty Free developed its own range of items and a 13% increase in toy sales. Al Wardi explains: “Within this area we have expanded our range and these items have been very well received by our customers.”

A changing market

Original products and an attractive range have never been more vital in travel retail. That is particularly true for Bahrain which, like much of the Middle East, has recently implemented VAT

laws. Bahrain’s came into effect in January and Al Wardi says the change is palpable. “We have noted some changes to spending patterns this year,” he admits, “particularly in our arrivals area following the implementation of VAT on January 1st. “Through our customer satisfaction surveys, we identified that there was a reduced perception of value in certain areas as a result of VAT.” He adds that a concerted effort from staff in-store has helped shoppers to see the value in the retailer’s offering and says the challenge has been offset by an increase in the digital offering such as Shop & Collect. “We have noted that in order to reduce the stress of their journey, upon returning to Bahrain more customers are availing themselves of our Shop & Collect service in departures,” he explains. “Sales in this area have increased by 41% for the first seven months of the year compared to 2018.” With a huge new store on the horizon and a market which is constantly in flux, Al Wardi and his team are working to ensure they are on top of trends and changes in the market through analysis of shopping patterns and conversations with customers. “Like all retailers, we need to constantly critically analyse what we are doing and ensure that our offering consistently exceeds the expectations of our customers,” Al Wardi concludes. “It has been an amazing year for us in many ways. From a trading perspective our continued growth is something that we are particularly proud of, and this is reflective of the efforts of every member of our team.” GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Abu Dhabi

A new terminal at the airport is set to open later this year

Taking the next step in Abu Dhabi

New cultural openings have boosted the Emirate as a destination for tourists and airport bosses are preparing for the growth

The imminent arrival of Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield Terminal building has not stopped growth at development at its current aviation hub by CHRIS MADDEN



here is growth on the horizon at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The airport’s US$3 billion Midfield Terminal Building project has been progressing for a few years. It was originally scheduled to open in 2017 but has been pushed back and latest estimates say it will be operational later this year. In July, Abu Dhabi Airports made headlines around the world by carrying out a large-scale operational test on the site, using about 800 people and two jets to put the new facility through its paces.

Abu Dhabi International Airport’s operation is making strides as it awaits the unveiling of its new development

The new terminal is located between the two runways and will be the centrepiece of the airport once it becomes operational. When it opens, the Midfield Terminal is expected to process 8,500 travelers every hour and will boost Abu Dhabi International Airport’s annual passenger capacity from 20 million to about 45 million. It is also set to be the first 5G connected airport in the region, boasting 28,000 square meters of retail space.

Getting it right

But there is no rush to unveil the new extension and Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is staying quiet on an exact opening date; the company’s CEO confirmed progress is on schedule for their unannounced target opening. Addressing journalists, Abu Dhabi Airports Company CEO Bryan Thompson said: “We are working towards a date to have that operational but for now we are keeping that under wraps.” “There is no capacity drive to move to MTB at the moment.” With passenger numbers into Abu Dhabi set to increase by about 20% on the current 7.7 million annual travelers by 2021, Thompson and his team say their current facility can cope. The key, he says, is to ensure the new Midfield Terminal is a gateway Abu Dhabi can be proud of when it opens: “We don’t want to let Abu Dhabi down when we open the Midfield. We want to be 100% ready, for ourselves and the airline to present Abu Dhabi in the best light.” The new facility, whose inner workings have been kept under wraps will aim to provide the perfect welcome to Abu Dhabi for the visitors expected to arrive with the influx of cultural attractions such as the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Qasr Al Hosn Fort museum.

Abu Dhabi Showcase

The existing airport is not sitting still in regard to providing a premium service for travelers while it awaits the new arrival. The DFS-operated travel retail operation has provided shoppers with activations and experiences such as December’s collaboration with Puig, which brought to life Carolina Herrera’s Hotel Carolina concept. The activation worked to tie in with a key gifting period around the festive holidays and ran concurrent with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and saw shoppers greeted by staff in custom concierge uniforms directing them to use the fragrance finder app for the perfect purchase.

A stronger digital offering has boosted Abu Dhabi’s operation

DFS Senior Vice President of Beauty and Fragrance Christophe Marque reflected: “The creativity and excitement of Hotel Carolina attracted travelers and inspired them to find new gifting ideas.” Abu Dhabi Airports has also moved swiftly into the increasingly vital digital sphere as it works to offer the full premium service for shoppers. The launch of the One Stop Shop in May provided retailers with a “convenient platform on which to conduct online business”. The platform allowed users to set up a business in the Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone and then manage their licence, lease and employee and details. “Understanding the needs of our customers and stakeholders is a top priority for us, and as a part of Abu Dhabi Airports we are committed to enhancing our technological offerings to ensure we continue to deliver world-class business services, in line with our vision of becoming the world’s leading airports group,” explains Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone Senior Vice President Rowan Michael Kelly. “Through the One Stop Shop online portal, we are delighted to be able to offer our customers a wide range of services through a convenient and secure interface.” The digital upgrades do not just pertain to business customers; Abu Dhabi International Airport’s online store is reaping its own rewards, with shoppers who do not have a flight booked able to create a wishlist for future journeys. Such developments helped Abu Dhabi become the first Middle Eastern airport to be accredited under Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airports Customer Experience Accreditation earlier this year. Abu Dhabi was among six airports to contribute to the program, which launched in April and aims to help airports around the world implement best practice and ensure customer satisfaction. “Providing our customers and passengers with a seamless experience and making sure they are happy with our services is among our foremost priorities at Abu Dhabi Airports,” enthuses Thompson. “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to contribute to the ACI’s development of the new Airport Customer Experience Accreditation program and proud to announce AUH’s status as the first and only airport in the region to be accredited.” Once the Midfield Terminal is operational, the number of travelers experiencing that customer service is set to soar. GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING


Anthon Berg

Hero products and new concepts Anthon Berg continues to reinvent its recipe for success by updating packaging and celebrating new partnerships by JAS RYAT


nthon Berg, global leader in bottle-shaped chocolates, continues to prosper with existing and new partnerships with some of the most famous original liqueur brands in the world. Launched in 1922, Chocolate Liqueurs continues to be the brand’s hero product. This was followed by the Chocolate Cocktails line, launched in 2004, and most recently the Chocolate Coffee Liqueurs in 2014. The three lines are now being relaunched for the 12-pieceand the 21-piece pcs Chocolate Liqueur Collection which is a mix of the three concepts.

Window of opportunity

The strategy for this relaunch is a trinity of attracting attention, sparking curiosity and convincing consumers to buy. The main tool to increase shelf-impact is the unique window front. This allows the consumers to see that they are buying actual miniature bottle-shaped chocolates wrapped and labeled like real bottles. The

The Cognac Selection presents a partnership with five of the world’s most renowned Cognacs, Rémy Martin VSOP, Camus VSOP, Courvoisier VS, Louis Royer VSOP and Gautier VSOP

bottles are now lined up, as on the shelf in a liqueur cabinet, which gives the boxes a more compact and filled appearance. The company has also resized the boxes to suit the product range better and differentiate it from the 21–piece box. The Anthon Berg Chocolate Liqueur Collection is being relaunched as a slide sleeve rather than a lid box for a more premium feel which gives the impression of sliding open the bar cabinet. A quality seal, showing the unwrapped bottle with liqueur inside and stating ‘The Original Chocolate Liqueurs – since 1922’, has been added to help the consumers understand the concept quickly. This also underlines the fact that Anthon Berg is the world’s leading brand within liqueur filled chocolate. The product’s USPs are also added on the front in hot foil reading ‘premium dark chocolate’ and ‘genuine spirits in liquid centres’.

Where Cognac reigns

Following the success of the Single Malt Scotch Collection, Anthon Berg has partnered with some of the world’s best-known brands to present The Cognac Selection. Teaming up with five of the world’s most renowned Cognacs, Rémy Martin VSOP, Camus VSOP, Courvoisier VS, Louis Royer VSOP and Gautier VSOP, the firm promises to take the consumer on a tasting journey through the world’s most famous wine region - Cognac on the west coast of France. Chocolate in combination with Cognac

Anthon Berg presents the perfect match: The Baileys Irish Cream collection is to launch as a travel retail exclusive


creates the perfect culinary marriage, according to the brand. With the Cognac Selection, Anthon Berg has continued the journey that started in the Scottish Highlands with the Single Malt Scotch Collection into the French countryside while creating a strong concept equally suitable for gifting, sharing and self-consumption.

Match Made In Chocolate Heaven

With one of the most anticipated partnerships of the year, Anthon Berg has announced it is teaming up with Baileys Irish Cream to launch a travel retail exclusive range. Five of the bestselling varieties of Baileys Irish Cream are transformed into pralines with creamy fillings encased in Anthon Berg premium chocolate. The milk chocolate pairings consist of Baileys Original, Baileys Coffee and Baileys Salted Caramel; while the dark chocolate pairings include Baileys Chocolate Luxe, and Baileys Strawberry & Cream. In the Baileys Irish Cream Collection the five pralines are to be found in different combinations in a choice of six products.The premium gift box Treat Collection is a mix of the five different pralines. The Chocolate Treat is a ‘tower’ with a window on the front, which shows off the twist wrapped pralines inside. This pack comes in two varieties: Original, Salted Caramel and Coffee; Original, Strawberry & Cream and Chocolate Luxe. The Baileys Irish Cream range is completed by three mono gift boxes of Original Flavour, Salted Caramel and Strawberry.



UK Gin


Hendrick’s new Midsummer Solstice gin seeks to enhance the Hendrick’s Original house style

MAKERS TOAST NEWNESS The so-called ginaissance seems unstoppable. We speak to travel retail gin suppliers to find out what’s hot and what’s not in the whirlwind world of gin by MARY JANE PITTILLA


he gin sector is booming in travel retail – still. As one of the major gin-producing hotspots, the UK-based suppliers we spoke to – both niche and big players – agree that the ‘ginaissance’ is here for some time yet. Hendrick’s, supplied by UK independent producer William Grant & Sons, was a pioneer of the gin boom and ultimately created the super-premium category. Its success set the template for modern gin brands, spearheading the resurgence of gin since the turn of the decade, according to Ed Cottrell, Managing Director Global Travel Retail, William Grant & Sons. Hendrick’s is the number one super-premium gin in travel retail with 44.5% share of the segment (IWSR 2018). Last year, that double-digit growth continued, with sales boosted by large-scale activations. The latest launch is the limited-edition Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice, which aims to enhance the Hendrick’s Original house style. To keep the momentum going, activations are important. In February, the Valentine’s Day campaign celebrated Hendrick’s and its odd infusion of rose and cucumber in airports including Singapore Changi, Colombo and Dubai. Passengers enjoyed free roses, gift bags and a “peculiar guide to romance”. In June, the World Cucumber Day activation celebrated the hero ingredient by inspiring people to grow their own cucumbers. The campaign used tasting bars, promoters, gifts, and striking theater pieces. Hendrick’s global sales momentum encompasses markets where demand for white spirits is traditionally smaller, for example the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and Hendrick’s is the 32 GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING OCTOBER 2019

Bloom Gin, with its softer taste, has a loyal following who post photos on social media, particularly Instagram

first gin to be listed in South Korea, reveals Cottrell. Asked what the company’s plans are if the so-called ginaissance slows down, he replies: “We find that consumers are looking for premiumization and craft, originality and difference. Another important factor is the importance of experience, which Hendrick’s offers with its in-store promotions, where consumers can really experience and engage with the brand.”

Quintessential Brands stands out in the crowd

The gin boom has resulted in an extremely competitive category, meaning that innovation is key for brands that want to stand out, says Oliver Storrie, Global Travel Retail Manager, Quintessential Brands. The company is in a position to leverage its success, having won the ISC Gin Distiller of the year three out of four years. Its distillery, G&J Distillers, has been distilling British gin since 1761. The group’s top-selling gin brands in travel retail include Greenall’s, The Original Handcrafted London Dry Gin, Bloom Gin, Opihr Spiced Gin, Thomas Dakin Gin and Berkeley Square Gin. All are helping to keep the category vibrant and growing in travel retail, enthuses Storrie. In the case of Opihr Spiced Gin, the brand’s spiced flavor profile has tapped into the consumer trend for discovery, which

Bathtub Gin Explorers’ Edition is a best-selling product from Atom Brands

In this competitive market, brand experiences are key, Storrie believes. This year, Quintessential Brands will be opening its Thomas Dakin Gin distillery in Manchester – the original home of Thomas Dakin. To support the launch, a promotion will run at Manchester Airport.

Atom Brands big on flavor

Bathtub Gin is Atom Brands’ best-selling gin, launched into travel retail in January 2018. What sets the brand apart is its packaging, which is handwrapped, hand-twined and dipped in wax, and it is also one of the few brown gins, according to Claire Keene, Global Travel Retail Manager, Atom Brands. Flavor-wise, it is described as a coldcompounded gin. The award-winning gin’s infusion process takes a whole week to complete, allowing the fresh botanical flavors to shine through. As a result, Bathtub Gin is left with its unique flavor and distinctive hue. Regarding consumer trends, the company reports a huge tilt toward flavored gins, and local craft gin brands are starting to pop up, particularly in Australia and Ireland. Gin liqueurs are also starting to take share from the normal London Dry brands that have been on-shelf for decades. Atom Brands has big plans to continue innovating in the gin category. “We will be launching a new gin concept at the 2019 TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, but we are sworn to secrecy until then. It has not been done before,” Keene reveals.

Chase Distillery spotlights sustainability

Chase Distillery’s Pink Grapefruit and Pomelo Gin is seeing 40-50% growth in travel retail

Storrie says plays well in travel retail, by suggesting ginger ale as the mixer. Bloom Gin, with its softer taste, has a loyal following who post photos on social media, particularly Instagram, notes Storrie. And Greenall’s, with more than 250 years in production, recently introduced the zero-sugar Greenall’s Wild Berry Gin, which is growing fast internationally and in travel retail. Quintessential Brands has launched three new gin products into global travel retail in the last month: Greenall’s Citrus Grande, Greenall’s Rosea Grande and Bloom Jasmine & Rose. The other recently-launched products include two new flavor innovations that enable it to recruit new gin drinkers, who are often seeking a sweeter, flavored gin, says Storrie. With flavored gin accounting for 8.7% of the gin category and seeing +300% growth year-on-year, these products tap into a rising trend. During the last 12-18 months the company has expanded into the Americas and Asia Pacific markets with key travel retail operators. The company has also garnered many airline and cruise listings. New product development is set to continue. Opihr will get its first-ever flavor extension, while Greenall’s will see a foray into gin liqueurs, targeting new gin drinkers wanting a sweeter flavor profile. 34 GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING OCTOBER 2019

Chase Distillery Ltd is playing a strong hand on the sustainability front with its Chase GB gin that’s distilled from scratch at its UK farm. Indeed, the family-owned company’s motto is “Championing Field to Bottle Spirits”. Established in 2008, Chase Distillery launched Chase GB Gin into the channel in 2013. James Chase, whose father William runs the family potato farm in Hereford, says: “We have limited resources but we punch above our weight,” he smiles. Another plus for the fast-growing firm is the recent hiring of ex-Bacardi Travel Retail Andrew Carter as Sales and Marketing Managing Director. World Duty Free and Dufry are the best-performing outlets. The company is seeing “great growth” – and the brand is still growing rapidly in the channel. Chase GB Gin boasts strong visibility at all World Duty Free’s UK airports. London Heathrow and the US market are growth hotspots. In addition to North America, the brand is available in Asia and Europe. The brand does large-scale sampling to engage shoppers. “Travel retail is a growing channel and brand activations give us great exposure and awareness – such as our most recent activation in London Heathrow Terminal 2, where we paired up with [upscale UK retailer] Fortnum & Mason for a British summer activation, supported by a JCDecaux advertising campaign.” Two years ago, the company introduced Pink Grapefruit and Pomelo Gin, a pink-hued citrus gin that’s seeing substantial growth in travel retail. Chase notes “huge growth” in flavored gins and new variants. Innovation is important. “Consumers are looking for innovation in the form of super-premium offerings and unique gifting opportunities,” reveals Chase. Chase Distillery hosts popular visitor tours, welcoming some 10,000 people each year. The number of visitors this year is up 30%.

Come visit us at TFWA Cannes, Green Village, Level 01, M67

Oettinger Davidoff

Investing in the

future by CHRIS MADDEN

Exclusives are paying dividends for Oettinger Davidoff, but now the premium cigar manufacturer is looking to educate both shoppers and staff as it writes its next chapter Exclusive releases have been a key driver for Davidoff as it enjoys a good start to the year

The brand’s 2019 Exclusives range aims to appeal to shoppers from its featured city or region



igar manufacturer Oettinger Davidoff is celebrating a “strong and very stable” first half of 2019 in travel retail, but the brand is not resting as it moves forward with a newly reviewed strategy for the sector. With a focus on education and exclusivity at the forefront of the Davidoff mindset, the brand’s Director Global Duty Free Accounts Darren Eaton says he and the team “are keen to see the results of this [new strategy] being implemented into the market”. Exclusive lines are key for a unique proposition in the market. Unlike some sectors, the demographic of cigar shoppers is not changing drastically and Eaton believes brands must keep their offer developing to avoid stagnation. He explains: “Within the cigar category, we have not witnessed any major changes in the passenger profile. Overall, the growth of passengers seen in the business is across all demographic groups, so this naturally translates to buying behavior in store.” Eaton continues: “In order to fulfil our premium promise to our customers and business partners, we at Davidoff try to continuously delight and surprise with new blends and taste experiences.”

Travel retail is a market which constantly demands differentiation and Davidoff has risen to the occasion; early 2019 saw the release of the limited edition Robusto Real Especiales 7 which, compared to the domestic market, is available in an etui packaging with a Davidoff travel selection icon, created specifically for the market. Eaton enthuses: “[It is] a vintage blend originally launched in 2004 created out of seven different tobaccos, which can be found in Davidoff ’s Core cigar assortment. The cigar was honoured with 99 points from Halfwheel for its following specifics: one cigar, seven tobaccos, [including] one wrapper, one binder and five fillers – the first cigar to do this.”

Sense of place

This desire for uniqueness is what drives the Davidoff Exclusives Limited Edition range. In 2019, the Davidoff Exclusives featured nine limited edition cigars tailored to specific cities and destinations to meet the demands of the smokers in the specific regions. These exclusive editions are presented in white ten-count boxes decorated with gold foil designs reflecting the city which inspired their creation. Relevant to key travel retail locations are the Dubai, Hong Kong, Madrid and Barcelona editions. Central to the creation of the product was not just innovation, but partnership to ensure the cigars met the demands of shoppers. Eaton says: “The cigars come in a Robusto size format and are all complex multi-origin blends with tobaccos from Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. “The designs are based upon landmarks of the specific region and the cigars have the Davidoff ring, with a secondary ring customized to its edition.” Partnerships are central to Davidoff ’s other key focus going forward: education.

Telling the story The Winston Churchill range spawned Davidoff’s first travel retail exclusive, The Traveller

Fresh appeal

Davidoff kicked off the year strong, enjoying “great success” with its annual Chinese New Year release. The tailored product, released for the holiday and aimed at catching the eye of the key Chinese shoppers, is an idea which the brand has developed successfully in recent years. “Davidoff is famous for its limited editions related to the Chinese Zodiac,” Eaton enthuses. Such special and limited editions are central to the brand’s offering, with a wide selection of Davidoff products available in the market meaning there is something to suit the tastes of all consumers. “Davidoff has an extensive range of offers, and the positive news is that we are seeing some strong performance across all major product groups,” Eaton says. “Of specific note, the Winston Churchill range has performed very strongly. As a wider observation, we note very strong demand for our range of ‘short smoke’ products, including Davidoff Primeros, Demi Tasse and across the cigarillo range.” The Winston Churchill range was the company’s first to include a travel retail exclusive; in January, Davidoff announced the Limited Edition Winston Churchill The Traveller, which included a run of 4,500 etuis of five Corona cigars which were only available to traveling shoppers.

For a brand creating the variety and range of products Davidoff offers, it is vital for Eaton and his team that both store staff and shoppers are aware of what different products bring to the market. “Education on the cigar category, the Davidoff “Crop-toShop” philosophy and Davidoff products is a top priority for Oettinger Davidoff,” he explains. “It has been, and continues to be, a proven growth driver within the regions who actively engage in training and education activities, showing double digit increase in sales compared to regions without a similar training program.” Alongside traditional methods such as live training and tasting and pairing experiences, Davidoff makes great use of its “Davidoff of Geneva since 1911” online academy. Launched in 2017, the tool offers a range of courses for staff, partners and retailers. “The platform is offered to our staff, partners and retailers to learn and be continuously updated about Davidoff Cigars, increasing their knowledge and staying competitive to increase confidence and sell out,” Eaton says. “Davidoff sees engaging staff in interactive learning experiences as a key to the business’ success in a competitive market, where best sales advice and story-telling becomes more important than ever.” The wide range of products in the Davidoff stable means such education will only become more important. But with further innovations on the horizon and a refreshed strategy for travel retail, the brand’s story, which dates back more than a century, appears to be entering its next chapter with confidence. GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING



hot Smoking

Mazaya brings a flavor of the Middle East to Cannes

Mazaya Gum Molasses (50g) can be sampled at the TFWA World Exhibition

Grape with Mint (50g) is another new Out of This World flavor

Mazaya’s new Out of This World Mint Molasses line is a standard flavor with a twist



azaya will be sailing into Cannes this year on the Princess Illuka luxury yacht for the TFWA World Exhibition, where it will also have a stand in the exhibition hall (Yellow Village H53). The yacht offers a relaxing and prestigious environment for tobacco buyers visiting the show, where they can sample Mazaya’s selection of shisha flavors, including lemon mint, two apples, grape with mint, gum, and new mixes such as ruby crush and strawberry cream. In addition to shisha, a spread of traditional Arabic and regional food, fruit and snacks – beautifully imagined and displayed by leading food blogger Alpha Foodie (Samira Kazan) – can also be enjoyed by visitors to the yacht. Said Rawan Elayyan, Global Duty Free Manager: “If you don’t yet offer shisha tobacco as part of your tobacco offer, then meet with us in Cannes to find out why you’re missing out on a really good opportunity for additional sales. “The shisha trend continues to grow outside the traditional stronghold of the Middle East, and retailers in Europe, Asia and the US are becoming more and more interested and receptive to the concept.” Mazaya is committed to the global travel retail industry and, once listed, will support retailers as much as possible, given legal restrictions for tobacco. The brand is very keen to promote shisha in-store, whether that’s with activations, gwps or price-off – all of which are proven to significantly increase sales. Elayyan continued: “Mazaya is performing very well in travel retail, and sales from January to June 2019 have already achieved more than 65% of total 2018 sales. We have just launched a new line, offering fresh takes on our traditional favorites – initially launched in the domestic market with great success, we have now introduced this line in duty free shops. While our special lines usually include new flavors, the new Out of This World line includes some of the standard flavors but with a twist, adding diversity and variety in the same flavor to capture all our consumers’ preferences. We have also launched a collection of innovative glass hookahs in various sizes to complement the shisha offer, with additional items designed specifically for travel retail.”

Beaute Luxe Duty Free

A pioneering new beauty venture in Africa


Travel retail veteran David Dayan is turning his experienced hand to selectively distributing perfumes and cosmetics in the booming African market

avid Dayan has formed a company in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai specializing in the distribution of luxury brands in perfumes and cosmetics exclusively dedicated to selective distribution on the African continent. Dayan has more than 30 years of experience in establishing travel retail brands such as Lacoste, Rituals and Nuxe through Duty Free Development Consulting and Immediat Boarding Consulting. His new venture, Beaute Luxe Duty Free, covers the entire African travel retail market (airports, seaports, border shops, downtown duty free and diplomatic stores).

Corinne Berger, Marketing Director, Beaute Luxe Duty Free

Dayan describes himself to Gulf-Africa Duty Free as “one of the last dinosaurs of travel retail”, adding: “This is not quite an exaggeration, as this year I will participate in my 31st TFWA Cannes show.” For several years now we have been following the career of this tireless travel retail globetrotter. He began his duty free career as an Area Manager Asia Pacific for the Givenchy brand, then as Travel Retail Director of the Lalique brand. As a company manager with Lacoste Accessories, he set up more than 300 points of sale as a distributor for the famous crocodile brand.

Targeting a booming market

For more than 10 years, he has been managing several companies specializing in the consulting and development of luxury

brands, both in perfumes and cosmetics and in fashion/luxury accessories. The biggest names in the business have used these services, including Lancel, Rituals, Nuxe, Puressentiel, Eden Park, Wolford, Kusmi Tea, Le Notre, among many others. For three years, Dayan has successfully added a string to his bow – catering – with the IT TRATTORIA brand, which has opened at Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, and also in Parisian railway stations. The brand has a total of more than nine restaurants in travel retail. Since Dayan established his company in Dubai, it has been participating in the

and that we will distribute in the future a service of quality, control and follow-up identical to the one we offer in Europe. “The future will tell me if I was right to believe in the potential of this continent, but I’m naturally optimistic and confident.” Beaute Luxe Duty Free has appointed Jerome Blanchard as Vice President of Sales to develop the luxury brands in the portfolio and Corinne Berger as Marketing Director. Blanchard was appointed Sales Director Latin America & Caribbean Domestic & Travel Retail at Gucci Time

Jerome Blanchard, Vice President of Sales, will develop the luxury brands in the Beaute Luxe Duty Free portfolio

David Dayan, founder of Beaute Luxe Duty Free

MEADFA conference. As a result, he has become very interested in this continent, which is showing great growth. “We have opened more than 30 points of sale in Africa in the space of three years, so I decided at the beginning of 2019 to set up a real structure dedicated to this booming market. I have recruited experts from all over the world, we have trained our beauty advisors in one of the best French beauty schools, who now organize events in airports. We have several managers based in the African continent who follow our merchandising points of sale.” Dayan adds: “I am sure that in five years’ time this market will triple in terms of turnover in travel retail. The largest operators are developing rapidly today on this continent, and this is not for nothing. I wanted to offer the brands we distribute

Pieces & Jewelry in New York in 2015. From 2007 to 2015, he was Director of Buying and Merchandising - Accessories and Luxury Products for the Duty Free Americas group. “Jerome Blanchard is a great professional in brand development in travel retail. We needed an expert in this field to carry out our project, and because of his experience and these great qualities of manager, Jerome was the right man for us. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to contact him so that he would come to us and take charge of this whole project,” says Dayan. Berger has been with Lacoste since 2012 as International Marketing Director. Previously, she was Head of Communication & Marketing for the Aeroports de Paris group. GULF-AFRICA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING



From left, Edrington Managing Director EMEA Travel Retail Jeremy Speirs, Heathrow Retail Director Fraser Brown and Dufry World Duty Free CEO Fred Creighton officially opened the boutique

The Macallan Boutique collection new edition was launched earlier this year to celebrate the brand’s association with water

The Macallan unveils its home away from home at Heathrow Edrington’s The Macallan is brought to life at London Heathrow Airport through experiential theatre by CHRIS MADDEN


ulf-Africa Duty Free magazine attended the official launch of Edrington’s The Macallan’s new boutique outlet at London Heathrow Airport. The store, which was opened in partnership with Dufry and Heathrow, is a “home away from home” for the brand, according to Dufry’s World Duty Free CEO Fred Creighton. The design, which features a wooden ceiling and décor and a curved wooden structure at the entrance, seeks to invoke The Macallan’s new Speyside distillery which opened last year. Evoking the brand’s home is crucial to bringing The Macallan to life for shoppers, which is the central purpose of the store according to Edrington Managing Director EMEA Travel Retail Jeremy Speirs. “This is not about trying to maximize sales,” he explained. “This is about showcasing what we do with our brand, what we’re going to do and bringing the distillery here for those who can’t get up to Speyside.” The store features a video wall showcasing the brand, its home and its heritage, as well as a prestige wall, with a showcase displaying premium selections from the Macallan range. Spiers says the plan is to capture the attention of whisky shoppers at the airport. “The great thing about an airport is people have this very precious commodity called time on their hands,” he said. “I think the dwell time is about an hour in airports, we are fighting against other brands of course but we have the chance to work and give the consumers who come in an experience. Even people who know the brand very well can come in and see the prestige wall and see some expressions they may not already know, they can taste some expressions, but they also learn.”


This in-store theatre and interactivity is at the heart of what Edrington and Dufry have sought to create at Heathrow. Creighton believes stores like this can be used to share a brand’s story with shoppers and provide a vital tool in the battle against digital retailers. He explained: “The reality is that in duty free and tax free, we need to be very conscious that the proposition we have is all about experience; in terms of product, in terms of exclusivity, in terms of the environment you can create and then through the staff, the excitement you can bring when you can tell that story in a way that you can’t do online.”

Working together If creating something special is the goal, both Creighton and Spiers say a collaborative approach is the only way to create a unique experience. The new Macallan boutique spawned from a conversation in Cannes two years ago and both companies say they are delighted to see it come to fruition. “This is not an overnight thing that has just happened, it is two or three years on the making and there is some major investment going on into the brand,” Spiers said. Creighton added: “To have a relationship with a brand such as Macallan is very important to Dufry because it allows us to segment the market. It allows us to attract a connoisseur at times that you don’t necessarily get when you’re in a main duty free and tax free store.” The Macallan boutique initially opened in July.

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Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail builds on insights Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail’s VP Marketing Craig Johnson reveals the importance of focusing on shopper insights by JAS RYAT

Vice President Marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail (PRGTR), Craig Johnson shares how insights lead to growth


ight months into his new role as Vice President Marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail (PRGTR), Craig Johnson has learned a tremendous amount about the travel retail industry. The New York native, now based in the UK and has thoroughly immersed himself in all the complexities of duty free. Rewind one year when Americas, Asia, Gulf-Africa Duty Free magazine caught up with the PRGTR team in Cannes. At that point, there was a major focus on insights and how they would be applied to travel retail. Today, Johnson reveals the role destination shopping plays within the travel retail structure and how these insights have impacted PRGTR’s business model. “I think PRGTR has had many dif-

Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail plans to highlight its luxury malt collection with the Secret Speyside

ferent trials within destination shopping where we have created a boutique outside the existing store. What we’ve learned now is that we really want to be where most consumers are, where the shoppers are. That’s where we see the most results; it is the most effective, and that also drives home the importance of our partner stores,” explains Johnson. Whether it is a store within a store or a mega HPP (high profile promotion) design, that’s when PRGTR accomplishes its underlying goals of building its spirits brands and creating experiences for shoppers that drive sales.

Turning insights into growth

Insights are a crucial part of the PRGTR game plan. By gathering knowledge about consumers –who is shopping in stores, what nationalities, understanding the typology and most importantly the motivation behind purchasing – the firm is able to execute global activations and tailor offerings accordingly. “Some of the insights that we have into our consumers really separates us from our competitors. I think that is the most important thing that we learned last year. There are people out there that are searching for a bargain and there are others searching beyond just a good deal. There are people that are searching for a special souvenir to remember, memorialize a trip or to extend a trip when you get home,” shares Johnson.


The recent partnership with Heinemann Australia to launch its new Scotch Whisky Emporium at the Departures duty free store in Sydney International Airport is an example of an immersive experience created to capture new and existing travelers. Johnson explains that it’s all about understanding the brand and how to translate the message. The insights have also offered a look into the journey the consumer takes. “We have looked at different nationalities to understand what we call ‘Micro Moments’. Micro Moments are the various touch points travelers cross as they are looking at buying airplane tickets, researching their destinations online, to planning their shopping in-store and understanding how we can use that. That has become very effective from a marketing stand point and helps us really understand our consumers,” adds Johnson. 2020 will continue to focus on unique executions and innovative products. The malt portfolio will be highlighted with the Secret Speyside. This collection is the first of its kind that features rare single malts from hidden distilleries aged between18yo to 30yo, equipped with all the luxury credentials. Jameson Triple Triple Irish whiskey, currently only available at Dublin Airport, will also expand its footprint in travel retail, and Royal Salute 21yo, a travel retail exclusive, will bring the vision of Scotch whisky to life through its new design.

Diverse Flavours

A selection of Groot Constantia wines

Patience, Perseverance and Passion Promoters and sales staff are key to the in-store experience and the one interaction consumers really remember, according to Anthony Budd, Managing Director, Diverse Flavours


f the sales and promotion staff at the airports understand your brand, are knowledgeable about the product, know where it comes from, know how it is made and know the taste of your product, then they have more confidence to sell and promote it,” stated Anthony Budd, Managing Director Diverse Flavours in an exclusive interview with Gulf-Africa Duty Free. “That’s why training is important, to literally attach a face, a character, and an emotion to the brand so that it’s not just another brand on the shelf.” Budd explained that at Diverse Flavours, which markets an eclectic portfolio of premium South African wines in duty free, their philosophy revolves around the three ‘P’s: patience, perseverance, passion. “To get your first listing you need to be extremely patient and persevere and never give up,” revealed Budd. “When you get that listing you need to show everyone

that you are passionate about your brands. One of the best ways to do this is through the training of those staff that will ultimately be helping to decide whether your brand is a failure or a success, showing them support and that you care about them, and your brand.” Putting his philosophy into practice, Budd conducts training programs to share his passion with frontline staff who are selling the Diverse Flavours wines in duty free. In July, he flew to Asia to run training sessions with JATCO at Haneda and Narita Airports, followed by five sessions in Taiwan, three with Ever Rich at Taoyuan Airport and Neuhu Downtown store and two with Tasa Meng at Taoyuan Airport. Moving on to the Middle East, he ran two sessions with Dubai Duty Free. “In total I trained over 200 sales and promotion staff who work at the sharp end of the business, dealing daily with the

real consumers and purchasers of our products.” As South African wines are fairly new to duty free, Budd’s training starts with some basics. “I introduce the country, South Africa, where it is geographically, its diversity through the people, its culture, topography, climate, wildlife, nature and so on,” Budd said. “Secondly, I introduce South Africa as a wine producer, where it sits in the world of wine and what makes South African wine special. Thirdly, I introduce the wine producers or estates from which the wines come and their unique characteristics, and lastly, of course, we taste the wines!” During the tastings, Budd introduces around 20 wines from different makers and varietals, including the Estates of Avondale, Cederberg, Deetlefs, Ernie Els, Groot Constantia, Tamboerskloof, Napier and 88 Vineyards. Budd emphasized that training should not be considered a one-off investment: “You must invest your time continually in the people who are supporting your brand.” In-store experience is a major factor in countering the threat from online sales, according to Budd. “The key is to give the consumer a strong range of products from which to choose, which obviously includes your mainstream brands. However, I think the consumer also expects duty free shops to bring them interesting new products, products they don’t necessarily see every day, and don’t necessarily think they will buy, but which on a special travel occasion do in fact catch their imagination, challenge them and add to the travel experience.” “We have great wines,” he concluded. “I am delighted when we can have people taste them as then they can appreciate the quality and understand how to sell and benchmark them when they talk to their customers.” Judging by the results – increased sales and new listings – the strategy is working.

Cederberg winery in the snow

Anthony Budd hard at work with staff from Ever Rich Duty Free at Taoyuan Airport


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