International retail chain Rouge inaugurated its first post COVID Rouge Duty Free store in St. Croix on Friday, March 26, 2021. With 1,400 square feet of retail space, the store is located in Orange Grove Plaza in Christiansted, and reflects the company’s confidence in a strong future in the region.
Rouge Duty Free St. Croix is the luxury shopping destination for St. Croix. The store has the largest fragrance and skin care assortment on the island, along with a luxurious Mont Blanc corner boutique, and a Furla handbags leather corner as well.
It also houses the spa cabin for exclusive skincare brands Valmont and Cellcosmet.
The gala opening was a red carpet reception attended by VIPs, socialites, influencers, and bloggers from the Island, who received hand delivered invitations, reports Raymond Kattoura, whose company Duty Free & Travel Retail Group Inc. helps manage the business for Rouge Duty Free Retail Caribe, which owns the new store.
Guests enjoyed a ‘full moon Cruzan evening,’ with local music, open bar, and local bites. The reception was held indoors and out, following the COVID-19 protocols in place.
“This is our second Rouge store in the USVI, and our 53rd store in the overall company (Buenos Aires-based Perfumerias Rouge),” says Kattoura. “The new store has been well received by the local population, who have embraced it from day one. We have been extremely successful with the local markets in the Caribbean, where we have mixed luxury with lifestyle and practicality. This is what makes our stores stand out.”
Kattoura tells TMI that when searching for store locations, the company looks for areas within easy reach of the business neighborhood, with convenient parking and accessibility.
“Rouge will be opening additional doors in St. Croix in both the East and West end to be able to serve the entire island,” he says.
Speaking about the potential that Rouge sees for the island, Kattoura says: “St. Croix was the top luxury destination in the Caribbean, with stores featuring French and Italian fashion complete with cat walks. Brands such as Mont Blanc, Caron, and other top names lined the streets in town. Unfortunately, the island passed through a hard period due to hurricanes and other matters, and most of this was lost. The neighboring islands took advantage of the void and grabbed the tourism and investors. “But the tide is changing again, and we will see new Islands emerging as important destinations. St Croix’s economy is on a fast rebound. And with the re- opening of the refinery, a surge in tourism and corporate investors, the island is heading for success one more time. Several celebrities call St Croix their home away from home, including President Biden.”