South America

First Brazil border shops could open before year end

Brazil may finally see the opening of its first duty free border stores in December, following the election of Jair Bolsonaro who will succeed Michel Temer as president on January 1. ASUTIL Secretary General Jose Luis Donagaray, in a press briefing held last week, says he expects one or two small operators could open the […]

Mosquito viruses threaten travel in the Americas

As if plunging economies and unfavorable currency exchange weren’t enough to worry the Americas travel industry, a growing portion of the region is now under threat from two mosquito borne diseases, the Zika virus in the Caribbean and Latin America, and dengue fever in Hawaii. The current outbreak of the Zika virus, which is transmitted […]

Brazil faces worst recession since 1901

Bloomberg News has reported that Brazil won’t return to growth until at least 2018 after two years of recession and one of stagnation, according to the International Monetary Fund. This would mark the first time in over a century that Latin America’s largest economy fails to expand for that long. On Tuesday, the IMF cut […]

Grupo Wisa brings La Riviera allure to Melancia Mall

Panama’s Grupo Wisa – a leading retailer in Central America and Colombia — has been operating in the Mercosur region since November 2012; where Uruguay has been the focus of its expansion, primarily on the Uruguay–Brazil border where it operates stores in Rivera, Rio Branco and Acegua. The opening of the Melancia Mall is a […]

Argentina’s new president ends restrictions on buying/selling dollars and reverses other currency controls

John Gallagher reports. Since Mauricio Macri, the Centrist-leaning Mayor of the city of Buenos Aires, won Argentina’s second-round runoff election on November 22nd to become the country’s next president, Argentines have been expecting major changes in fiscal and business regulations, including steps to improve relations with foreign creditors and the U.S. Macri narrowly won with […]

ASUTIL names Fagundes new president

South American Duty Free Association ASUTIL has announced its new officers and Executive Board for the 2016-2017 period. Gustavo Fagundes, COO of Dufry Brasil and Bolivia, has been elected president for the two-year term. Grupo Wisa commercial director Marcelo Montico continues as vice president of ASUTIL; and Martín Laffitte of Zeinal Hnos. is secretary treasurer. […]

Uruguay’s Melancia Mall opens

Despite the challenging economic situation facing retailers who depend on Brazilian business at this time, the massive 33,000sqm Melancia Mall opened for business in Uruguay on Thursday, Nov. 5. The complex, located in the border town of Rivera in Northern Uruguay, is adjacent to the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. It is […]

L’Oréal TRAM and Dufry engage Americas’ passengers with Polo Red Panamerican racing challenge

  L’Oréal’s Travel Retail subsidiary in the Americas (TRAM), in partnership with Dufry Group, embarked on a month-long, ground-breaking animation for its best- selling Polo Red franchise in September. The Ralph Lauren experience animation was TRAM’s first digital pan-American competition using Facebook targeted to airport passengers. Since its launch in 2013, Polo Red has been […]

Downturn in Latin America impacts entire region

Enjoying nearly 10 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the duty free business in Latin America reaped the benefits of growing economies throughout the region. Indications of a slowdown surfaced more than a year ago. Raw material prices, a principal element in Latin American exports, have been falling since early in 2014, leading to currency instability […]

Uruguay Border Free Shop meeting postponed until 2016

South American Duty Free Association ASUTIL and trade group Camara de Empresarios de Free Shops del Uruguay (CEFSU) have announced that the Third Border Meeting that was to be held in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina on November 16-17, has been postponed until some time in 2016. A joint announcement released under the signatures of ASUTIL Secretary […]

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