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In a key news story that broke today, Panama-based Top Brands International announced that it has acquired Neutral Duty Free, the largest duty free chain in Uruguay. No financial details were released.
With this acquisition, Top Brands surges to become one of the largest duty free operators in the region, with 80 stores throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, says Danny Yohoros, President of Top Brands.
Comment: Top Brands purchase of Neutral is a very ambitious move. This will considerably increase its footprint in Latin America and the company now becomes one of the biggest players in the Uruguayan border duty business. Most observers agree that the border duty free market is somewhat depressed and is likely to remain so until the Brazilian economy begins to recover. Clearly Top Brands is betting on the future – this will give them volume in Uruguay and a strong brand that is recognized by many Brazilian travelers.
Will Top Brands be looking to add Brazilian based border stores to Neutral’s Uruguayan network? See Yohoros’ comments about this strategic move on page 1, Inside Insider.
In our other major story of the week, Canadian border store operator Peace Bridge Duty Free celebrated the reopening of its store with a gala ribbon-cutting and party in its Fort Erie store on Wednesday night. TMI’s Michael Pasternak – along with many key suppliers — was there. Story begins on page 1.
In more news from Canada, Pillitteri Estates Winery, which entered into a partnership with the Canadian Olympic Team and the Canadian Olympic Committee to produce a special branded Pillitteri wine for Team Canada and the “be Olympic” movement, held a special ceremony last month for the release of the “Team Canada” wine. Page 3
Luxottica Group and Scuderia Ferrari Watches, designed, manufactured and distributed worldwide by Movado Group, Inc., have partnered with Aer Rianta International to host a traffic-stopping motor sport-themed cross-category promotion at Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Through this collaboration, a first for all three parties, The Loop Duty Free store hosted a retail-tainment activation coinciding with the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix that runs through next week. Read more on page 3.
BY THE NUMBERS
Travel Trends Index: Travel to and within the U.S. grew 3.2% year-over-year in May, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s latest report. While this is up slightly from April’s 3.0% overall growth, the Leading Travel Index (LTI) predicts travel growth will soften through November 2019 across all travel segments. Page 4
IATA: Air passenger demand stays solid but growth trend slows in May. Global passenger traffic results for May rose 4.5% compared to the same month in 2018, but remains below the 20-year average growth rate of around 5.5%. Page 4.
Canada’s duty free sales in both airports and border stores fell in March, says the CBSA in its last such report. This will be the last month the CBSA provides Canadian duty free statistics since Duty Free Shop licensees are no longer required to provide a summary of sales on a monthly basis to the agency. Page 2.
PEOPLE & PRODUCTS & MORE
Change at ETRC. The European Travel Retail Confederation has elected Nigel Keal as President. Keal, Global Commercial Director for Dufry, replaces Frank O’Connell, who stepped down as ETRC President but continues in his role as President of the Duty Free World Council (DFWC). Page 4.
Woman at the top. The Estée Lauder Companies continues to build on its legacy as a family company founded by a woman, for women, by promoting Sara E. Moss to the newly created role of Vice Chairman. Moss, who is currently Executive Vice President and General Counsel, will focus on advisory and liaison roles with management, Directors and the Lauder family and will work with senior leaders to drive the company’s global programs to develop women as exceptional leaders, as well as women’s focused initiatives. Page 5.
Lancôme has unveiled a new feminine fragrance, Idôle, which Françoise Lehmann,Lancôme Global Brand President, said is created for a new generation of women. American actress, singer, and fashion authority Zendaya Coleman is the face of the new fragrance. Page 5.
L’Oréal has confirmed that it has entered into exclusive negotiation with the Clarins Group to acquire the brands Mugler and Azzaro. Page 5.