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Key industry associations all over the world met over the past week to try to prepare for a future post-COVID. With at least three promising vaccines on the horizon, with governments assuring widespread availability in the months to come, there is a glimmer of hope that the world might see recovery sooner rather than later.
Within this scenario, Tax Free World Association held a virtual conference on China this week. In the Americas, South American Duty Free Association ASUTIL last week held a joint conference with CEFSU, the Chamber of Uruguayan Free Shops, that examined new opportunities arising from the opening of duty free shops on the Brazilian border. And the International Association of Airport and Duty Free Stores, IAADFS, held an extremely informative webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 2, that invited an expert panel of duty free operators to discuss their perspectives on the current business challenges confronting the travel retail industry in the Americas and their perceptions regarding future opportunities.
TMI publisher Lois Pasternak presents an overview of today’s IAADFS Conference. Further coverage will come in a later issue. Page 1.
TMI’s specialist Latin America correspondent in Buenos Aires, John Gallagher, reports in-depth on the ASUTIL Border Conference, including news of increased duty free allowances and new store openings. Page 2.
Looking North, the Frontier Duty Free Association reports that the Canadian Federal Government’s long-awaited Fall Economic Statement released this week centers around support for Canada’s hardest hit businesses. The FDFA joined together with the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses earlier this year in an effort to obtain much-needed relief for its land border members, whose business was decimated by the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Page 3.
We also report on more positive developments from the Caribbean, where Rouge St. Croix, a new duty free and tax free luxury beauty and fragrance boutique, is scheduled to open to the public on Dec 7, 2020. This is the second location in the U.S. Virgin Islands for Rouge, which also operates a boutique on the waterfront in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, opened in 2018. Rouge is also the leading luxury retailer in Grenada. See details on page 3.
IN THE BOARDROOM
Dufry and Hudson Ltd. successfully closed their previously announced merger on December 1, 2020. Page 1.
SUPPLY SIDE FEATURE
Pernod Ricard GTR is using a consumer-centric approach drawing on multiple data sources to prepare for the future of travel retail amidst the global pandemic, says Anuj Roy, Strategy & Insights Director at Pernod Ricard GTR. This observation was part of Roy’s discussion on how PR GTR is “staying ahead of the curve” at the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo in October. Read full story on page 4.