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The coronavirus outbreak took an ominous turn over the past few days. While health officials are still not sure about how deadly the virus may be, the repercussions of governments attempting to contain its spread are broad and could pose a serious threat to travel and travel retail business for some time to come.
Airlines and cruise ships have cancelled service to many locations in China, and stores throughout the industry have been closed in regions that depend on Chinese travelers for much of their business. TMI has put together a round-up of the latest developments and how the threat is being confronted in the US, Canada and the Caribbean, as well as by the aviation and cruise channels. The round-up begins on page 1.
Meanwhile, luxury goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported record results for full year 2019, with DFS and its Specialty Retail division showing good resilience. The results were announced the same day as news of the dangerous spread of the new coronavirus from China burst on the scene. With its heavy Asian exposure, LVMH may possibly see its next earnings impacted by the virus and resulting travel bans. Page 2.
In more news from LVMH, Louis Vuitton announced a global partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), its first partnership with a North American sports league. Page 2.
The Airports Council International (ACI) World Governing Board has named Luis Felipe de Oliveira as the new Director General of ACI World, to succeed Angela Gittens who has successfully led the global voice of the world’s airports for twelve years, and has announced her intention to retire at the end of June 2020. See full story on page 3.
More than 20 airport restaurant and retail operators in North America have joined together to form a new association, to be called The Airport Restaurant & Retail Association, or ARRA. Page 3.
The Central and Eastern European Travel Retail Association – CEETRA – has announced its Board for 2020. Page 3.
AT THE POINT OF SALE
Duty Free Dynamics has opened its first Certified LEGO Shop-in-Shop (SIS). The SIS is located in the recently expanded and renovated Duty Free Shop in Colon 2000 Cruise Port, Terminal II. The SIS is the first of several other LEGO stores that will be opened over the next few months, operated through partners within the Americas Travel Retail Market, says DFD. More details on page 4.
The Macallan releases Folio 5 in its boutiques; while Japanese drinks company Suntory has bought a 10% stake in Edrington for an undisclosed sum.