Interview: Haitham Al Majali

TFWA announced this week that due to the ongoing political uncertainty in Lebanon, the 2017 MEADFA Conference, due to be held next week in Beirut, has been postponed to 2018. Luckily, Frontier caught up with Haitham Al Majali, who became the new president of MEADFA in March this year, before the event was cancelled. He heads up Jordanian Duty Free Shops, which specialises in operating land border, diplomatic and seaport duty free outlets. Frontier editor Colette Doyle asked him to expound on the current scenario within the travel retail sector in his home country and provide an overview of the wider outlook … [Read more...]

Furla looks to a creative future without compromise

Growth is important but it has to happen “in the right way and without compromise” says Furla CEO Alberto Camerlengo. In terms of geographical areas, the Americas – both the US and Latin America – are regions of interest that Furla will continue to target going forward, he told Frontier at the recent TFWA show in Cannes. The brand’s digital strategy will also assume greater significance in the future; indeed, urges Camerlengo, more must be invested as the omni-channel is already a reality, so it’s about “creating new activities and new stories”. GTR stands to gain considerably from embracing digital and … [Read more...]

Nordics 2017: Change, Brexit and inflight in focus

Brexit, inflight sales, shifting population demographics and the rise of China were all on the bill at last week’s Nordic Travel Retail Seminar in Helsinki - but the overriding theme of the day was change. From the moment former Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt took to the stage to deliver the opening keynote speech until economist Kjell Nordström closed the talks, the whole day focussed on how the world is developing and what that could mean for GTR. Indeed the opening video montage focussed on the theme of a “changing world”, telling the assembled delegates: “A modern renaissance is happening … [Read more...]

Heinemann looking to go global after strong 2016

Heinemann achieved a group turnover of €3.8 billion in 2016, up 5.6% from the previous year, as the company managed to offset the impact of global developments on the duty free business. At a press conference in the company’s home city of Hamburg yesterday, Claus Heinemann hailed the figures as a “good result”. But he said the company will not rest on its laurels with big investments planned for 2017 including €100 million to be spent upgrading stores. Heinemann will also place a greater emphasis on globalization with the intention that a wider global presence allows them to offset problems in one country … [Read more...]

Packaging in practice

An important category within GTR, tobacco is facing one of its biggest-ever challenges with the implementation of standardised packaging legislation. Here, Keith Spinks, secretary general of the European Travel Retail Confederation, examines the impact this might have on the duty free industry Tobacco is one of the most heavily regulated products in travel retail and one of the last areas open for regulators to bring under control is that of packaging and branding. Over the past number of years the topic of standardised packaging, sometimes referred to as plain packaging, has become more prevalent, and will … [Read more...]

Technology in travel

Dubai’s airports are two of the world’s most technologically advanced travel, retail and leisure hubs. What lessons should duty free retailers learn from them about how best to deploy the latest techniques, asks Blackjack Promotions’ MD Sally Alington? Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the world’s busiest international airport, with 78 million passengers last year and is likely to get even busier as a whole range of major airport infrastructure improvements roll out over the next few years. The target is for it to be able to handle 100 million travellers by 2023. Meanwhile, its sister airport, which opened … [Read more...]