Travel Retail Highlights

Celebrating travel retail as a premium showcase

We have seen travel retail’s status as a brand-building arena for premium spirits championed recently, in word and deed, in a way that is encouraging for the future of this sector in our channel. Shenzhen Duty Free’s (in partnership with DFS) opening of its new Premium Wines & Spirits Gallery at Mission Hills Duty Free City (trading as Times DF x DFS Haikou Mission Hills Duty-Free Complex points to the surging interest in high-end spirits among consumers in Hainan offshore duty free, with some of the world’s leading drinks brands investing imaginatively in the environment and offer. In addition, at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, category leaders have been showcasing their latest innovations and progressive thinking about the new consumer, the channel’s future and how they plan to act sustainably and responsibly for people and planet. [The event remains open through November; click here to access]

We also had a reminder of the draw of travel retail for connoisseurs seeking rare, precious bottles with story and heritage. Last week Delhi Duty Free made its highest ever spirits sale by value, when a customer bought a bottle of the recently released The Yamazaki 55 Year Old for Rs4,569,000 (US$61,000). In a true example of selective distribution, only 100 bottles are being released this year from Japan’s first and oldest malt whisky distillery, with a limited allocation provided by Beam Suntory to travel retail stores in Delhi, London, Paris, Hainan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Amsterdam, Seoul, Istanbul, Dubai and Singapore. Delhi Duty Free was allocated one bottle, which was sold less than one month after listing.

The Yamazaki 55 buyer (right), who preferred not to be named, with his prized purchase at Delhi Duty Free

After collecting the product in departures on his way back to Singapore, the owner (a Singaporean citizen of Indian origin) said: “It is incredibly rare for The Yamazaki of such vintage nature to be made available for purchase. I am a whisky connoisseur and an avid collector and have many prominent bottles in my growing collection. I am delighted with this new addition to my collection and I cannot thank Delhi Duty Free enough for securing this historic bottle and providing me with a world-class duty free experience.” A Delhi Duty Free spokesperson said: “We are delighted that this record-breaking sale has taken place at our store. This success is a testament to Delhi Duty Free and our brand partners, who have continuously worked with us over the years to make DDFS one of the world’s best duty free retailers. Our endeavour going forward will be to continue to focus on premium and luxury brands across all categories for HNI (high net worth individual) travellers.” That excitement from both shopper and retailer speaks to the lure of the travel channel as a haven for experience, for points of difference, for engagement – elements that were valid pre-pandemic, and that are showing themselves to be just as important now.

Rare and precious: Yamazaki 55

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 303 | 17 November 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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