The world’s top travel retailers


The Moodie Davitt Report will shortly publish our unique guide to the world’s top 25 travel retailers, measured by sales turnover for 2019. Clearly 2020 will tell a very different story but as the channel begins a slow and sometimes painful recovery, the 2019 numbers serve an important purpose in outlining the key players. In these pages we bring you edited highlights, focused on the top five players, with comment & analysis.

Dufry Group maintains its position as the industry’s market leader for another year in The Moodie Davitt Report’s rankings of the world’s Top 25 Travel Retailers, based on 2019 sales. In this edition of The Moodie Davitt eZine we release edited highlights of that report, with full coverage in the July issue of The Moodie Davitt Magazine, which will appear in coming days.

Our focus in these pages is on the Top 5 players, which (as last year) also includes Lotte Duty Free, The Shilla Duty Free, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and Lagardère Travel Retail.

Their respective growth in 2019 was driven by a combination of organic sales increases, new openings, M&A activity and concession gains, with currency also playing its part. As always, our figures are measured by annualised turnover in each case and converted at 31 December 2019 rates to our standard currency, the Euro, the most commonly reported among the Top 25.

Dufry exceeded €8 billion in sales (measured at our chosen exchange rate) for the first time, hitting €8,138 million, but the gap to its nearest rivals has closed. Based on 2018 sales, Lotte Duty Free lagged -21% behind the market leader; in 2019 this was under -6%. The Shilla Duty Free in turn was -8% behind its great Korean rival, having been -10% behind a year earlier.

Dufry maintains its lengthy tenure at the top of the sales rankings though its rivals are closing on (Madrid Airport pictured)

CDFG, clearly the brightest light in 2020, and Lagardère Travel Retail also cemented their positions in the upper levels of our list with strong turnover growth.

The rise and rise of CDFG is one of the headline stories of our rankings in recent times. Last year CDFG leapt from eighth to fourth in our rankings, and although it remains there, its spectacular sales growth trajectory (+118% in 2018 and over +70% in 2019) sees it closing in fast on the retailers above it.

With the COVID-19 crisis set to dramatically alter the travel retail landscape, CDFG may even challenge for market leadership when the 2020 list comes to be produced.

That’s because it dominates the resurgent Hainan Island offshore duty free business, the sole hotspot in global travel retail today. There, domestic tourism has bounced back quickly and incentives to purchase – from increased allowances to an enhanced category range to encouragement to spend unused allowances after returning home – are laying the platform for a new wave of business. All of this is related to a government-backed push to drive tourism and services investment in Hainan, in which CDFG and parent company China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp (formerly China International Travel Service) are playing lead roles.

Aiming for number one: China Duty Free Group has surged up the rankings in recent years

A note on our methodology: As in each of the past eight years that we have produced this guide, we took account of both duty free and duty paid sales, as well as speciality (not just core category) stores.

We have also chosen to focus on direct sales to the travelling consumer, and excluded wholesale numbers – which in the case of Gebr Heinemann and several others are significant. We also exclude food & beverage sales from the turnover figures, though we recognise that these are a key element in the business for some travel retailers (worth €1 billion to Lagardère Travel Retail in 2019 for example).

Some of our figures include joint ventures and managed turnover, for instance in the cases of Lagardère Travel Retail and Aer Rianta International.

Our figures are based on publicly reported sales, confirmed with the companies themselves, or are estimates resulting from our research and analysis.

Read on for our snapshot of the Top 5 Travel Retailers, with the full coverage of the Top 25 to follow soon in The Magazine.

World’s top travel retailers sign up for Virtual Travel Retail Expo

Dufry Group, Lotte Duty Free, The Shilla Duty Free, China Duty Free Group and Lagardère Travel Retail – plus many more of the world’s top travel retailers – have signed up to take part in the inaugural Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

The event, which takes place from 12-16 October, will be the defining travel retail event of the year and has generated great positivity during a time the industry needs it most. These influential players and their peers from around the world have committed to sending their top management and buyers – virtually of course.

Registration is free for exhibitors, retailers/buyers and airports. Those who register will also have multiple opportunities to win grand prizes in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draws between now and the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. Two further draws will be held during the Expo itself.

The event also features a star-studded series of activities, including a Symposium, category workshops and a new consumer research initiative.

All exhibitor partners at the Virtual Expo will benefit from:

  • Unrivalled visibility.
  • The opportunity to exhibit to a powerhouse visitor audience.
  • A high-quality digital experience.
  • A range of pricing options to suit all budgets.
  • In-depth visitor analytics for the entire period.
  • A dedicated support package that includes complimentary Expo Guide advertising.
  • Strong editorial support up to and during the event through The Moodie Davitt Report, our other Preferred Media Partners (who will be able to showcase their digital publications in the official Press Centre) and visiting KOLs.
  • Access to the event’s Knowledge Hub.

To find out more about what the Virtual Travel Retail Expo can do for your company, and for details of our dedicated support packages, contact or

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The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 281 | 16 July 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd) every month.

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