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Concerns over ‘reluctance’ to share travel retail data

The global travel retail industry must swiftly address the “lack of reliable data” and “reluctance” to share information, or risk the sustainability of the channel, the president of the TFWA has said.

TFWA president Alain Maingreaud speaking during the 2019 opening conference in Cannes

Speaking at the opening conference at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, France, last week, Alain Maingreaud, TFWA president, highlighted key challenges facing the travel retail and duty free channels.

He said since joining the TFWA in 1995, the “landscape has never shifted more quickly than now” and that “technology, regulation and geopolitics are rapidly reshaping traveller habits”.

One of the main problems he highlighted was the growing concern regarding sales information from the industry.

“Growing concerns about the scope and accuracy of sales information available to date have led some to question its validity,” he said. “Yet, until we can overcome our reluctance to share the data that is the lifeblood of our industry, we shall be flying blind.

“If we don’t know what is happening in our own industry, how can we educate others about what we bring to the travel retail industry?

“How can we show governments how their decisions will have an impact on us? And how can we make informed decisions on the future of our market?

“We must act now to address the lack of reliable data in our industry. At stake is nothing less than the sustainability of duty free and travel retail.”

Maingreaud was named the new TFWA president in December last year, succeeding Erik Juul-Mortensen who held the role for 19 years.

Cannes confirmed for next three years

During the conference, Maingreaud also confirmed the TFWA World Conference & Exhibition will take place in Cannes for at least the next three years.

“The association has reached an agreement with the Palais des Festivals to enable this event to stay in Cannes for at least the next three years,” Maingreaud said. “But at the same time, the association must evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of duty free and travel retail that I referred to earlier.

“The challenges and other problems I have raised this morning shouldn’t be underestimated. But then neither should our industry’s talent for reinventing itself – especially when confronted by disruptive change.

“The need to highlight our channel’s unique status has helped us re-evaluate the exclusive offerings that cannot be found outside duty free and travel retail. We have good reason to be confident in our own ability to meet the challenges confronting us, if we can come together and act for the benefit of the industry as a whole.”

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