World’s largest duty-free retailer Dufry turns to Hainan

Swiss duty-free giant Dufry will expand into Hainan’s offshore travel retail market. The company has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hainan Provincial Development Holdings Co to share its expertise in travel retail and supply global brands to Hainan’s expanding duty-free facilities.

Dufry has topped duty-free retail sales for 6 consecutive years, making it the world’s largest duty-free retailer. However, its revenue in the first half of 2020 fell by 62% to $1.788 billion due to the impact of COVID-19. The company has turned to China, where the domestic travel and retail industries have recovered, to try and boost revenue.

JD’s platform for imported products, JD Worldwide, has also sought to embrace Hainan’s duty-free market with the launch of a new store in Sanya on December 30, 2020. The duty-free and cross-border experience stores have been developed in partnership with Hainan Tourism and Investment Development Co.

Hainan has repositioned itself as a duty-free haven and its sales saw year-on-year growth of 214% to 12.01 billion RMB between July 1 and October 31, 2020. During the same period, 12.869 million purchases were made, of which 10.78 million were cosmetics products. In June last year, Chinese authorities released a comprehensive plan to develop Hainan into a free trade port in order to boost local consumption and its tourism industry.


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