Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Who likes to stop at the duty free shop?

October 30, 2009

dutyfreeApparently, travelers looking for some new cosmetics.
Sales at duty free stores — those airport emporiums for everything from perfume to cigarettes and extra-large Toblerone bars – boosted results at both Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder.
Elizabeth Arden posted stronger sales than anticipated and an unexpected quarterly profit on Thursday.  A day later, Estee Lauder said that travel retail accounted for about 9 percent of sales in its latest quarter, up from the usual range of about 7 percent.  Its higher profit came in well ahead of expectations.

There may be fewer passengers traveling these days, but those that are seem to be willing to buy.  Still, the market is a volatile one, Estee Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda told Reuters.

Sales at duty free shops boost the bottom line since they are more profitable than typical sales.  That’s partly because companies spend little, if anything, to advertise.  Shoppers already know the brands from traditional outlets and marketing.

And now, for a little duty free comedy …

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