April 9 2018  |  Retailers

Qatar Duty Free luxuriates in new offerings

By Hibah Noor


Luxury fashion brand Moncler was recently added to QDF’s portfolio of 90 luxury brands and boutiques

Changing passenger demographics at Qatar’s gateway airport haven’t stopped the fashion and lifestyle category’s stellar growth at Qatar Duty Free, where luxury brands Gucci and Moncler have recently been added to a diverse range of both mono-brand boutiques and multi-brand outlets.

In an exclusive interview, Thabet Musleh, Head of Qatar Duty Free, explains how the operator is reaping rewards from the category at Hamad International Airport.

Q: How is the fashion and lifestyle category performing in your stores? How much space is dedicated to the category?

Thabet Musleh, Head of Qatar Duty Free: Qatar’s fashion and lifestyle category is performing extremely well and now occupies 5,500 square meters across five concourses at Qatar Duty Free (QDF) at Hamad International Airport (HIA), with a diverse range of both mono-brand boutiques and multi-brand outlets.

New store openings, such as Gucci and Moncler, have contributed significantly to the growth of this category and have been positively received by our customers.

Q: What are some of the challenges it’s facing currently?

TM: The Qatar diplomatic crisis that began in June 2017 undoubtedly presented a challenge to us in terms of our supply chain. However, thanks to our strategic relationships with our core suppliers, we were agile in minimizing the impact on our sales and profitability. QDF also worked with Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways to understand the changes in customer profiles through dynamic business intelligence, which enabled us to quickly evolve our business in response to the changing sales environment.

As a result of the ongoing geopolitical situation, we have seen a definite shift in customer demographics. However, the evolution of our product offering from QDF, combined with Qatar Airways’ expedited expansion plans and the opening of many new routes, has catered to our new passenger segment.

Q: What are some trends you’re seeing?

TM: Luxury brands are tailoring their offerings to be relevant to the younger segment. Traditionally, more classic and timeless brands have developed product lines to target the millennials. A good example of this is Gucci, which as a luxury brand has appealed to the younger generation through the use of color, texture and design.

In addition, consumers are increasingly seeking a more personalized shopping experience. With the notable increase in fashion, lifestyle and luxury offerings at QDF, we understand that one of the most important differentiators is the ability of our staff to deliver a five-star customer service to all passengers shopping at the airport.

To ensure we can deliver this to our customers, we invest heavily in training and development for all of our 2,000-strong workforce, to ensure that we offer the highest standards of service possible.

Just last year, we delivered more than 29,000 hours of training to our employees through our QDF Academy, including 2,500 hours dedicated solely to the fashion and lifestyle category, which covered new store openings training, on-the-job role play, in-store training, service training and numerous bite-sized learning and product training sessions delivered both in the classroom and on the shop floor. All training sessions that we offer are designed to support sales staff in becoming experts in their field, to ensure that passengers’ experience at QDF is aligned with their journey at the five-star Hamad International Airport.

Brand News

August 13 2018

Amarula raises global awareness…

African cream liqueur brand Amarula, in partnership with WildlifeDirect, has marked World Elephant Day, an international…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

August 13 2018

Loch Lomond Whiskies swings into…

Loch Lomond Whiskies marked its first year as ‘The Spirit of The Open’ with a series of exciting golf-themed global travel…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

August 13 2018

Grey Goose Vodka stages summer…

Grey Goose Vodka is running a twin engagement campaign with shoppers at Mumbai and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports.

By Mary Jane Pittilla

August 7 2018

Haribo introduces travel-exclusive…

Haribo is continuing to upgrade its presence in global travel retail with the introduction of brightly colored, travel-exclusive…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

August 7 2018

Hershey brings Chocolate World…

The Hershey Company and DFS Group have partnered to create a dynamic pop-up promotional space…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

August 7 2018

Bottega to stage Spirit of Peace…

Sandro Bottega, owner and Managing Director at Bottega S.p.A., is to commemorate the tragic dropping of the Hiroshima atomic…

By Jas Ryat

August 7 2018

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon turns…

Old Forester Bourbon whiskey will introduce its 18th Birthday Bourbon, the annual limited release created to mark the birthday…

By Jas Ryat

August 7 2018

Puressentiel to launch aromatherapy…

French aromatherapy specialist Puressentiel, which made aromatherapy accessible thanks to ready-to-use formulas, will be…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

August 7 2018

Family Brands Alliance to make…

The Family Brands Alliance, comprising three family-owned spirits businesses, is set to return to the TFWA World Exhibition…

By Jas Ryat

Copyright 2018 DutyFree Magazine. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Sitemap