Industry heavyweights plot ‘positive travel retail future’ in the Americas

Spread across three Executive Conference sessions, speakers discussed and debated a number of key issues including allowances as well as challenges & opportunities in the Americas. Andrew Pentol reports.

biggest challenges and opportunities for businesses in the Americas. On the growing popularity of

reduced-risk products, Stangl acknowledged an increase in interest, but stressed that JTI believes reduced-risk products will co-exist alongside conventional tobacco products for some time. “Overall, we believe in an informed

decision by the consumer and we are providing the choice for them,” she responded.

A lively and informative panel discussion took place in the first Executive Conference Session in Orlando, during the Summit of the Americas last month.


compelling panel discussion which focused on the theme ‘Plotting a Positive Travel

Retail Future in an Uncertain World’ was among the highlights of the Executive Conference Sessions at the second Summit of the Americas in Orlando. The panel, which took to the stage

during the first conference session on day one, at the Hyatt Regency hotel, comprised the following: Yannick Raynaud, Managing Director Duty Free & Travel Retail Americas, L’Oreal; Marshall Farrer, Senior Vice President and Managing Director; Brown-Forman Beverages

“An issue is the enlarging and updating of allowances. We know the majority part of our business is constrained by allowances and if we don’t work on that, we are going to lose relevance.”

Gustavo Fagundes, President, ASUTIL 28 TRBUSINESS

Worldwide; Mariana Stangl, Worldwide Duty Free Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager, JT International; and René Riedi, Divisional CEO Latin America & Caribbean, Dufry. The session was moderated by the Moodie Davitt Report’s Martin Moodie. The discussion kicked off with a

series of short assessments of the panellists’ respective businesses. All touched on the challenging currency volatility affecting Latin America, but presented a more positive outlook for GTR this year. Raynaud was positively optimistic,

while Brown-Forman’s Farrer said business was picking up after some headwinds caused a slowdown in 2018. Riedi, who suggested the global

picture was different compared to the region’s, believes there has been little change in 2019 and that business has not picked up dramatically. Stabilisation on a lower level, ‘is a scenario we will have to live with’, he admitted. Conversation then turned to the

Fortune-telling After being asked by Moodie to gaze into the ‘crystal ball’ and look to the future, Riedi said it was a ‘mixed bag’ when it came to South America and that there were high expectations for Brazil as the new political administration takes hold. Argentina meanwhile is gripped

by preparations for its forthcoming election and the complex economic situation will mean a high level of currency volatility. The panel discussion was followed

by opening presentations from ASUTIL President Gustavo Fagundes and Motta Internacional CEO and IAADFS Chairman Erasmo Orillac. Fagundes, who suggested

renewed impetus was required to tackle restrictive allowances at LatAm airport arrivals and border shops, said. “An issue is the enlarging and updating of allowances. We know the majority part of our business is constrained by allowances and if we don’t work on that, we are going to lose relevance.” “The example in Brazil is

interesting. In the last 30 years, Brazilians have spent four-times more in dollars abroad and we as the industry have managed to gather just half of that.”

APRIL 2019

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