Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Value and exclusivity key drivers at duty free, new survey shows

Published:  15 January, 2016

Value for money and travel retail exclusives are key to the attraction of duty free shopping for buyers of alcohol, a new survey from the Tax Free World Association has revealed.

Some 61% of those buying alcohol at duty free regard value as the key attraction, while 49% are drawn by the opportunity to buy products that are unavailable elsewhere.

Two-thirds of drinks consumers plan their purchases ahead of time, according to research published in the TFWA Alcohol Duty Free and Travel Retail Category Report.

The figure is no higher than 50% for other duty free and travel retail shoppers.

Likewise, 75% of alcohol shoppers know the brand they intend to buy before they enter the store, compared to just 20% across all other categories.

Around 62% of consumer are shopping for themselves, and only 20% believe alcohol purchased at duty free is appropriate for gifting.

Consumer spend on alcohol for the shopper's own use is higher than for gifting.

Just over half of the respondents (52%) cited product sampling and 'gift with purchase' as the most attractive promotions.

A quarter could be tempted to buy by a wider choice in-store.

The principal barriers to purchase were the lack of anything that catches the eye is the main barrier to purchase - cited by 32% - and the absence of appealing promotions - cited by 20%.

However,  53% of passengers believe there is a price advantage to duty-free shopping and a similar number would be encouraged to shop if prices were lower still.

As many as 38% of consumesr check prices elsewhere before they visit the airport.

Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of the TFWA, said: "Price is still clearly an important motivator to purchase alcohol at the airport, and retailers need to do all they can to ensure that the value proposition is fully understood by passengers.

"However driving sales in this sector will be about more than cost cutting.

"There is clearly substantial opportunity to encourage customers with initiatives such as engaging gift with purchase promotions as well as capitalising on the appeal of the travel retail exclusive.

"Developing gifting also represents an untapped opportunity, and there is room for growth here too."

The survey was conducted by travel retail research specialist Counter Intelligence Retail.

The results are based with on extensive interview with some 1,000 shoppers at four major airports worldwide.

The full report is available exclusively to members of the TFWA at

Founded in 1984, the TFWA is a non-profit-making organisation with over 500 members in the duty free and travel retail sector.