New Aelia diplomatic store ‘a milestone’ for Lagardère’s Swiss development

By Andrew Pentol |


The 350sq m Aelia Duty Free for diplomats store has been serving Swiss diplomats, their families and delegates since 1 October 2019.

Lagardère Travel Retail has unveiled a new duty free concept dedicated to diplomats. The 350sq m Aelia Duty Free for diplomats store has been serving Swiss diplomats, their families and delegates since 1 October 2019.

Located in the heart of Geneva, close to the United Nations Office and World Trade Organisation headquarters, it is the only diplomatic store in the Swiss Confederation. The outlet is the retailer’s second diplomatic store following the acquisition of leading Belgian travel retailer International Duty Free which runs a diplomatic shop in Nairobi, Kenya.

The new outlet offers all core duty free categories, along with fashion and accessories. Access to the shop is restricted to diplomats and their families holding a B or C legitimation card.


Foreign delegates are eligible to shop in-store as long as they have a valid 14.65 form. Duty free purchases are subject to Customs regulations and access to the duty free shop and ability to purchase is a non-transferable right.


The new Lagardère Travel Retail Aelia Duty Free for diplomats store offers all core duty free categories.

Pascal Le Droff, CEO Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland commented: We are very proud to take over this diplomatic duty free store. This is a milestone for our development in Switzerland and we are now the only duty free operator in French-speaking Switzerland.

“Having won the Geneva Airport duty free tender two years ago, this new activity allows us to expand and diversify our operations. Diplomats are very different from airport passengers and it is an exciting challenge to roll out the new concept Aelia Duty Free for diplomats concept to address their specific needs.

Lagardère Travel Retail operates seven Aelia Duty Free stores at Geneva Airport and opened a new The Fashion Gallery concept in August.

The company said: Geneva was the perfect place to launch this diplomatic duty free business as it is at the forefront of multilateral diplomacy with 40 international organisations including the United Nations, 179 states represented and 750 non-governmental organisations. The city is the most active centre of global governance, with more than 3,000 meetings annually gathering 207,000 delegates from around the world.

Caroline Maurs, Director of Operations and Business Development in Switzerland commented: “Diplomats crave exceptional experiences. This new store gives us a fantastic opportunity to develop a new commercial approach. We have created a luxury concierge service to offer much more than retail via bespoke services such as personal shoppers, make-up and skincare treatments, shoe shining, VIP liquor tastings, as well as restaurant and hotel booking and ticketing.

“We want to give preferential treatment to the diplomatic community in Switzerland. We already have repeat customers and we will strengthen this one-to-one relationship in 2020 with a dedicated loyalty programme.”





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