‘Adapt & Survive’ video series: Simon Roffe, Experienced Industry Executive

By Andrew Pentol |

Adapt and Survive - Simon Roffe - 460x306Experienced industry executive Simon Roffe is casting one eye on the post Covid-19 future, as he prepares for the next chapter in a career which includes spells at Diageo and Rémy Cointreau.

As reported, the highly respected and popular Roffe will officially leave his position as Managing Director Global Travel Retail at Halewood Wines & Spirits at the end of the month.

His departure is the result of a number of changes to the company’s business structure in the wake of the coronavirus, which has had a significant financial impact.

Speaking to TRBusiness during the latest edition of the Adapt & Survive Skype video series, Roffe said: “It will be interesting to see how this or any market looks in what will clearly be a new world. The question is how brands will continue doing what they have in an environment where contact with people is going to be limited?”

He added: “Bars and restaurants will be unable to operate the same way and our travel retail stores are going to find life incredibly different and difficult to start with.

“One of the key mantras and benefits of travel retail is the experience. If a walkthrough shopper is forced to navigate the store quickly with a mask on and is unable to enjoy smelling new fragrances, tasting new drinks or finding new experiences with electronics, the world of travel retail might have to adapt to a more digitally led type of solution.”


Pre-order could, therefore, return to the DF&TR fold ‘in a big way’, suggests Roffe. “The industry might be forced to evolve into those spheres quicker than it probably wanted to or has done to date.”

Offering an insight into how smaller and larger companies might be coping with the pandemic and preparing for the recovery, he remarked: “Survival is the name of the game for the smaller operations, particularly as their cash flows have dried up in terms of revenues coming in from international markets.

“For the bigger companies, there are great possibilities if they can keep people working and maybe transfer them to other roles which encourage employees to ponder what the world might look like in the future.”

Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.

To register your interest in the Adapt and Survive series, please contact one of the editorial team at the following addresses: [email protected][email protected][email protected].


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