DFA President, Leon Falic told TRBusiness in an exclusive interview that business has clearly improved this year, spurred by a significant traffic rebound as a result of easing travel restrictions, however, keeping up with demand continues to pose challenges and hamper further growth.
“We’re getting a lot of people into the stores and a lot of people are buying,” confirms Falic. “Our biggest problem today is product and getting enough of what we need. People don’t think about the supply chain [when they shop]; they just want to buy what they are looking for.
“I would say the liquor business has suffered more than other categories, but all have experienced some sort of delay or fulfilment issue. I would say regionally there are no real disparities.”
Inflation and the rising cost-of-living also has the potential to cause problems for travel retail in the coming months.
However, when asked if he thinks inflation will also affect the appetite for travel, he says. “I think demand is going to slow down, yes, but I’m not factoring it into our forecasts as such.
“I also think that people are going to save on other things and still travel. Since the restrictions first came into place, it created an appetite and now people don’t want to give it up.
“Just look at what’s going on today in Europe and other places. Flights are just crazy. Airports are full. What I see is people travelling.” He also believes that Asian travellers, including the Chinese, will soon be resuming international travel in earnest.
Falic insists that the company intends to continue expanding in 2023, revealing that it is reviewing a number of tenders in the Americas right now.
When asked if further stores on the Brazilian border were on the horizon, Falic could not be drawn, but mentioned that an announcement concerning this business was due ‘soon’.
As reported, DFA will open a new store on the border between Israel and Jordan this month.
This is an excerpt from an interview first published in the Top 10 International Operators Report 2022 which can be accessed here.