Top 10 operators register $37bn in 2021

By Charlotte Turner |

The world’s Top 10 International Operators registered a combined $36.67 billion in 2021, up $5.84bn from $30.83bn in 2020, representing a +19% rise in revenue, as duty free and travel retail operators fought back valiantly against the impacts of the pandemic.


Retaining its crown for a second year, China Duty Free Group’s sales rocketed past $10bn. As reported, CDFG has confirmed it will unveil its highly vaunted Haikou International Duty Free City shopping complex (a rendering of the building pictured right) on the west coast of Haikou City on 28 October.


However, the leading global operator has been at the mercy of government guidelines on store closures in 2022. 


Europe and the Americas witnessed a traffic rebound in the latter stages of 2021, which provided a critical boost to depleted reserves for Dufry, Heinemann, Lagardère Travel Retail and Aer Rianta International. 


However, the war between Russia and Ukraine this year has applied a great deal of pressure on the travel and tourism sectors once again. 


Click below to read The Top 10 International Operators report, which is also available in print at the TFWA World Exhibition, taking place in Cannes on 2-6 October.


Speaking to TRBusiness, retailers have shared their struggles in maintaining stock levels.


Still, many of the Top 10 operators in this report comment positively on the uptick in business in 2021/2022, especially as ‘revenge spending’ appears to flatter many on their journey to recovery.

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