Founded in 1997, TRBusiness today is unrecognisable yet intrinsically linked to its very first issue of The Duty Free Business (as it was known then).
Still an independent company, TRBusiness remains an indispensable source of authoritative news and information, which has evolved adeptly during numerous industry crises.
Arguably, the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine has seen the company navigate a steeper learning curve in just a few short years than it has in a quarter of a century.
What has remained constant throughout – and what this publication prides itself on – is our mission in ‘helping the industry grow’, through championing the achievements and transformations it has made over two-and-a-half decades.
This has often entailed lobbying on the industry’s behalf, in collaboration with excellent and extremely committed trade associations.
Moving with the times
One example includes this publication’s unwavering support of the tobacco industry, through its own transformation from the traditional cigars and cigarettes business – which underpinned duty free’s success for decades – to next-generation and ‘smokeless’ products.
TRBusiness has helped to educate consumers on VAT policies on the BBC and ignited industry push-back on the more recent decision by the UK Government to axe tax free sales in the UK.
As many will remember, with the support of trade associations, TRBusiness launched a petition that attracted more than 10,000 signatures and triggered a response from the government on the matter.
Equally, TRBusiness has challenged the industry to make necessary improvements through its own game-changing sustainability and consumer insights platforms as well as its unrivalled events.
In particular, TRBusiness has encouraged the industry to strive for a greener future with TR Sustainability Week and quite rightly put the consumer at the heart of conversations with the launch of the TR Consumer Forum in partnership with leading travel retail research company, m1nd-set.
All of this is made possible by the TRBusiness team, which continues to grow year-on-year as our portfolio diversifies.
In the words of Nigel Hardy, Co-Owner and Joint Managing Director, “we have always focused on making the publication not just a commercial success, but a recognised independent news and information source for the industry. I would like to think that we have achieved both of these aims.”
Referring once again to the evolution of the company, Hardy highlights the benefits of the publication now being predominantly digital.
“We are always trying to think greener and producing a digital publication allows us to lead by example. It also provides greater value for our readers, with the inclusion of embedded operator and supplier video interviews; instant access anywhere and on-demand; added value for advertisers with yet more options to embed video campaigns; plus the wider distribution.”
A forward-thinking approach
Hardy points out that TRBusiness is prolific in video publishing, pushing the boundaries of what was possible during the pandemic by launching our ‘Adapt and Survive’ remote interview series.
“In turn, this has led to the introduction of the coveted consumer-voted Global Travel Retail Awards, Asia Pacific Travel Retail Awards and the TR Consumer Forum which is produced in partnership with m1nd-set.”
Janice Hook, fellow owner and Joint Managing Director said: “The quality of TRBusiness magazine (or The Duty Free Business as it was previously known) was already of a very high standard, however, there is always room for improvement.
“With this in mind it was essential for us to be forward-thinking and to always stay one step ahead of our competitors. Fortunately, with the help of our talented and professional team, this has always been the case.
“It continues to be a pleasure to be a part of something that is treasured by the travel retail sector. Receiving compliments from readers and clients about our portfolio is still as exciting to me now as it was all those years ago,” she added.
“I also feel strongly about looking after our employees. I have always believed in treating our staff the way I would like to be treated.
“You need to appreciate your staff and we pride ourselves on doing so. We are all part of a ‘family’.”
TRBusiness has received incredible messages of support from well-known industry figures to mark the 25th anniversary. You can read a selection of them here, and view the full feature in our October 2022 issue.
If you would like to share your own message to mark the 25th anniversary of TRBusiness, please email us at [email protected]
Photos from the archives
See below for a selection of archive images showing the TRBusiness team through the years…