With duty free and travel sales of $1.1bn in 2008, Generation Research's completed analysis confirmed this week that Dubai International Airport and its retail operator Dubai Duty Free is now the number one airport sales
operation in the world, ahead of both London Heathrow and Incheon who both just exceeded the $1bn sales level last year.
Other sales performances in the top 10 outlet league included (in order): Singapore Changi Airport $800m; Paris Charles de Gaulle and Tallink Silja Line – both in the $600m bracket – followed by Schiphol and Hong Kong airports in the $500m segment. Four airports also exceeded sales of $400m and these included Bangkok Suvarnabhumi; Frankfurt; Oslo Gardermoen; and London Gatwick.
Confirmation of Dubai Duty Free's global leadership was exclusively revealed by TREND this week, following our earlier report which revealed that DDF has impressively maintained its bottom-line profit performance in the first five months of this year – compared with the same period in 2008.
As already reported, the last calendar year was a great trading period for DDF with annual sales up 23% to Dhms.3.950bn ($1.1bn), although McLoughlin acknowledged this month that trading today is much tougher.
McLoughlin told TREND recently that DDF's sales in January 2009 grew by 2.09%; February 2009 (-5.14%); March (-6.62%); April (-4.95%); May (-2.87%) and at the time of writing in June, year-to-date accumulative sales were 3.4% down.
But the average customer spend has held up pretty well with May 2009 standing at $48.78 compared to May 2008 at $54.89 and the January to May 2009 period averaging $46.50 compared with the same period in 2008 at $52.22.
As already reported, DDF's impressive performance under pressure follows its record year 12-month performance in 2008 where its product category sales levels were simply staggering, with perfumes leading the field with $155m-worth of sales, followed by liquor with $143.7m; gold ($124.5m); electronics ($86.9m); tobacco ($83.1m); confectionery ($80m); watches and clocks ($65.8m); cosmetics ($58.6m); delicatessen ($50.5m); and Gifts from Dubai ($14.8m).