You are on page 1of 4

Lotte Duty Free Shop

October/November 2006 FROM THE PUBLISHER


Welcome to The Moodie Report. In the lead-up to this edition the restrictions on duty free
purchases that had hurt business so badly around the

A s this edition went to press the softening of the

Japanese Yen had reached near crisis propor-
tions – not just for world economies but for the
travel retail trade. The Japanese may not be quite the con-
sumer force they were through the 1980s and early 1990s,
globe in the wake of the alert began to be eased. Europe
is heading towards a ‘business as usual’ situation, albeit
with goods having to be carried in sealed bags.

The all-powerful Transportation Security Administra-

but they remain key to the industry’s fortunes. tion (TSA) in the US has been surprisingly reasonable in
recent days, easing hand baggage restrictions from 26
By definition currency fluctuations work both ways but, September. Allied to good behind-the-scenes work in
when you’re on the wrong end of it, it is perhaps the most Europe by industry lobbyists, the outcome on both sides
frustrating negative a business can encounter – precisely of the Atlantic has been broadly favourable to travel retail.
because there is nothing you can do about it.
TSA Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley noted sensibly: “We
Take DFS Group in Hawaii, for example. The retailer runs ask passengers to go through a lot at the airports in the
a superb operation there, merchandising with all its cus- name of security. TSA has a corresponding obligation
tomary élan and exploring every possible means to per- to make sure that what we ask travellers to do is, in fact,
suade customers in-store and to buy. But its business is a really needed for a current security reason.” We say bravo
one-target phenomenon – the Japanese. So when the Yen to that.
slides out to nearly ¥120 to the Dollar, as it had when we
went to press, that can only translate into depressed sales. The most important thing to come out of the respective
TSA and European Commission clearances for a return
Equally, fewer Japanese choose to visit a destination to normality is that a fundamental industry tenet has
where they are going to get less value for their money. been accepted. The channel’s key defence against being
DFS has blamed the soft Yen for the lacklustre Hawaiian caught up in a long-term ban was the highly regulated,
tourism market this year, with Japanese arrivals having secure and compliant nature of the supply chain from
fallen by -8.6% year-on-year in the first eight months. bonded warehouse to shop shelf. The counsel for the
defence put the case – and won it.
The Yen has also suffered a prolonged slide against the
Euro and other key travel retail currencies such as the But the industry, buffeted by recent events, can only
South Korean Won. This month’s unfortunate news of afford a temporary sigh of relief. As we have said before,
an underground nuclear test in North Korea is consid- collectively it was caught napping in August – and we
ered by most analysts to be a further dampener on the believe the argument for a full-time CEO of global body
currency. the Duty Free World Council has become irresistible.

Dow Jones quoted Divyang Shah, a global strategist at That said, once the industry did spring into action – in
IdeaGlobal in London, as saying: “If ¥120.00 breaks… Europe this followed a pivotal, well-supported meeting in
then this changes everything.” He wasn’t referring to Amsterdam just days after the UK terror alert – it showed
travel retail. But he could have been. that it can be an effective fighting force. The European
Travel Retail Council did the right thing in August by
It has been a turbulent few weeks for the travel retail appointing an external consultant (John Hume) to help
channel. The 10 August terror alert in the UK and its sub- lobby the authorities. And the industry should be grate-
sequent impact around the globe put the business in the ful to have dedicated individuals such as Frank O’Connell,
global spotlight – and it didn’t always show up favourably. Sarah Branquinho, Keith Spinks and Michael Payne in

The Moodie Report 19

FROM THE PUBLISHER October/November 2006

the US. Without their efforts, and those of others, the us cause for immense pride. To enter an overcrowded
regulatory outcome could have been very different. media sector, to challenge every rule in the book and to
come out four years later in a leadership position in all
But the business must heed the lessons and build sectors of our multi-media business – e-mail, Internet and
pro-active defences. Hume, who has been a tower of print – is immensely rewarding.
strength in recent weeks, should be retained full-time –
it’s hard to think of a better investment the European We’ve made that journey with little start-up capital, no
industry could make, given recent events. borrowings and a simple vision that said – to quote the
famous phrase from ‘Field of Dreams’ – ‘build it and they
The industry must not only self-regulate but be seen to self- will come’. That philosophy, based on our adage of ‘Fast,
regulate. To the authorities, to the politicians and to the Factual, Free’ quality, neutral information underpins
consumer it must talk up its own regime, its commitment this print edition and our whole multi-media portfolio.
to traveller safety and the merits of the service it provides.
While this publication carries my name, it is the end prod-
We said on 10 August when the terror alert was uct of many people’s passion and dedication. Reading the
announced that it was the day the duty free industry words in this issue by Rebecca Mann, Mary Jane Pittilla,
feared. Hindsight tells us it could have been much, much Hui Min Neo and Dermot Davitt, I am proud of the team
worse. If the right lessons have been learned from this I have gathered at The Moodie Report. The back-room
very rude awakening then some real good will have come staff led by my redoubtable side-kick and long-time friend
from the crisis. ‘Captain’ Bob Wilby, the ace production and design duo of
Jon Elphick and Ray Heath, and the super sales force of
Sung-Joo Kim. Remember the name. We think she will Mandy Shine and Claire Wates not only go the extra mile
have a profound impact on the travel retail and luxury sec- for me, they throw in a marathon along the way.
tors in the years to come. We tell Ms Kim’s remarkable
story on page 238 and it is, I believe, one of the most fas- I thank them and I thank you, our audience, for your
cinating interviews you will ever read. readership and support of The Moodie Report.
– Martin Moodie, Publisher
Born into one of South Korea’s and Asia’s richest families
– which controls the Daesung Chaebol – Ms Kim, in
Duty Free – The First 50 Years DVD
keeping with Confucian tradition, as a woman did not
share the family inheritance with her three brothers. To
say she was unimpressed would be an understatement but With the May/June print edition of The Moodie
she channelled her feelings into a determination to artic-
Report we attached a DVD copy of the above film.
This 70-minute documentary covered the begin-
ulate and advance the cause of women in South Korean
nings and extraordinary development of the duty
society and business.
free industry over its first 50 years.
She is leading by example. In 2005 she acquired control Unfortunately the packaging and the credits on the
of ailing luxury brand MCM; nearly two years later it is film itself – supplied to The Moodie Report – failed
no longer ailing but bursting into new life. She says that to include key details of the original sponsors and
Asia, and Asian women, are the coming forces. When you producers.
meet Ms Kim you believe it. Remember her name, her
brand and her formula: IQ + EQ = WQ. What’s WQ? The video was originally produced by Marshall
You’ll have to read the article to find out. Lightfoot during the campaign to retain intra-EU
duty free. Its production would not have been
I started The Moodie Report back in September 2002 in possible without the generous support of all the
what was ubiquitously known among my industry col-
sponsors involved. They were Aer Rianta, Allied
Domecq, BAA, Dubai Duty Free, Nestlé and TFWA.
leagues as the Worldwide Headquarters of Moodie Inter-
national. It was in fact, as my friend and regular mentor The producers would like to take this opportunity
Mohamed Mounib of Abu Dhabi Duty Free regularly of thanking them again for their support. We are
reminds me, my garden shed. also pleased to invite anyone who did not receive
the DVD in May to contact Peter Marshall at
We’ve come a long way since then but we have no qualms
about talking of our humble beginnings. In fact they give

20 The Moodie Report

Do you believe
in the Extraordinary ?

The new perfume by