Benny Klepach: Luxury Items Drive Abu Dhabi Duty Free Sales

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Abu Dhabi Duty Free is experiencing strong growth, bolstered by increased tourism and other travel in the region. Benny Klepach, CEO of DFASS Group, gives his opinion on this development.

Abu Dhabi Duty Free is a Middle East-based retail company with revenues in excess of $200 million. They deal in luxury goods, including cosmetics, cigars, food, and products by Hermes, Bulgari, and Burberry. Recently-posted second quarter sales, as reported by an article in The National, give hope for a record-breaking year for the company. Benny Klepach, CEO of the world’s largest duty free operator, DFASS Group, has this to say about the recent revenue numbers, “I expect continuing strong growth in the Middle East and Asia.”

According to author Rory Jones, revenues at Abu Dhabi Duty Free rose 29 percent in the first half of 2012, ending the period at Dh380 million or US$103.4 million. More startling, “The airport retailer experienced record-breaking second-quarter sales and outperformed the passenger traffic rise at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the first half, which increased 22.8 percent.” That the company was able to outperform growth in travel is a testament to their marketing efforts and to the improved global economic situation. Benny Klepach weighs in, “As CEO of the DFASS Group, a leader in global duty free, I am not surprised at the exceptional growth of Abu Dhabi Duty Free, rebounding from the economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009.”

The article quotes an airport official, who is similarly optimistic about the prospects of air travel and duty free retail in the region. “Abu Dhabi Duty Free is launching exclusive products, specifically within perfume and cosmetics, and these are really paying dividends,” says Mohammed Al Bulooki, Chief Commercial Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Company. Additionally, he says that ADAC has promoted this growth by investing “in passenger amenities, levels of customer service and real innovation and exclusivity within [its] retail offering.” This business model meshes with the activities of Benny Klepach and his DFASS Group, who strive to continually improve the product offering, knowledge of sales personnel, and product fulfillment procedures.

Growth as measured in spending per passenger, seven million passengers in the first half, was also significant. The article touts 8.3 percent growth in this area for the first six months of the year. These increases together are expected to equate to record sales of Dh700m over the course of the year.

ABOUT:

Benny Klepach holds the position of Chief Executive Officer with DFASS Group. Having founded the company in 1987, he now holds the distinction of running the largest inflight company of its kind on the planet. DFASS Group provides duty free retail experiences to customers around the world. DFASS Group services approximately 400 million air passengers each year. DFASS Group boasts 600 employees across five continents, and runs 74 fulfillment centers worldwide.

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Michael McGarety
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