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DFS Group
DFS Group

DFS ("DFS Group") is a Hong Kong-based travel retailer of luxury products. Established in 1960, its network consists of duty-free stores located in 11 major airports and 20 downtown Galleria stores,[2][3] as well as resort locations worldwide. It is privately held and majority owned by the luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), alongside DFS co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller. As of January 11, 1997, DFS Group operates as a subsidiary of LVMH.[4]

DFS is headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in Australia, Cambodia, China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Vietnam. DFS Group employs over 9,000 people, operating in 14 countries worldwide. In 2017, nearly 160 million travelers visited DFS stores.[5]

History


In 1960, American entrepreneurs Charles Feeney[6] and Robert Miller[7] founded Tourists International, which later became Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), in Hong Kong. The entrepreneurs anticipated the growing spending power of military servicemen as well as the rise of international travelers from Asia, following vast improvements in international air travel after World War II. In 1962, two DFS stores were opened at the international airports in Hong Kong and Honolulu, the first duty-free shop in the United States.[8]

In the 1960s and 1970s DFS Group significantly expanded their operation in Eurasia and North America. DFS capitalized on the rising wave of Asian tourists who began to travel further overseas, opening stores in international airports and later in downtown locations where travelers could shop and have their purchases delivered before departure.[9] In 1968, DFS opened its first downtown duty-free store in Kowloon, Hong Kong, followed shortly thereafter by Honolulu and eventually expanding to 14 locations all over the world.[10] In 2005, branded halls opened in Okinawa, Japan launching a new shop-in-shop concept for DFS Gallerias.[11] In 2010, DFS University was established for enhancing the expertise of its sales associates.

In 2013 DFS reached 420 locations worldwide and undertook a major branding initiative setting the stage for the next generation of expansion. It re-branded its downtown Galleria Stores “T Galleria”[12] and moved to a strategy of localization for airports, working with local suppliers to increase its mix of “destination” products. In 2015 DFS opened its first transformational wines and spirits duplex store at Singapore Changi Airport, including a Long Bar by Raffles.[13] In the same year, It also launched T Galleria Beauty by DFS, a standalone beauty concept store in Hong Kong and Macau.[14]

In 2016 DFS expanded its operations, opening T Galleria Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a significantly extended space at T Galleria by DFS, City of Dreams in Macau,[15][16] and its first European store, T Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice, Italy.[17] In 2017 it announced plans to open in Paris in 2020 within the renovated La Samaritaine complex.[18]

In late 2017, Ed Brennan returned to DFS as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DFS Group, and a member of the LVMH Executive Committee.[19][20] He succeeded Philippe Schaus who became Chief Executive Officer of Moët Hennessy, the Wines and Spirits Division of LVMH.[21]

Acquisition


In 1996, LVMH acquired the majority share of DFS Group,[22] buying out partners Feeney, Parker, and Pilaro and setting a new focus on the combined elements of travel and luxury.[23] It developed a merchandising strategy based around five core “pillars” - Beauty and Fragrances; Fashion and Accessories; Watches and Jewelry; Spirits, Wine and Tobacco; and Food and Gifts – and a new tagline, “The Traveler’s Luxury Department Store”. It also created an annual “Masters Series”, showcasing the best products across all its categories and convening leading brand representatives, top customers, media and industry analysts in a celebration of luxury. In 2004, the company moved its headquarters to Hong Kong from San Francisco, California as part of a corporate restructure.

Locations


DFS Group operates around 420 duty-free boutiques at 11 international airports, 20 downtown Galleria stores, as well as resort locations around the world. The DFS stores locations[24][25] are as follows;

Awards and recognition


In 2017, DFS retained the San Francisco International Airport retail concession for a further 14 years.[29] In 2015 DFS Group was awarded "Best Technology Platform" under the Best Treasury and Finance Strategies in Asia Pacific category at The Corporate Treasurer Awards.[30] In 2017 it received the 19th Duty-Free News International (DFNI) Asia/Pacific Awards for Travel-Retail Excellence.[31]

See also


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