By Joanne Bladd
Retail sales saw 14 percent growth over 2009 figures, largely on luxury rebound
Dubai Duty Free raked in a record AED4.66bn ($1.27bn) in sales in 2010, representing a 14 percent rise in retail sales on 2009’s figures, the company said on Sunday.
The airport saw record monthly sales in December with turnover reaching AED497m ($136m); a 13 percent rise compared to the same period a year earlier.
The annual sales figures exceed those predicted by DDF CEO Colm McLoughlin, who told Arabian Business last month that he expected retail turnover to hit $1.25bn, or $3.4m a day, helped by solid luxury goods growth.
“We have seen particular spikes in spend from our Asia Pacific passengers and the Chinese passengers in particular are an important and growing group,” he said.
“It is fair to say that the Chinese have probably overtaken the Russian passenger in spend. Like the Russians, the Chinese are looking for high-end luxury products, in particular in watches and fashion and they enjoy great savings on these compared to their domestic market.”
DDF’s biggest seller across the twelve months was perfume, which notched up sales of AED658m ($180.3m), a 16 percent rise on the year-earlier period.
Liquor and gold were the company’s next largest sellers, seeing increases of 13 percent and 11 percent respectively on 2009’s figures.
Watch sales rose by 26 percent, while cosmetics and cameras were up by 23 percent and 19 percent respectively, the company said.
According to McLoughlin, around 45 percent of passengers passing through Dubai airport in 2010 parted with money in its duty free shops. The average spend was $46.
“There is definitely greater consumer confidence, although the Western travellers in general are still understandably cautious and may opt for an ‘affordable luxury’ as opposed to a major purchase,” he told Arabian Business.
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