On location in Oman, a country of contrasts

Before travelling to Muscat this week for the inauguration of the new airport terminal and Muscat Duty Free stores, I mentioned to a few people that my next trip was to Oman. Even those who knew a little about this Gulf state struggled to conjure up an image of the country and its place in

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Shop windows on the world at Paris CDG

The most important marketing tool in the armoury of any physical store is the shop window. Be creative and colourful and blend art, design and fashion, and you’ll stop people in their tracks. Be drab, grey and lifeless, and they’ll walk on by. Amid increasing pressure from e-commerce, those messages have never been as important.

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In the army now (or 20 years ago…)

Although this image was taken in 1998, from the distance of two decades I can still feel the ‘thwack’ of missile on helmet as, a few minutes after this picture was snapped, I forgot to duck. This was one of the more memorable social gatherings in my early years in this industry, I recall. I

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Bouncing towards victory with the big man in Ballyliffin

“Did you buy those clubs in a yard sale, man? Wow, they’re old…” That was how the world number five ranked golfer Jon Rahm greeted me (and my elderly set of Taylor Mades) today at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro-Am in Ballyliffin, County Donegal. An insult from one of the world’s greats to

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Drawing breath before a moment of distilling history

If Friendship and Whisky gang thegither, Go together I’m aye the aqua vitae you imbie wi one another. Maybe a nip, a sip, O Macallan Gold to handsel and handfast a partnership? A deal sealed With just your word, a handshake, a dram? What a firm and lasting promise I am! What a lovely sentiment

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On location in changing times for Japanese travel retail

I’m just returning from a fascinating trip to Japan, where the travel retail market is evolving due to new business dynamics, changing consumer habits and a continued surge in visitor growth led by China. In advance of our full report in Moodie Davitt Print & Interactive editions for May, here are five takeaways from a

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The Moodie Blog: An echo of the city at Melbourne Airport

For any forward-looking airport company, taking the best of the city or region it represents and translating it faithfully to its own travel environment is both aspiration and challenge. And not that many airports get it right. Some add touches of local flavour in the shopping or food offer but little in the way of

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The Whinging Pome: Tales from a life in travel retail

“The Whinging Pome Random Rules, Rule 22: Always engage with those sitting next to you on a flight, but very quickly make an assessment whether such an engagement is going to be worthwhile. If not, apply The Whinging Pome Random Rules, Rule 52: Cease all contact and employ diversionary tactics. If Rule No 52 fails,

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A voyage of discovery along the Dalmatian coast

Greetings from the latest Moodie Davitt Interim Bureau, on the wondrous Dalmatian coast near Dubrovnik. As the images on this page suggest, there are worse places to spend time as a journalist in the duty free industry. The beauty of the region is one thing, but it has been matched by the welcome I have

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Landing on Lambay in a tale of two families

For Dubliners, Lambay Island has always had an air of mystery and impenetrability. If like me, you spent your summers digging sandcastles on the various strands from Portmarnock to Sutton, facing east to the Irish Sea, Lambay was a looming but in many ways distant presence. A private island around three miles offshore, we never

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Making a mark with e-commerce in the home of Alibaba

It’s no coincidence that cross-border e-commerce specialist and emerging travel retail player GDFS chose Hangzhou as the site to kick-start the next wave of its expansion. On Saturday GDFS opened its first Experience store in this city of nine million people, which is also home to one of the behemoths of the digital retail world, Alibaba.  GDFS,

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