Reaching new Frontiers: I’ve attended numerous Frontier Awards dinners down the years, and even presented an Award one year, but I never expected to receive one. Thus I am very grateful to the Frontier team, and of course the panel of independent judges, for deeming me worthy of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award.
I’m not sure I am a worthy winner – I have always seen my job as documenting the achievements of others – but I accepted the accolade with both pleasure and pride on the night. It was particularly rewarding for me to receive my award on the same night that the great Colm McLoughlin, a long-time inspiration and mentor, and his wonderful team at Dubai Duty Free, received the Airport Retailer of the Year Award. Peer company doesn’t get much better than that.
My Award was a nice recognition, too, of the efforts of the fine men and women, past and present, on The Moodie Davitt Report team over the past 15 years. A few of us raised a toast or two after the event on Wednesday night, one of those all too rare moments when we pause for breath and tell each other “Well done”.
I have never forgotten the kindness of the Frontier team back in 2002, the year I launched what was then The Moodie Report, when they invited me (then a lonely force of just one individual) to their table for the Awards. For them to accept and even encourage the selection of a successful rival Publisher for such an award a decade and a half later speaks very well of them. And the event’s sold-out attendance (an astounding 650 guests) speaks volumes for the Frontier Awards themselves.
The Frontier Award will take pride of place at Moodie Davitt HQ from Monday. I particularly like the fact that it includes a glass globe, which I can turn to show my home country of New Zealand as well as the myriad of places I have visited during this amazing 30-year sojourn in travel retail. What a journey. And this Award motivates me to continue it for a long time yet.
[Note: For a full list of the rather more deserving Frontier Award winners, click here.]
The Moodie Davitt Report Interim French Riviera Bureau is now closed for another year. What a great few days it has been for me and my team. Here are some of my favourite images of the week.
EARLIER MOODIE BLOG ENTRIES FROM CANNES
A Kiwi takes flight: Meet Rogue Society Distilling Co’s co-Founder Daniel McLaughlin (centre) and Regional Sales Director James Cowan (right), whom I caught up with at The Moodie Davitt Report Interim Bureau in Cannes this afternoon. Their small-batch premium New Zealand gin brand, Scapegrace, has enjoyed impressive success since its launch in February 2014 and is now making rapid inroads into travel retail.
Daniel and James are here to talk to retailers worldwide about the next stage of the growth for a brand that will be in 40 markets by year-end. That’s some growth story, reflecting the quality of the juice and the presentation; the vision and determination of the team; and the vibrancy of the gin category in many markets. And the fact that the owners are Kiwis, of course…
Make no mistake about it, here’s a brand that’s going places fast.
It’s showtime folks as TFWA World Exhibition gets down to business. As usual it feels as if the whole travel retail community worldwide has descended on the French Riviera. After the morning’s conference, it was down to business this afternoon. Well, I’m not sure I can call my traditional Monday lunch with my good friends at Masi business, such is the quality of the company, the food and, of course, the wine. Wine deserves a higher profile in travel retail and Masi is one of the companies at the forefront of ensuring it gets exactly that.
SATURDAY – The real Diehl strikes gold as travel retailer’s MIS-HITTERs descend on Cannes
The annual TFWA World Exhibition kicked off in style on Saturday for The Moodie Davitt Report as a bunch of industry friends joined us for the annual Moodie International Superstars Honorary Invitation Trophy (the MIS-HIT). Make that teed of. For this of course is argubly golf’s fifth major, a gruelling test of the golf skills, or lack of, of some of travel retail’s finest.
This year we changed to a Texas Scramble format to hasten play, the team format meaning that the annual Blue Jacket, one of the most revered sporting uniforms in the annals of golf, had to be awarded on grounds other than best individual score. It went to industry legend, the wonderful Harry Diehl of Gebr Heinemann, not only for sinking several crucial putts for the winning team but for always being “straight and true” in life and business. As you can see, it suits him. To a tee.