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The Moodie Blog is in Cannes for the TFWA World Exhibition – the 25th anniversary of the travel retail industry’s leading trade show.
As always we’ve set up our temporary French Riviera bureau at our apartment right opposite the Palais. Across from us a giant hoarding promoting the exhibition dominates the skyline, and the Moodie view. ‘Where brands meet the world’ it shouts.
Look across the road and up a couple of storeys and you’ll see our slightly more modest banner on the railings and (if the weather holds) myself and Deputy Publisher Dermot Davitt filing our stories from our balcony.
It should be a fantastic week despite the adverse trading climate. On the eve of the show, the Dow Jones broke through the critical 10,000 mark for the first time in a year. The Daily Telegraph in the UK talked of “an overarching sense that the global economy, having emerged from recession in the summer, is now powering head to a full-blooded recovery”.
Let’s hope so.
Already things have kicked off here. Today I joined WDF CEO Mark Riches and a number of industry colleagues to pay – and play – homage to BAT’s long-time travel retail chief Neil Lovett, who retired this year after 26 years of outstanding service.
The occasion was Mark’s annual pre-Cannes ‘Pink Tee’ tournament at the magnificent Royal Mougins golf course (above), which was tailored to culminate in a richly deserved presentation to Neil (pictured).
Mark also thoughtfully made a presentation to Colm and Breeda McLoughlin (below) to honour Colm’s magnificent 40 years of service to the duty free industry.
Underlining the injustice of life, Mark Riches took what remaining money The Moodie Report Publisher has left after a tough year in business – producing a cameo picture (below) of starkly contrasting emotions.
Today’s mini-tournament was won by travel retail’s equivalent of Tiger Woods, King Power’s Sunil Tuli (below), who began his career in India many years ago as a tea planter and now plants tees instead. Sunil is rumoured to have had an extension built onto his Singapore residence to accompany his many industry trophies. But while his abode has changed, his handicap hasn’t. It remains a resolute 23, which puts Sunil in the Bonnie & Clyde league of famous bandits.
Tomorrow (as the current champion) he’ll be part of another annual tournament – where again the emphasis is on camaraderie and fun.
It’s what we call our ‘Cannes Opener’, the Moodie International Superstars’ Honorary Invitation Tournament – affectionately (and appropriately in many cases) known as the MIS-HIT. Rumour has it that Sunil has been paired with The Moodie Report Publisher to ensure he does not walk away with another trophy. Look out for our report as Cannes gets off to a swinging start.