Maui Jim comes out of the shade to climb new peaks

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

It may be a newcomer to the travel retail channel but Hawaiian sunglasses brand Maui Jim is quickly making a name for itself. That’s down to a quirky style, great people, innovative promotions – and, of course, a quality product.

The brand has its origins on the beautiful beaches of Maui, Hawaii (yes there is a Maui Jim – the company’s pet Macaw parrot). And in keeping with those roots, its executives like to dress casually. At trade shows and conferences you’ll see Duty Free Sales Director Giles Marks wearning flip flops and beach shorts while the rest of us suffer in business suits and ties.

Unconventionality seems to be the lifeblood of the company. What other travel retail player, for example, can boast an executive who once climbed the world’s highest mountain – Mount Everest? For that’s exactly what Martine Larroque, the company’s dynamic Duty Free Manager Europe and the Middle East , once did.

Now Martin, Giles and Maui Jim have begun a rapid ascent of another peak, the travel retail channel. Judging by early results – and their boundless energy – they’ll go right to the top. At this month’s Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup they came up with a brilliant promotion, donating a pair of sunglasses to each player to ward off the bright Middle Eastern sun (our picture shows Martine with The Moodie Report Publisher trying out the line, alongside a slightly younger and more traditional Maui Jim model).

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And below, from the normally staid corridors of the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, we can see how Maui Jim brought a touch of the islands to the French Riviera in one of the vibrant Hawaiian dance and music routines with which it brightened up its stand every day.

Despite their traditionally casual business attire, we can confirm those pictured are not Giles Mark and Martine Larroque. But don’t count against either of them joining in the fun next time around.

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