Vespucci takes a new voyage of discovery in Abu Dhabi

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


There’s a new brand in town and it may be coming to a duty free store near you. But this is a brand with a difference – it’s been developed by one of the industry’s leading retailers, Abu Dhabi Duty Free. The brand is called Vespucci – a nice touch as it is inspired by one of the great travellers of the world, Amerigo Vespucci.

Not only that but the Florence businessman was also involved in trading goods. As one of the great early explorers of the New World the continents of North and South America were named in his honour (he was also known by the name of Americus Vespucci).

Travel retailers seem to be getting a taste for brand development – particularly in the fashion-to-accessories ‘lifestyle’ business. King Power Thailand has the well-established VR (the initials of the Chairman Vichai Raksriaksorn), King Power Hong Kong (a completely separate company) is poised to launch Antares (after Managing Director Antares Cheng) and Abu Dhabi’s neighbour Dubai Duty Free has its own Akaru.

The retailer may control the outlet but the own or house brand is anything but a guaranteed success. But Abu Dhabi Duty Free has spent an unusual amount of time in developing this one and, equally unusually, plans to roll it out to local markets and even fellow duty free retailers. Will it work? Much depends on the quality, marketing and pricing. It promises to be an interesting journey of discovery that Amerigo Vespucci would be proud of.

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