Hugo Mills to head DCActiv Global Travel Retail

Hugo Mills: Vital role with DCActiv

UAE. Shopper marketing consultancy DCActiv has established a new division in Dubai and named Hugo Mills as Managing Director of its Global Travel Retail division (DCActiv GTR). For the past four years, Mills has been Diageo GTME General Manager, Gulf.

Mills said: “DCActiv GTR is about delivering end to end world class shopper experiences and activations in travel retail. We’ll be focused on building a business around innovation, great service and partnership. Our core expertise will focus on providing market intelligence & insight, shopper planning & strategy, next generation store design & retail innovation and end to end brand & category activation.

“We’ll create “˜transformational shopping experiences in and out of store, engaging directly with all aspects of the Trinity – airport authorities, retailers and brand owners across the globe. We are also keen to embrace the airline community as we see this as integral to the success of Trinity. We have an important role to play in helping deliver the vision and aspirations of next generation retailing in global travel.”

DCActiv GTR’s new headquarters in Dubai will complement the company’s existing international domestic retail brand and category activation business – with clients such as Imperial Tobacco, Glaxo Smith Kline, Diageo, Coca Cola, Nestlé and Marks & Spencer.

Mills added: “Over the next 12 months, DCActiv has clear expansion plans to service the requirements of the global travel retail market, and to ensure we have expertise in every key field. Fundamental to this is our strategic partnership with Kantar Retail, the insight and strategy consulting arm of WPP, the world’s largest communications group. With 19 offices across the world this will enable us to offer our clients truly global support.”

WPP Kantar Retail Chairman Alistair Cochrane said: “We’ve been working with DCActiv for two years in domestic markets across the world and have done some outstanding work together. This opportunity in travel retail is unbelievable and one I’ll be personally driving forward.”

Former Diageo GTME Managing Director Phil Humphreys is DCActiv’s Non-Executive Chairman. Humphreys said: “Hugo has a proven track record in building outstanding customer relationships and strategic partnerships throughout his career, he has led on some very bold and successful initiatives and brings exactly the type of creativity and passion we need to drive our business forward.”

In his role with Diageo, Mills was heavily involved in driving category growth and Trinity partnering, establishing key strategic partnerships with both regional and global retailers, airports and distributors. These partnerships included activations such as Diageo’s Emporium, a fine spirits and Champagne store in Dubai International Airport’s T3.

Mills noted: “The magnitude of investment that is planned to go into this industry in the next few years is indicative of how strategically important global travel has become; this is no longer just about getting from A to B but how the passenger is engaged right through the journey. The channel is now a global shop window to a new and diverse generation of passengers.

“Being ready to cater for rapidly increasing passenger volumes and profiles is going to be the question everyone needs to be prepared to answer. How well do we know the passenger, what are they looking for, what products, what experiences? Collaboration is going to be a vital element in creating the best retail and product offer and financial returns. The world is getting smaller and, with the disappearance of regional boundaries, passengers are going to have more power and choice about with who, and by where they travel and spend their money. I firmly believe the benefactors of this opportunity will be the collaborations that differentiate and provide targeted insightful shopper engagements and activations.”

For more information contact Hugo Mills at or go to

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