Lagardère Travel Retail opens duty free store for diplomats in Geneva

SWITZERLAND. Lagardère Travel Retail has opened a new duty free concept for diplomats in Geneva.

The 350sq m Aelia Duty Free store is located close to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization and opened on 1 October. It is the only diplomatic store in the Swiss Confederation and offers all core duty free categories, along with fashion and accessories.

A “new commercial approach” at the Geneva store includes offering bespoke services

Access to the shop is restricted to diplomats and their families holding a B or C legitimation card. Foreign delegates are also eligible during their stay in Switzerland with a valid 14.65 form. Purchases of duty free items are submitted to customs regulations. Access to the duty free shop and shopping is a non-transferable right reserved for the persons who are eligible.

“We are very proud to take over this duty free diplomatic store. This is a milestone for our development in Switzerland and we are now the only duty free operator in French-speaking Switzerland,” said Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland CEO Pascal Le Droff.

“After having won the Geneva Airport duty free tender two years ago, this new activity allows us to expand and diversify our operations. Diplomats are very different from airport passengers and it is an exciting challenge to roll out a new concept Aelia Duty Free for diplomats to address their specific needs.”

Director of Operations and Business Development in Switzerland Caroline Maurs added: “Diplomats crave exceptional experiences. This new store gives us a fantastic opportunity to develop a new commercial approach. We have created a luxury concierge service to offer much more than retail via bespoke services such as personal shoppers, make-up and skincare treatments, shoe shining, VIP liquor tastings, as well as restaurant and hotel booking and ticketing.

“We want to give preferential treatment to the diplomatic community in Switzerland. We already have repeat customers and we will strengthen this one-to-one relationship further in 2020 with a dedicated loyalty programme.”

Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland operates seven duty free stores at Geneva Airport under the brand Aelia Duty Free and opened a new The Fashion Gallery outlet in August.

The diplomatic store is Lagardère Travel Retail’s second, as the recently-acquired International Duty Free operates a diplomatic store in Nairobi, Kenya. Lagardère Travel Retail said it had “ambitions to grow its footprint worldwide and go omnichannel” in the diplomatic duty free sector.

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