Video of the Day: Unsold Australian duty free items go under the hammer

AUSTRALIA. Today’s video is from 7News Australia, a popular nationwide broacaster which relates the tale of a mass auction of unsold duty free stock via online site

While the auction offers plenty of bargain opportunities for shoppers, it is also a grim reflection of Australia’s deeply distressed travel retail market, which has been stricken by the impact of COVID-related travel restrictions since early 2020.

According to The Mercurius Group’s 19th monthly report tracking the recovery of travel retail in Australia and New Zealand from the COVID-19 pandemic published today on this website, only 45% of travel retail stores were open in November 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

“While parts of Australia have opened up both their state and international borders, others either remain closed or with heavy restrictions including onerous quarantine requirements,” writes The Mercurius Group Founder & CEO Ivo Favotto. “Domestic travel around New Zealand is also recovering but the New Zealand Government recently announced that its international borders would not be fully opened until April 2022.”

Some 5,000 items ranging from perfume to watches to wine are on offer in the Australian auction, which began yesterday and runs until 5 December. No reserve is in place. Among the most valuable items are three bottles of 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild First Growth Bordeaux (RRP A$43,998.90/US$31,440), the ‘Victory Vintage’ (celebrating the end of World War II).

The highest bid at 19.45 Sydney time on 1 December was A$8,030 (US$5,735) for two of the bottles and A$7,030 (US$5,025) for the third. GST (10%) is added to the final total.

Among the luxury watches on offer are two Franck Muller models, each commanding a RRP of A$58,999.60 (US$42,160). Current bids have reached A$15,610 (US$11,555) and A$15,510 (US$11,085), respectively.
Fancy a bottle (or three) of 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild First Growth Bordeaux, the ‘Victory Vintage’? Click on the image to view auction progress.
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