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Travel retail sees sales value rise

Sales of wine and spirits in travel retail market grew 7.7% to nearly $9 billion during 2014, the latest International Wine & Spirits Research figures show – but volume sales failed to keep pace.

Travel Retail Shop

Value sales grew strongly across the sector, driven by markets in Africa and the Middle East, according to the IWSR Duty Free/Travel Retail Summary Report 2015. Although overall volume sales were still below the value growth, at 2.2%, these had improved on last year’s figures, which saw flat sales of 0.9%.

Europe still represents the largest market, with a market share of more than 37% of wines and spirits sold at travel retail, and representing around 52% of the spirits market. However it was Africa and the Middle East which saw the greatest growth, up 16.2% by value, with volumes also rising strongly at 9%.

The figures were released the day after a prominent travel retail buyer, Saba Tahir, vice president for purchasing at Dubai Duty Free, told The Drinks Business it was not “worth investing” in staff to push wine volume sales. She argued wines sales which were being “stifled” in the travel retail sector, and were far outpaced by whisky and matched by cognac.

In 2013, total volumes of spirits in the travel retail market grew 1.4% to 21.6 million nine-litre cases, with the top 100 brands accounting for 85% of this volume.

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