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Renewed focus on cross-Channel duty-free as new mega shop announced

Cross Channel passengers are set to benefit from the renewed focus on duty-free shopping post Brexit, as two new mega shops are announced in Calais and Dunkirk.

The stores will be operated by Danish ferry company DFDS which has run ferries between the UK and the continent for 25 years. The Calais shop will comprise 1,000 square meters in the new port terminal, which will offer beers, wines and spirits, along with cosmetics, electronics and other luxury good, as well as a concession of the legendary Danish toy brand Lego.

The move is part of the Calais Port 2015 project, a major investment in the area by its owner, Nord Pas-de-Calais-Picardie Region, in conjunction with EU infrastructure funding.

Meanwhile work is already underway on the Dunkirk shop, which will be situated in the port’s main passenger terminal and is due to open in July.

Since the UK left the EU on 1 January this year, passengers travelling to the UK have been allowed a duty free personal allowance of three crates of beer, two cases of still wine and one case of sparkling wine or four litres of sprits.

“With the return of duty-free shopping, this is a new era for travel retail, and we have a new ship arriving on the Dover-Calais route that will provide destination shopping not seen on a cross-Channel ferry before,” Steve Newbery,
commercial onboard director, DFDS UK Ferry Routes, said.

Filip Hermann, vice-President and head of BU Channel at DFDS, said the company was delighted to win the tender to operate the new Calais duty-free shopping experience.

“We expect the new shops at Calais and Dunkirk to be very popular, attracting thousands of new cross-Channel shoppers to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region and boosting the number of passengers travelling for daytrips or short breaks on the Continent, once travel restrictions are lifted later this summer,” he said.

He added that the investment in the new shops and close collaboration with the port of Calais was “a clear statement of our confidence in the resilience and popularity of our cross-Channel services”.

The company is also running a new ship on the Dover-Calais route, the Cote d’Opale, which will have a dedicated 1,100 square meter hall dedicated to duty free shopping on board, and allow passengers to pre-order in advance via its digital shop. It will also have a special selection of luxury alcohol brands to encouage people to trade up.

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