June 15 2020  |  Associations

DFWC issues protocols for duty free airport store reopenings

By Hibah Noor

The Duty Free World Council (DFWC) has issued a list of recommended Global Retail Recovery Operating Protocols for duty free and travel retail airside stores at airports.

These protocols are based on responses from over 300 stakeholders to a survey to determine how stores can reopen in a way that inspires customer confidence and prioritizes the health and safety of passengers and staff.

These guidelines reflect broad consensus from across the industry but will necessarily vary depending on national regulations and the epidemiological assessment in each country, the DFWC said.

They focus primarily on airport stores, but many elements will be applicable to stores in other channels, and further work is under way to address specific differences that may exist in the cruise, border, downtown and inflight sectors.

Widespread industry input

In a statement, DFWC President Sarah Branquinho said: “The Duty Free World Council welcomes the clear guidelines issued by ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] which allow for the reopening of duty free and travel retail stores at airports, while ensuring passenger and colleague safety. The blueprint published today builds on the ICAO guidelines and provides more detailed recommendations for duty free and travel retail operators, based on widespread industry input. We have had an unprecedented level of industry engagement and I would like to thank all who have contributed to the consultation process.”

A copy of the blueprint is available to download from the DFWC website at https://dfworldcouncil.com/

The “Protection of customers” section includes recommendations for physical distancing, including signage and floor markings; hygiene and cleaning, recommending a full store clean each day; and recommended guidelines for customer/product interaction in the categories of beauty, wines and spirits, confectionery and foods and other categories.

In the beauty category, for example, testers should be stored in a drawer and only accessed by beauty advisors on request.

Recommendations are also made in the blueprint for protection of staff.

The Duty Free World Council Academy (https://dfworldcouncil.com/academy/) is to develop a training course to facilitate the implementation of the protocols. The course will be made available to the industry, free of charge, in the near future, it said.

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