The New Year began on a high note for Dubai Duty Free with the operation announcing an all-time sales record of Dh7.885 billion ($2.16 billion) for 2023, representing a 24.39 per cent increase over the previous year and 6.40 per cent up on pre-pandemic in 2019.
December finished with record monthly sales of Dh807.6 million ($221 million), an 8.37 per cent increase compared to 2022. December sales were further fuelled by Dubai Duty Free’s 40th anniversary celebrations when the operation offered a 25 per cent discount on 20th December, which resulted in a shopping spree of Dh54.1 million ($14.8 million) for 24 hours.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman & CEO, said: “We are thrilled to have achieved our target sales for the year, a record month in December and a record year in 2023, which culminated with our celebrations of our milestone 40th anniversary.”
The operation recorded over 20 million sales transactions throughout the year, or an average of 55,000 sales transactions per day, while a staggering 55.2 million units of merchandise were sold.
The top five selling categories for the year were perfumes followed by liquor, gold, cigarettes and tobacco and electronics. With sales of Dh1.366 billion, perfume contributed 17 per cent of total sales and retained its position as the top selling category. Sales of liquor reached Dh1.130 billion and accounted for 14 per cent of the total annual sales. Meanwhile, gold recorded sales of Dh773.506 million and contributed 10 per cent towards total revenue. Cigarettes and tobacco came in fourth place with sales amounting to Dh745.694 million and accounted for 9.5 per cent of total revenue while electronics came in fifth place with sales of Dh628 million and accounted for 8 per cent of total annual sales.
Online sales accounted for two per cent of the overall sales tally for 2023 and reached Dh164 million ($45 million).
Sales in Departures across the operation reached Dh7.062 billion representing 90 per cent of total annual sales, while arrivals sales totalled Dh612 million, representing 8 per cent of total annual sales.
In terms of top source markets for Dubai Duty Free sales, India is number one with Dh973 million ($266 million) sales, followed by Russia with Dh759 million ($208 million), China with Dh564 million ($154 million), Saudi Arabia with Dh512 million ($140 million), and the UK is in fifth place with sales of Dh373 million ($102 million).
Meanwhile, in line with the growth of the operation, the rehiring and recruitment of staff continued with the total employee count now standing at 5,500.
Looking ahead, Dubai Duty Free said it will continue to enhance its retail operation which includes major refurbishment plans in Concourse B, which will be completed early this year. The operation is also working on the scheduled renovations of three Arrival shops in the first quarter of 2024, with construction to continue until the second to third quarter of 2024. Concourse A (two perfumes and cosmetics shops and fashion area) will also be refurbished starting in the second quarter of 2024 and will be finished in early to mid-2025 with three new boutiques of major fashion brands.
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