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Travel retail seems to generate a certain loyalty among those who work in it, but in an industry career spanning a quarter century in the industry (and counting), Andreas Fehr can claim to know the business as well as anyone. Here he shares his thoughts on everything from Cannes to the Camp Nou.
Andreas Fehr: I’ve been in the travel-retail industry for 25 years, spending the first five at Lindt where I was in charge of building the company’s fast-growing travel retail business. The subsequent 20 years have been with Mondelez since joining the TR team of what was then called Kraft Jacobs Suchard. This year will be our 20th anniversary and I’m proud to have been part of the journey since day one.
More than anything else, I love how dynamic this industry is. There’s never a dull moment in travel retail; whether it’s new retailers in new locations, new consumers making their mark on the industry or new places rising to prominence, our business is constantly evolving. I think the abolition of intra-EU duty free in 1999 was a key driver of change, and much of the innovation and improvement we have seen since has been a direct result of that change.
From a personal perspective, last year was a major highlight as we launched our new company name and identity. This was part of an evolution that began two years ago with our new category vision – ‘Delighting Travellers’. This vision has transformed the way we work with our partners.
More generally, the quality of the show continues to amaze me. Every year it gets better, and technology has played a big part in this, making it easier for exhibitors in particular to engage with visitors on their stands.
I love active sports such as hiking, skiing and biking. Reading’s another passion, as is enjoying good food and drink with family and friends.
I’d take all three, in that order please!