The Dutch carrier has announced plans to phase out inflight duty free sales, blaming the rise of internet shopping and competition from airport retail sales.

Duty Free/Tax Free sales will end during July 2019 on European Flights, and January 2020 on intercontinental flights.

“Because the current sales process no longer meet today’s customer requirements, we have decided, after extensive deliberation, to bring this to an end.” Miriam Kartman, Executive Vice President, KLM Inflight Services

KLM noted that competition with airport shops has grown, and that “customers have grown accustomed to an almost infinite range of products for which they can look up the lowest price online”. On how “alternative forms of travel retail concept” might look, Ms Hartman said: “We will shortly be launching several pilot projects to this end. Customer convenience and a wide range of products are central to this.”

This move by KLM follows the lead taken by other international airlines to remove the Duty Free catalogues from their aircraft, such Delta Airlines (2014), American Airlines (2015), United Airlines (2017) and Qantas (2018).

For a related article – click here for ‘ Dumping Duty-Free: Are Airlines Saying Goodbye to the Retail Trolley?’ by APEX Insight

“Dumping Duty-Free” was originally published in the 7.4 September/October 2017 issue of APEX Experience magazine.

However it is not all doom and gloom for Airline Retail, as different airlines and 3rd party concessionaires are looking to drive new approaches, such as the recently reported example between 3Sixty and the Colombian carrier Avianca and their joint trial of a dedicated inflight retail team.

For the relevant article – click here: ‘Innovation in the air: 3Sixty and Avianca trial dedicated inflight retail team’ – The Moodie Davitt Report


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