We take pride in the professionalism of our teams, their outstanding commitment to first-class service to our customers, their team spirit and the close collaboration with our business partners. This builds a strong base for Dufry’s continuing success and makes Dufry a unique place to work and partner with.

Dufry offers attractive working environments, interesting tasks, fair and competitive wages, and a general working atmosphere that can be characterized by mutual respect and appreciation for each individual. We foster employee development by supporting a broad range of in-house as well as external training and development opportunities.

We also strongly believe that regularly planning the next career steps together with an individual employee is an important aspect to a long-term, successful employer--employee relationship. Therefore it is important for us to build a constructive dialogue between each individual employee and manager on goals, priorities and personal development. Each of our staff members receives an annual performance review aimed at evaluating the performance and identifying further personal development potential for next career steps. 

Having grown to an organization with over 31,000 employees worldwide

In the past three years, our workforce has increased by 76% from about 16,400 employees at the beginning of 2014 to over 28,800 people (FTE) by the end of 2016. The two acquisitions of Nuance in 2014 and World Duty Free in 2015 and their timely integrations have not only changed our footprint in the market and have made Dufry the undisputed market leader in travel retail; they have also meant a lot of transformation and integration in terms of our human resources projects. 

Overall, our total workforce remained stable during 2016 with 28,848 people (FTE) working for the group at December 31, 2016 compared to 28,853 at year-end 2015. 

The new company structure with 5 Divisions as of January 1, 2016, have meant a number of changes in our global organizations as well as on the divisional and country levels. The newly created Divisions are focusing on geographies. Following the reorganization, new divisional headquarters were established in Madrid for Division 1, London for Division 2, Hong Kong for Division 3. The headquarters of Division 4, which now includes both Latin America and the former America II (Brazil and Bolivia), and Division 5 remained unchanged in Miami and New Jersey respectively. A new cross-geographical structure of Global Functions was created, with our colleagues based in different countries leveraging the skills in various locations.

One thing that remained unchanged – Dufry’s unique cultural diversity

Nationalities across all functions and divisions. This hasn’t changed much in recent years and we continue to believe that this broad cultural diversity represents a unique competitive advantage. We also view it as a key element in the successful development of our Group and in the implementation of our long-term growth strategy. 

For our employees, it creates a truly international working environment with colleagues from across the world and interesting career opportunities. The staff in our local shops in each country is to a high extent local people. Dufry’s know-how on operating local businesses in 64 countries around the world make us a strong job creator in a large number of cities, many of them being located in emerging markets, thus contributing to local development and wealth beyond the social projects (see also page 81 of our Annual Report 2016). 

Roll-out of the new HR information system across the Group 

The new Human Resources information system “Dufry Connect” is supporting HR and line managers to place additional focus on people management activities, enabling greater automation and solid interface to manage people, development and careers at Dufry. The system implementation has been completed for the Global functions communities and is ongoing for the key operations in the Divisions with the objective to be rolled out during 2017. As a result this will have a major impact on the efficiency of the employee management processes. Another key improvement is related to the learning management platform: The new learning platform comprises all Dufry learning programs and enables training paths by employee role, easily accessible worldwide. 


Dufry Employees

In the past three years, our workforce has increased by 76 % from about 16,400 employees at the beginning of 2014 to over 28,800 people (FTE) by the end of 2016.

Over 70


Our workforce comprises colleagues from more than 70 nationalities across all functions and divisions. We continue to believe that this broad cultural diversity represents a unique competitive advantage.



Dufry’s know-how on operating local businesses in 64 countries around the world make us a strong job creator in a large number of cities.

Talent Management

Dufry ensures that future and long-term management needs are getting addressed by an optimal balance of promoting internal high-level personnel and hiring external talents (for example in new countries where we start operations). Dufry operates a global, systematic integration process to identify high-potential talents in the organization and develop them toward the key roles in our business model.

The talent pipeline

We strongly believe that talent management and -succession planning are ongoing processes. Accordingly, we keep enhancing the pipeline of candidates ready for the key managerial roles and we carry out yearly reviews of the quality of our talent pipeline at two levels:

  • The first level concentrates on a limited number of candidates that will be able to occupy one of the pre-defined key positions in our entire organization. At year-end 2016, this pool of talents included 86 high-potential managers. We trust that with these managers, we are able to address and safeguard the succession in specific key management position.
  • The second level focuses on our stores. Within the top-performing stores’ personnel and supervisors, we have identified 397 “Retail talent” employees as of year-end 2016, on whose development we will focus in order to ensure a quality store management succession pipeline.   

Training and professional development

Dufry carries a strong Learning and Development portfolio of programs, both at the local and global level. As for global programs, our flagship initiatives are the “Dufry Sales Academy” and “Step Ahead Management Development Program”, with which we strive to consistently provide our professionals with the tools, knowledge and capabilities they need to perform at their jobs and develop their full potential at Dufry.

Our major training program “Dufry Sales Academy” for shop managers, supervisors and sales professionals has been heavily expanded and integrated in 2016 not only the earlier Dufry organization, but also the Nuance and World Duty Free shops. In doing so, we have proactively identified, combined and integrated the best practices, delivery methods and content of all the acquired companies into our standard portfolio of training programs.

Dufry Sales Academy

This learning program includes two sub-programs: 

Out in Front and Dufry + 1. Out in Front started in 2012 and is a dedicated program for our shop managers and supervisors on the shop floor. At the start of 2016, Out in Front was running in 35 countries and has been expanded to 47 countries by year-end 2016. The learning program is being implemented across all WDF operations and a total of 392 retail managers were educated at Dufry, Nuance and WDF locations during 2016.

Under the Dufry + 1 program we have educated new shop floor hires on our foundational sales and service course. During 2016, the program was expanded and covered all the main WDF locations, thereby giving learning to over 9,000 new sales professionals across the entire Group. The Dufry + 1 program is running in 64 countries and we have educated a total of 21,323 new sales professionals worldwide between 2013 and 2016. The learning of both programs, Out in Front and Dufry + 1, is given by Dufry Certified Trainers with the number of learning certifications having increased to 1,717 at year-end 2016 compared to 1,551 at the end of 2015. 

Dufry’s Out in Front training program has won the “Gold Medal” in the Global Outlook category of the Optima Awards granted by the mulimedia publication Workforce. Out in Front has been recognized as a robust global training program to drive sales and services.

Step Ahead Management Development Program

The managers running important segments in our value chain, such as commercial, logistics, procurement, marketing or retail functions, require specific learning in order to be successful in their roles, and run the company according to the Group’s performance expectations. 

Dufry Retail Training And Development Program

Sales Training Programs Coverage (in total year-end) 2016 2015 2014 2013
Out in Front

1,310 retail managers
9,868 sales professionals
47 countries

918 retail managers
6,931 sales professionals
35 countries

691 retail managers
5,500 sales professionals
29 countries 

313 retail managers
3,534 sales professionals
24 countries

Dufry +1

9,015 sales professionals
64 countries

6,680 sales professionals
63 countries

3,191 sales professionals
46 countries

2,437 sales professionals
32 countries

Trainer Certificates





The Step Ahead program, launched in 2013, ensures that managers are receiving a formal learning on Dufry’s business model and processes, as well as on critical people management skills. All learning in Step Ahead is delivered by other Dufry managers – similar to the learning in Out in Front and Dufry + 1 – to ensure that best practices are exchanged among peers and know-how remains within the company. 

In 2016, we organized several courses in the Step Ahead Management Skills program and had 1,528 colleagues in attendance. In the Step Ahead Operations learning, we educated 67 team members in various roles. The total number of people educated in these two programs since 2013 are 4,174 in attendance for Step Ahead Management Skills and 209 managers for Step Ahead Operations. 

Equal employment

Dufry fosters a culture of equal opportunity. Our HR policy is to provide equal employment conditions and to offer career opportunities without discrimination to all our employees. We offer and promote working environments where everyone receives equal treatment, regardless of gender, color, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation or religion. In addition, we adhere to local legislation and regulations in all the countries were we operate. Any kind of child labor or forced labor is strictly forbidden and clear recruitment procedures and regular workplace control ensure that this never happens at any location.

We provide our employees with fair and competitive wages based on an individual’s background and experience, the particular job within our organization, the appropriate market benchmark in the respective countries and locations, as well as her / his performance. 

We assess the remuneration structure of our employees on a regular basis to make sure there is no discrimination related to any kind of diversity. In this context, we also proactively engage with our women employees in an internal forum where we discuss today’s challenges of women at the work place in order to make sure that our female employees can fully develop their potential and career opportunities within the company. The forum is attend by selected female representatives of the company, HR management and is sponsored by the CEO.

Dufry World – The internal news magazine for our employees

Dufry regularly reports on important news in its corporate E-magazine “Dufry World”, which is published in 5 languages. This ensures that important trends in the travel retail industry and developments of our Group are communicated to our staff members in full. Every issue of the magazine also portraits individual employees or teams and their personal stories within Dufry’s global environment and within the Dufry family. Dufry World is issued 4 times per year.

In addition, all internal and external information are also made available in Dufry’s intranet “Dufry Gate”. In 2016, the communication channel of Dufry Gate was transformed into a fully responsive online news channel called “mygate” thus considerably extending the reachability of additional employee groups in our locations. Mygate can easily be accessed from desktop workstations as well as through mobile devices. 

Awards programs – fully integrated during 2016 

Employee recognition is an important way to value employees’ and team achievements. Dufry, Nuance and World Duty Free had been running various global and regional recognition programs for each company in the past few years. In 2016, all of the international awards programs were integrated into the Dufry One Award system, to ensure that every one of our over 31,000 employees are participating in the same unique award system and based on identical award criteria. The winners of the 2016 awards were announced in May 2016 and published in the Dufry World magazine as well as in Dufry Gate.

Dufry One Awards

The Performance Award - A global award recognizing locations globally, which have taken initiatives to actively improve sales, efficiency or performance contributing to Dufry’s ambition of continuous growth and improvement. The 2016 Award went to:

  • Division 1 – Greece, Athens Airport - “Extra Schengen Area” and “Kipi Border Shop & Simi Island Seaport Shop” 
  • Division 2 – Bulgaria - Varna and Burgas operations
  • Division 3 – Bali Airport, Indonesia
  • Division 4 – Logistic team, Argentina
  • Division 5 – Cleveland Hopkins airport, USA

The Customer Service Award - Open to all shops participating in the global Mystery Shopper program, recognizes individual shop performance across the specific customer impact segments of the Mystery Shop. The winners of the 2016 awards were:

  • Zurich, Switzerland – Shop Arrival 2 
  • Belgrade, Serbia – Shop Futura Plus 3
  • Chicago, USA – O’Hare Terminal 1C  

The Best Initiative Award - A global award to recognize individuals or teams that have demonstrated proactivity, taking initiative to solve a challenge, increase sales or improve customer service. The 2016 awards went to:

  • Division 1 – HR department in Greece
  • Division 2 – Serbia, operation at Belgrade Airport
  • Division 3 – India, the core management team led by Vishal Bansal of the Nuance operation at Mumbai airport
  • Division 4 – St. Lucia, to Barbara Pierre, working for the Colombian Emeralds store at James Club Hotel
  • Division 5 – USA, to Michael Clemens working as at the operation at SeaTac airport in Seattle

Employee engagement

Measuring employee engagement and satisfaction through regular surveys is an important tool to recognize potential for improvements across the Group. Our employee surveys are done systematically over specifically defined cycles: we ensure that the surveys always involve a substantial part of our more than 31,000 employees, and that they are carried out across the world, involve all divisions as well as the headquarters; and, that over a certain timespan, all employees have been involved in a survey. Applying this system results in regular surveys focusing on the action plans.

In 2016, we organized a global employee engagement survey which included over 28.000 employees; in this survey most of the WDF employees participated too. Over 60 countries across all five divisions have completed the survey with an overall response rate of 69 %. The engagement rate was 61 %, both of which are excellent rates compared to the overall benchmark of the survey system we use.

Health and safety

The health and safety of our employees is a top priority at Dufry. The majority of our workforce operates in airport and cruise-ship environments, where employees have to comply and follow the respective airport’s, seaport’s or vessel’s safety regulations. We ensure work place safety additionally by regular learning and training courses, among them in fire safety and first aid to provide for the prevention and quick, correct reaction in cases of emergencies.

In 2016, World Duty Free has been awarded by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (UK) the RoSPA Gold Award for having achieved a high level of performance underpinned by good occupational health and safety management systems and culture, which are delivering consistent improvement.

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