GRI Indicators covered in this section:
401-1, 403-1, 404-1, 405-1, 406-1


SDGs covered in this section:
16.1, 16.3, 16.10

To succeed as a company, Dufry must put the customer at the center of every decision we make. This has been the philosophy of the company since its foundation, and it’s what has brought Dufry to its current leadership position in the travel retail industry. Our main mission is to meet and exceed customer expectations, which we achieve through the combination of sourcing unique product choices, providing attractive shopping environments and offering special shopping experiences. Our customers’ expectations however have evolved in recent years and have become more sophisticated. The traditional price-value proposition has been enhanced with additional elements, as consumers today demand higher standards of sustainability from retailers. From privacy and data protection, to responsible marketing and communication practices, or product and supply chain stewardship, there are many elements of our offer that receive special attention from Dufry and that enable us to be a more sustainable travel retailer and our customers to shop considerately.


Creating the best shopping experience

Our corporate brand statement, WorldClass.WorldWide, reflects our ambition to create the best possible shopping environments to capture the interest of travelers and to generate attractive buying opportunities. That is the main pillar of our future growth. This best shopping experience is based on three main elements: store, product and service.

When Dufry develops or refurbishes its stores, special attention is paid to creating a strong sense of place, thus linking the shopping environment to the individual country’s cultural heritage, where the stores are located. The powerful combination of state-of-the-art store designs with local motifs and references, alongside a carefully curated selection of local products acquired from local suppliers, results in unique shopping spaces that enable customers to experience a full cultural immersion in the destination with a true “sense of place”. Dufry cooperates closely with airport authorities and brand suppliers on elements including store design, passenger flows and allocation of commercial space.

Industry recognition

This collaborative work results in improved passenger services, as well as more visibility and opportunities for brands. Testament to this collaboration is the remarkable example of Heathrow Airport in London, where Dufry operates a large proportion of the stores in all its terminals. In 2020, Dufry’s retail offer in Heathrow was once more recognized by Skytrax winning the accolade of Best Airport Shopping in the world for the eleventh consecutive year. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Skytrax has temporarily suspended the awards and will reinstate them in 2022. This recognition is of special interest for Dufry, as the Skytrax award survey gathers the opinion of over 13 million airport users, from 100 different nationalities, across more than 550 airports.

Delivering consistent outstanding customer service is Dufry's main aspiration. No matter where our stores are located, the ultimate objective of Dufry's Customer Retail Excellence program – an on-going training program for our sales staff – is to give our customers the best possible shopping experience. This program focuses on:

  • Reinforcing customer service through ideal staffing levels according to store traffic and sales
  • Providing employees with a clear focus and target for each shift
  • Empowering teams through strong leadership
  • Enhancing selling capabilities around our products, promotions and special lines/offers. 

In supporting this rollout, 13 Academy Stores spread across the three main regions have been rolled out globally. Located in Stockholm, Zurich, Athens, Madrid, Marrakesh, Jordan, Toronto, New York (Newark), Cancun, São Paulo, Buenos Aires (Ezeiza), Melbourne and Bali, these stores serve to test concepts and best practices, and function as a reference for stores in other airports and geographies.

Fulfilling new consumption habits

New customer behavior trends - observed in the dedicated surveys which are regularly conducted - indicate two main requirements: an increasing need for more contactless and reduced in-person interaction and a more digital in-store engagement, as well as the availability of sustainable products. A shift in consumer behavior that is suggested to endure and increase in the long term.

As indicated in the Customer section of the Annual Report, Dufry continues creating omnichannel strategies that blend physical and online channels to engage consumers in the channel of their choosing. Services such as Reserve & Collect and Red By Dufry, constitute an important part of our customer value proposition and are critical to drive customer engagement and loyalty.

Sustainable product identification initiative implemented

The choice by customers of more sustainable products when shopping is another trend consolidated in the last couple of years. According to research from the consultancy M1ndset, 84% of travel retail and duty-free shoppers think a greater focus on sustainability by manufacturers has a positive impact on their perception of a brand, whilst 74% feel that a greater focus on sustainability increases the likelihood of them purchasing products of a certain brand.

In 2021, Dufry has implemented a Sustainable Product Identification System in 171 shops across 128 airports, highlighting those products that are aligned with customers' personal values and which fulfill defined sustainability criteria. The signage created for the purpose is simple and easy to understand and has been designed to highlight and create customer awareness of the various sustainability criteria associated with Dufry's selection of products. Over 550 products were selected for this experience, with positive response amongst customers. Dufry is currently evaluating customers’ feedback and assessing a wider spread of the initiative across other locations.

Evolved shop digitization

During 2021, Dufry has piloted new concepts and initiatives aligned with these new emerging customer preferences. In the US, in Dallas Love Field and Chicago Midway airports, Dufry´s affiliate Hudson inaugurated two Hudson Nonstop stores. These shops are equipped with Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, a technology that allows customers to enter the store with their credit card, pick up the products they are looking for, and then exit the store, all without waiting in checkout lines or stopping to pay. Customers of these two shops have quickly adopted this new store concept and are very pleased with the full product range offered, reaffirming the investment in this technology is meeting an untapped need of travelers. This experience has been further evolved in December 2021 through the implementation of Amazon’s palm recognition service, Amazon One – an absolute first deployment in the travel retail industry.

Also in the US, Hudson has piloted another contactless retailing concept with the introduction in several US airports of Automated Retail Concepts, a 24/7 shopping destination that features a wide selection of products from globally renowned and local brands, including skincare, eyewear and electronic products as well as accessories and toys.

Dufry Supplier Code of Conduct Cover_Dufry

Recertification of Supplier Code of Conduct

Dufry does not produce any goods nor sell any whitelabel products. As a pure retailer, all products available on our shelves are produced by third party companies. As explained in the Trusted Partner section of this ESG report, Dufry expects all of its suppliers to comply with the law, stipulated contract conditions and international best practices in respect of human rights and the environment, as well as health and safety and labor standards. To ensure this, Dufry regularly updates its Supplier Code of Conduct, which stipulates the provisions required to be a supplier to Dufry. As an additional step, since 2018 Dufry proactively approaches its main product suppliers to secure their agreement with and/or acknowledgement of the Supplier Code of Conduct, and hence ensure the provisions included are accepted, establishing a 3-year cycle for reassessment. During 2021, Dufry conducted a recertification process of its Supplier Code of Conduct. On this occasion, Dufry more than tripled the number of suppliers from each of the product categories, reaching over 117 suppliers (37 suppliers in 2019) that represent 56% of the Group's procurement budget (compared to 44% of the previous certification). By close of 2021, suppliers representing 45% of the total procurement volume (COGS) had accepted or acknowledged the Supplier Code of Conduct (2019: 38%). On top of monitoring suppliers to ensure compliance with the principles established in Dufry´s Supplier Code of Conduct, the Company will continue to reach additional suppliers going forward. Following the three-years-cycle approach, the next complete re-certification is planned for 2024.


Responsible marketing

Dufry’s responsibility goes beyond the products sold and includes its marketing practices (see Customer section). Traditionally, Dufry has played an active role in the main travel retail associations and in the self-regulation of marketing practices, especially for the sale of alcohol. Dufry has contributed to the development of the Duty Free World Council's (DFWC) Self-Regulatory Code of Conduct for the Sale of Alcohol Products in Duty Free & Travel Retail – called Responsible Retailer of Alcohol Products. This Code of Conduct, which complements existing codes and guidelines followed by individual alcohol manufacturing companies and other bodies, is widely accepted by most travel retailers worldwide and was signed and implemented by Dufry in late 2017.

Responsible Retailer Accreditation process implemented

The DFWC’s Code of Conduct provides a unique standard for promoting responsible retailing of alcohol products in the duty-free and travel retail channels,establishing clear guidelines for commercial communications, sales of product in the travel retail and duty-free environments and for product sampling and tasting at the point of sale. The Code of Conduct is publicly available from the DFWC website.

In 2021, we took an additional step forward to obtain the DFWC Responsible Retailer accreditation. This accreditation is granted after members of our staff involved in the sale of alcohol products – both at store and office levels – are trained on the above-mentioned code through a DFWC developed training module. By the end of 2021, over 2,300 of our employees had obtained that certification. This important training has now been incorporated into Dufry´s training catalogue and the company will continue to train employees involved in the sale of alcohol going forward.

Further progress in several areas

Understanding our responsibility, we have made significant progress in:

  • Ensuring that products on Dufry shelves adhere to the product safety principles stipulated in the Dufry Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Responsible marketing communications, both instore and through our pre- and post-sale points of contact with customers, as well as in product warranties and refund policies
  • Data protection and security of customer and company information
  • Regularly gathering customer feedback, concerns and suggestions through our own field research and interviews conducted either online, or across the 50 major airports where Dufry operates, as well as through the Customer Service department, which offers direct email or telephone access to the company.

Customer service engagement

During 2021, Dufry's customer service platform has been completely updated and the global customer service team answered 80,025 inquiries (compared to 68,905 in 2020). Out of all these customer contacts, 9,846 were customer complaints, 50,306 were information requests, 16,081 were product queries, 176 were compliments and 15 were suggestions. The remaining 3.601 queries included a variety of other requests related to pre-order and Dufry's loyalty program or post sale queries. The increase in the number of contacts is related, among other factors, to the recovery of traffic volumes across all locations and to a higher number of users of Red By Dufry services (the group's loyalty program) and the Reserve & Collect collection service.

The main causes of complaints were as follows:

  • Product damages
  • Red By Dufry missing points
  • Billing overcharge
  • Paid and not received merchandise
  • Confiscation of products

Case resolution time was, on average, less than 10 days.


Customer privacy and data protection

Dufry is committed to safeguarding the privacy of its customers and their personal information. Dufry has implemented the necessary management and Cyber Security systems to treat any customer’s personal information as confidential. This also includes securely storing personal information – such as for example name, surname, email address or loyalty card number – to prevent unauthorized access to it, along with ensuring that such personal information is only collected, used and otherwise processed for legitimate business purposes in accordance with applicable laws and well as the Privacy Notice and Dufry's Code of Conduct.

Dufry offers two website applications that collect some personal information from customers – the Reserve & Collect service and its loyalty program called Red By Dufry. These customer engagement channels have experienced a significant increase in registered users. Some personal information and preferences of these customers are collected during the registration process so that Dufry can provide more personalized communication and in-store experience.

Online transactions

While Dufry is undergoing a digital transformation of its business and embracing digital technology across multiple customer touchpoints, the company still doesn’t handle online transactions that include payment for duty-free goods – exceptions are made for some locations, where respective customs regulations allow for this kind of service. The above-mentioned Reserve & Collect service only allows customers to reserve products and collect them at their preferred airport location at the time the customer flies. Normally however, it is not until customers collect the products and show their boarding passes as required, that the payment is processed. This is due to customs regulations that only permit Dufry to sell duty-free products at the airport location itself.

Data protection structure and audits

Dufry’s Group Data Protection Policy sets out strict requirements for the processing of personal data of customers, business partners, employees and other third parties whose personal information Dufry may have access to. It meets the requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and globally ensures compliance with the principles of national and international data protection laws in force all over the world. The policy sets a globally applicable data protection governance and regulates roles and responsibilities among our Group companies. Dufry has a Global Data Protection Coordinator (Global DPC) who reports to the Chief Compliance Officer. The data protection organization relies on a decentralized structure, with local data protection coordinators (Local DPCs) in the relevant countries. The Local DPCs bear the responsibility for data protection matters within their scope of operations.

Our employees, as well as third-parties who provide services on Dufry’s behalf, are required by policy and process, as well as by contract, if applicable, to treat customer information with care and confidentiality. Our processes are designed to preclude unnecessary access to confidential information and Dufry has administrative, technical and physical safeguards that reflect this obligation. Dufry regularly reviews and enhances related procedures and policies.

The Group also undertakes internal Data Protection Audits and intrusion tests on a regular basis, while periodic meetings are held to discuss and improve the protection of customers’ personal data. Anyone wishing to report a grievance or ask a question regarding Dufry’s data privacy policy, or to access, delete, correct or transfer his or her personal information, can address such subject data requests to

In 2021, Dufry did not report any incident regarding a breach of customer privacy.


Cyber Security

Dufry is continuously monitoring, reviewing and upgrading its processes to protect its business from potential cyber security threats that ultimately could end with theft of data. At a global level, Dufry has a Global IT Security Team that is responsible for keeping IT threats away from Dufry’s business, understanding emerging threats and investing in the necessary technology to mitigate potential new risks.

In this regard, Dufry has a number of systems and security processes in place, including a robust IT security system and a number of internal policies and procedures complying with applicable laws and regulations. This is all included in the company’s Global Information Security Policies which is aligned with the international security frameworks ISO 27000 and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Dufry performs regular tests of its systems and takes several measures to improve cyber security, prevent malware infections and avoid data breaches. Amongst others, Dufry:

  • Encrypts customer, payment and any sensitive data and limits access to it
  • Keeps software up-to-date by installing updates and security patches
  • Secures point of sale (POS) devices and applications
  • Performs regular vulnerability testing to identify weaknesses
  • Monitors all activity in Dufry’s systems and data for any anomalous activity and indications of threats
  • Uses (and promotes amongst its employees) secure passwords and two-factor authentication
  • Runs antivirus software continuously, periodically scanning systems for malicious files
  • Has introduced advanced Malware protection
  • Has PCI certifications in place in most of the countries where it operates
  • Has established a global security monitoring and protection system overseeing Dufry’s cloud services

Security Awareness Program

As part of the Security Awareness Program, Dufry conducts regular internal communications campaigns and both mandatory and optional training for all employees regardless of function and location. The content of this communication and training program includes relevant and individual steps towards achieving a secure IT environment, including:

  • PCI DSS Awareness
  • Secure Remote Working
  • Phishing & Ransomware
  • Password Safety
  • Privacy and Data Protection
  • Social Engineering
  • Global Information Security Policies
  • Global Policy of Acceptable Use of Technology
  • Data Leak Prevention

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