Dufry, Alibaba to form JV in China to boost travel retail business: Dufry

Screenshot of Dufry website

Global travel retailer Swiss-based Dufry said on Monday it has agreed to form a joint venture (JV) with tech giant Alibaba Group to partner in the Chinese travel retail market in a bid to accelerate the consumer retail business and digital transformation.

Dufry said the JV will be owned at 51 percent by Alibaba and 49 percent by Dufry.


Alibaba will bring in its established network in China and its digital capabilities, while Dufry will contribute to the JV its existing travel retail business in China and its supply chain and strong operational skills, Dufry said in a press release.

“We highly value this partnership with Alibaba Group to form a strategic joint venture to explore growth opportunities and develop the travel retail business in China,” Dufry Group CEO Julian Diaz commented.

“We expect this collaboration to drive growth in Asia and with Chinese customers worldwide with the support of new digital technologies,” he said.

Alibaba Group will invest in Dufry up to a maximum of 9.99 percent of the post-offering share capital and will participate in its ordinary capital increase, which is subject to approval of Dufry’s shareholders at its Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Tuesday, the company wrote.

Dufry, headquartered in Basel, operates duty-free and duty-paid shops and convenience stores in airports, cruise lines, seaports, railway stations and central tourist areas around the world.

“By fostering existing and new business models in offline and online travel retail, we are convinced the joint venture will capitalize on growth opportunities and will support Dufry to become the leading digital travel retail company worldwide,” said Diaz.

Dufry first started to operate travel retail businesses in China in 2008 and currently manages duty-paid shops in airports in Shanghai and Chengdu.

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