Alibaba Group and Dufry have agreed to enter into a collaboration to jointly explore and invest in opportunities in China to develop the travel retail business in the country and to enhance Dufry’s digital transformation.

As part of agreement, the parties will incorporate a Joint Venture owned 51% by the Chinese group and 49% by Dufry. Alibaba will bring in its established network in China and its digital capabilities, while Dufry will contribute to the joint venture its existing travel retail business in China, and will support the new entity with its supply chain and strong operational skills.

In connection with this collaboration, Alibaba Group will invest in the travel retail specialisit up to a maximum of 9.99%.

Julian Diaz

Julian Diaz

Julian Diaz, Dufry Group CEO, commented: “We expect this collaboration to drive growth in Asia and with Chinese customers worldwide with the support of new digital technologies. Alibaba Group is a leader in digital commerce with an ecosystem of more than 800 million consumers in China. Dufry holds a leading position in travel retail globally and brings in its strong operational expertise in 65 countries and over 2,500 shops. 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. We aim to better serve our customers and provide them anywhere with global products, services and personalized offers across all platforms and devices.

With a business model that depends on the high demand for travel and tourism, the duty free sector was one of the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.