Duty Free Philippines Corp., the Department of Tourism retailer of goods that cater to passengers arriving from overseas, is looking at increasing its revenues from outlets outside Metro Manila, particularly those in the Visayas and Mindanao.
In an electronic mail sent to TIMES Tuesday, the retailer said that to implement the plan, it is renovating its outlets at the airports in the cities of Iloilo, Bacolod and the one here on the first quarter of 2020 while it is expanding its departure store in Kalibo, Aklan also next year.
“We are eyeing (outlets) on Puerto Princesa airport (in Palawan) and the new Panglao airport in Bohol,” said Maria Lourdes P. Malabuyo, its officer in charge for marketing, adding that the retailer is just waiting for “the international flights to improve or increase in terms of frequency and origin/destination to make operations of duty free shops feasible and sustainable.”
The facelift of the three outlets as well opening more outlets and expansion of present outlets are expected to help the revenue generations of these shops, the retailer said.
This developed as the retailer is also looking at more local products as revenues from these have grown from just about three percent in 2018 when these were introduced to about 4.5% at P500 million during the first three quarters of the year.
Last year, the government company had a total revenue of $217 million, or 2% higher than the $213 million the previous year.
Based on the list it provided, among the top 10 most saleable products in its outlets are two brands of chocolates from the city, the Auro and Malagos.
Founded in 2015, the Auro chocolates are processed in its plant in Laguna out of the beans from Mindanao. On the other hand, Malagos is a homegrown brand as both its source and processing plant are in the city. Both brands have gotten international recognition.
At present, although the retailer did not mention the actual value, the outlets in the Visayas, including the one at the airport in Mactan, contribute about 15% of its annual sales, while the revenue at the airport here is even less than a percent of the total sales.
Of these outlets outside Metro Manila, it added, the biggest growth area is the outlet in Mactan which has been attracting foreign tourists.
The government-run corporation, which has 11 shops nationwide, has also started its “Shop-Now-Pick-Later” program on the concept that buyers can order the products they want to buy before they board the aircraft from their areas of origin and pick up the merchandises when they arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Based on a press statement, using the program will allow the customer to obtain a seven percent discount for the purchase.
To shop at Duty Free shops, customers need to present their passports and boarding passes to prove that they just arrive from international destinations. Regular travellers and foreign buyers can shop witihin 48 arrival, while overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and “Balikbayans” have 15 days, although the period can be extended if the passenger arrives within November 15 and January 15 the following year.
Senior citizens and persons with disabilities, on the other hand, are allowed to shop a year after their arrival and that they are also provided with five percent discount for their purchase.
Regular travelers and foreign tourists can spend about $1,000 at the shops, while OFWs and Balikbayan can spend about 1,500 and additional $2,000 for “Kabuhayan tools and equipment.”
Based on Bureau of Customs regulations, customers can buy only two reams of cigarettes two bottles both of liquor and wines. These goods are prohibited for minor buyers.
A Balikbayan and an OFW customer can buy a piece each of electronics and appliances, aside from the $2,000 in tools and equipment.