NETHERLANDS/BELGIUM. More than 150 representatives from 90 companies gathered today in Amsterdam for the annual European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) Business Forum.

Attendees received analysis of industry performance and took part in discussions on sector developments including Brexit, beauty trends, digital labelling, new rules on plastics & packaging and the impact of new alcohol and tobacco legislation.

Schiphol Group Chief Commercial Officer André van den Berg addresses delegates at the annual ETRC Business Forum.

The ETRC urged members to prepare for all Brexit eventualities including a so-called hard Brexit that would see the UK leave the European Union on 29 March without a deal.

New ETRC members attending for the first time included:

  • Flemingo Europe (comprising Harding Retail and Baltona);
  • Furla;
  • Godiva;
  • L’Oréal Travel Retail;
  • Beam Suntory GTR;
  • Bottega;
  • Campari;
  • La Prairie; and
  • Lindt & Sprüngli.

    The event was the most-attended in the ETRC’s history, with more than 150 delegates from 90 companies gathering to network and exchange information. Pictured from left (back row) are ETRC Secretary General (soon to be Senior Counsel) Keith Spinks, TFWA President Alain Maingreaud, ETRC President Frank O’Connell, Kappé International Chairman Jacques Parson, UK Travel Retail Forum Chair François Bourienne, Gebr. Heinemann Director Fulfillment, Inken Callsen, Dufry Global Commercial Director Nigel Keal and Gebr. Heinemann Director of Corporate Affairs and Compliance Dr Jennifer Cords; (front row) incoming ETRC Secretary General Julie Lassaigne and ETRC Head of Finance Rebecca Slater.

ETRC President Frank O’Connell said: “‘It’s very encouraging to see such strong attendance and participation from the membership of ETRC.

“The challenges we are facing from regulatory change across Europe should never be underestimated and today’s turnout reflects that concern.

“We are very happy that member companies are realising such value from the ETRC Business Forum.”

The newly appointed ETRC Secretary General Julie Lassaigne said: “Having organised the ETRC Business Forum for some years now, it is wonderful to see the numbers grow and this year is our best yet.

“2019 will be challenging for our members on many issues but ETRC stands ready to robustly defend our industry and all our categories.

“Our membership has grown substantially in recent years but there are still many gaps amongst key suppliers, and I would urge those that haven’t joined to do so.”