INDIA. Mumbai Duty Free December sales surged by more than +20% year-on-year, hitting an all-time high for any month, according to the Flemingo-owned retailer. The performance was buoyed by the popularity of the ‘Mumbai Duty Free is now free’ campaign, which we reported on recently.

Although the company did not give precise sales, it reported “significant improvements in both penetration and average ticket value”.

The December sales record was a leap of +11% on the previous monthly high, which had been set just one month earlier in November. 

‘Duty free is now free’: The campaign has helped drive penetration and average spend, says Mumbai Duty Free, through partners such as Citibank (above)

Launched in July 2017, ‘Duty free is now free’ is a major marketing campaign that began at Mumbai International T2 and is being rolled out to other Flemingo locations. The customer value programme offers discounts, cash back and other privileges worth on average US$200 to shoppers.

For its 2017 campaign, Mumbai Duty Free struck partnerships with local and national brands to offer discounts and vouchers on their products and services. Major partners in the opening months included Vodafone, Citibank, Indian travel websites Ixigo and Yatra, hotel online fashion retailer Myntra, homeware retailer Urban Ladder and others. Vouchers are presented in a gift wallet that travellers receive after spending above a certain threshold in arrivals or departures.

Shoppers who spend over a certain threshold are eligible for the voucher wallet, which offers cash back and a range of discounts from Mumbai Duty Free’s local and national partners

The partner brands and retailers have boosted awareness of the value proposition through their own marketing campaigns, said Mumbai Duty Free. “The brands used their valuable databases to communicate the exclusive offer. This helped not only in driving awareness but also assisted in [encouraging] pre-informed traffic into the store.”

The retailer added: “The campaign delivered growth in passenger spend and led to the highest ever monthly sales. A threshold to participate in the programme and attractive cash back offers on selected cards led to a significant increase in average ticket value. With a significant increase in tickets, Mumbai Duty Free saw additional customers stopping by and indulging in the flagship promotion.”

The company made the promotional programme a feature of its Mumbai T2 store throughout the recent festive season, leading to record sales in December

Speaking on behalf of the partner brands, Myntra & Jabong CEO Ananth Narayanan said: “We are very excited about our association with Mumbai Duty Free, and have seen an exceptional response to the promotion. I would call it a perfect offline to online integration, and look forward to a continued partnership.”

Mumbai Duty Free Managing Director Manishi Sanwal said: “It has always been our endeavour to provide the best value to a customer shopping at Mumbai Duty Free. With this campaign giving more than double the value back, a customer is practically shopping for free at our store, which has resulted in the best December ever.”