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DFS Galleria

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Title: DFS Galleria  
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Subject: Camus Cognac, Atlantic Philanthropies, LVMH, Yves-Thibault de Silguy, Ruinart (Champagne)
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DFS Galleria

Industry Retail Travel
Founded 1960 (1960)
Headquarters Hong Kong
Area served Worldwide
Key people Charles Feeney and Robert Miller
Products Clothing, cosmetics, fashion accessories, jewelry, perfumes, spirits, watches, wines
Services Department stores
Parent LVMH

DFS ("DFS Group") is a major luxury travel retailer. Established in Hong Kong in 1960, its network consists of duty free stores located in 18 major global airports, 14 downtown Galleria stores, as well as affiliate and resort locations. The Group is privately held and majority owned by the luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), alongside DFS co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller. DFS Group employs over 9,000 people. In 2012, over 200 million travellers visited DFS stores. DFS is headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.


In 1960, Americans Charles Feeney and Robert Miller founded Tourists International, which later became Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), in Hong Kong, at a time when tax free shopping was still in its infancy. The entrepreneurs anticipated the growing spending power of military servicemen as well as the rise of international travelers from Asia, following vast improvements in international air travel after World War II. On 7 November 1960, Miller and Feeney, under the names Tourists International and Cars International (predecessors to DFS Group), opened an operation and showroom on the Wanchai Waterfront in what was then known as Rediffusion House. The initial focus was marketing duty free cars and liquor to US military and navy personnel.

In 1961, Tourists International won the bid for a duty free concession at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport and opened its first airport store (using the Duty Free Shoppers name, which was purchased from military entrepreneur friends Stewart Damon and Harry Adler).

On October 22, 1962, Tourist International won the bid for a 120 sq. m. store in Honolulu, following a rapid increase in tourism and travel to Hawaii after it became the 50th state in the US in 1959.

In 1965, the company shut down its military business, dropped the names Tourists International and Cars International, and began exclusively using the name Duty Free Shoppers (DFS).

In 1966, overseas travel restrictions on Japanese nationals were lifted, and DFS recognized Japan’s desire for travel and Western luxury items. DFS opened stores in destinations favored by Japanese tourists, hired Japanese-speaking staff, and began to offer after-sales service in Japan. Japan-related business increased by 19 percent per year until 1986.

In 1968, DFS’s first downtown stores were opened in Honolulu and Kowloon (Hong Kong), purchases being delivered to the airport on request. Travel agents were encouraged to include visits to stores as part of their tour itineraries. In 1969, DFS opened its first store in North America, at Anchorage, Alaska airport.

In 1971, Classic Jewelers was founded in Hong Kong as a subsidiary of DFS to produce jewelry to be sold in DFS stores. DFS also opened a hotel-based store in Guam. Next year, DFS opened two more stores in Guam, one downtown and one at the airport.

Further openings in the 1970s included stores on Nathan Road, central Kowloon, Hong Kong (1973), at San Francisco International Airport and downtown San Francisco (all 1973), an airport store in Oakland, CA (1974), Waikiki Square, Honolulu (1975), downtown Los Angeles and Saipan (1976) and Payer Lebar (Singapore) (1978).

In 1980, DFS opened a store at the new Changi International Airport in Singapore, which would later be followed by a number of hotel stores and a Galleria, firstly at Tanglin and then subsequently at Scottswalk.

In 1982, Robert Miller commissioned American artist Andy Warhol to work on the DFS logo.

In 1995, DFS opened the first downtown Galleria in Guam.

In 1996, LVMH acquired the majority share of DFS Group, buying out the interest of Charles Feeney. LVMH’s investment in DFS represents a combined vision of luxury goods and travel retail, and with it, the Group shifts its emphasis to luxury and fashion.

In 1997, the Asian Financial Crisis hit Hong Kong hard, and DFS decided to broaden its Galleria network, move toward the luxury end of the market, and diversify away from its reliance on Japanese consumers.

In 1999, Edward Brennan was appointed CEO.

In 2003, DFS Group established its first Chinese after sales service center in Beijing, and in 2004, moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

In 2005, branded boutique halls opened in Okinawa, launching a new shop-in-shop concept for Gallerias.

In 2006, DFS Platinum Services Club was established, offering privileges such as limousine service, access to VIP lounges, and invitations to special events.

In 2008, DFS opened stores in Abu Dhabi airport, Mumbai and Macau.

In 2010, DFS established DFS University to enhance employee expertise and education.

In 2012, Philippe Schaus was appointed CEO, effective August 1, 2012, succeeding Edward Brennan, who became a Non-Executive Director of DFS Group. Michael Schriver, previously President for Stores and Business Development, was named COO. At the same time, DFS opened a new downtown store in the heart of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, and secured three concessions at Hong Kong International Airport.

In 2013, rebranded its downtown Galleria Stores “T Galleria” and unveiled a strategy of localization for airports.


DFS stores are located in:

  • DFS Galleria, Cairns
  • DFS Galleria, Sydney
  • DFS Haikou Meilan International Airport, Hainan
Hong Kong
  • T Galleria by DFS Hong Kong, Canton Road
  • T Galleria by DFS Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui East
  • T Galleria by DFS Hong Kong, Causeway Bay
  • DFS Hong Kong International Airport
  • DFS Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
  • DFS Galleria, Bali
  • DFS Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta
  • DFS Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali
  • DFS Kuala Namu International Airport, Medan
  • T Galleria by DFS, Okinawa
  • DFS Naha Airport, Okinawa
  • DFS Haneda Airport, Tokyo
  • DFS Narita International Airport, Tokyo (JAL Duty Free)
  • T Galleria by DFS Macau, City of Dreams
  • T Galleria by DFS Macau, Shoppes at Four Seasons
Middle East
  • DFS Abu Dhabi International Airport
New Zealand
DFS Galleria Customhouse in Auckland, New Zealand
Pacific Islands
  • DFS Galleria, Guam
  • DFS Galleria, Saipan
  • DFS Saipan International Airport
  • Roman Tmetuchl International Airport, Palau
  • T Galleria by DFS Singapore, Scottswalk
  • DSF Changi International Airport
  • DFS Cruise Centre Tanah Merah
  • DFS Cruise Centre Harbourfront
  • T Galleria by DFS Hawaii
  • DFS San Francisco International Airport
  • DFS Los Angeles International Airport
  • DFS New York JFK International Airport
  • DFS Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii
  • DFS Kahului Airport, Hawaii
  • Ho Chi Minh City Airport (Sasco Duty Free)
  • Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi (Nasco Duty Free)
  • Da Nang International Airport (Dia Duty Free)
  • Camh Ranh (Crac Duty Free)

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