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"Duty-free" Cosmetics

SpecialChem / Vispi Kanga – Aug 27, 2008

Cosmetic companies and retailers are bracing themselves for exponential growth in the number of people traveling as well as their purchasing power. Since American retail market is one of the most competitive in the world, foreign duty-free shops sometimes have a hard time beating the prices of discount stores in major U.S. cities. The Gulf States are among the highest spenders on fashion and beauty products, with average spending amounting to $317 per single purchase. Dubai alone accounts for an estimated $75m. "Duty-free" is essentially a perk for international travelers only, an exemption from paying customs duties on various commodities, typically alcohol, and tobacco and luxury goods. Of the 600 million passengers who fly internationally every year, 20 percent shop duty-free. The concept of duty-free began in Ireland just after World War II when the Irish government relaxed the tariffs on bottles of whiskey as an incentive for passengers to stop off at Shannon Airport en route to the U.S.

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