DFS Group To Shut Down Liquor & Tobacco Stores In Changi Airport By Jun 2020

Many who have travelled through Changi Airport will know of the liquor and tobacco retailer, Duty Free Shoppers (DFS).

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After 38 years of operation, the company – Changi’s biggest and oldest tenant – has decided to take its business out.

According to The Straits Times, DFS did not participate in Changi’s recent tender exercise, which closed on Monday (26 Aug).

This means they will no longer have a space in Changi after the current lease expires in Jun 2020.

Business affected by liquor & tobacco regulations

DFS group chairman and CEO Ed Brennan released a statement explaining DFS’s decision to cease operations at Changi.

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He cited the changes in regulations “concerning the sale of liquor and tobacco”, and given how the economy is shaky, continuing its business in Changi was not “a financially viable option”.

Hundreds of staff are expected to lose their jobs as a result.

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The regulatory changes were made by the Ministry of Health to lower the consumption rates of liquor and tobacco products.

One of the changes stipulates that all tobacco products must now have standardised packaging and a larger graphic health warning. This will be in effect from Jul 1, 2020.

While DFS may be shutting down their business at Changi Airport, their other outlets at T Galleria and Singapore Cruise Centre will continue to operate as usual.

New operator to replace DFS

Leaving after 40 years of business isn’t easy. Mr Brennan also said in the press release that the decision, while not taken lightly, is the “right one for (the) business.”

According to Changi Airport Group, a new operator for liquor and tobacco will take DFS’s place.

So, fans of duty-free liquor and tobacco can rest easy — your prizes aren’t suddenly going to disappear forever.

Featured image adapted from DFS.