Duty Free Border Downtown | World Duty Free WDF Aldeasa

Travel Retail Operators

Travel Retail Operators

World Duty Free WDF Aldeasa

World Duty Free is a British based company although they are owned by the Italian catering giant Autogrill, who in turn are controlled by the Benetton Family, instigators of the well known fashion empire. It has just been announced that Autogrill will demerge WDF as a separate entity later this year.

Historically WDF grew from the huge duty free business which exists at London's Heathrow and Gatwick international airports and was at one time controlled and owned by The British Airports Authority. Some years ago the group company purchased the interests of Aldeasa, the Spanish airport retail business and the two businesses were merged. Aldeasa had the rights to duty-free retail in virtually every airport in Spain, including the important tourist airports of Palma, Malaga, Ibiza and Alicante and the hubs of Madrid and Barcelona.

The name Aldeasa is being phased out now and WDF recently re-bid for these Spanish concessions and won an extended contract for the retail outlets. Spain has a large airport retail business, especially to travellers from Britain, owing to the competitive price differentials between the two countries. Cigarettes, tobaccos, wines and spirits are often much cheaper in Spanish airports than in the UK as the tax on these products is much lower.

In Britain, almost all major airports have a World Duty Free store, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham, they sell both full discount duty-free to non-EU travellers and other products at promotional prices to those travelling to various European Union (EU) countries. WDF has recently introduced arrivals shopping stores at British airports, but duty free on arrival is not permitted in the United Kingdom, so all the products sold in these stores are tax and duty paid goods.

Overseas, most of the development has previously been through the Spanish Firm Aldeasa with retail stores in locations such as Jamaica, Peru, Vancouver, Kuwait and Jordan, but their global spread is not as diverse as some of the other duty free operators. WDF have just agree to open stores in Saudi Arabia, but the sale of alcohol in this country is restricted, other products are unaffected.

How does duty free work, can you buy, which products do they sell, what shops are available, do they open for my flight, best prices?.

There is a long list of duty-free related questions asked by travellers before they start their journey.

Travel Retail is a diverse business and most Operators have outlets in global locations, so the best travel shopping advice we can offer is to search your destination in the box above and find the stores which are available for your destination. Be it by land, sea or air, duty free stores can be found if you are travelling internationally.

The duty free on arrival global search 'App' for phone and tablet is now available in Android version beta v1, we are working hard to make it the best travel shopping site and mobile App available, the Apple/iOS version will follow soon. You will be able to search the globe from your phone for duty-free shops at your destination, on planes, boats, airports or border stores. To download the app click the image below to check before you fly!