My post “Is Duty Free Ever a Good Deal?” generated a bit of discussion, and quite by coincidence, I just found that this quarter’s Malt Advocate magazine has a lengthy look at duty free (aka “travel retail”) shopping, too.
The story can be found here on page 52 (registration required if you view too many pages), and it does back up my key point: That (at least in regard to whiskey and Europe) prices aren’t very good in duty free shops. The magazine actually has a good explanation as to why this is the case: Leasing retail space in an airport is ghastly expensive, so you can’t expect great deals in most places.
As many readers have also noted, the story notes that duty free shops are best used for shopping for products that aren’t sold anywhere else. Many distilleries offer “travel retail only” products that never make it to BevMo.
The story also has some good advice: Check the website for the airport you’ll be flying out of and you might very well find the products offered and the prices for those products right there, so you can plan on what you want to buy before you ever leave for your trip. (Oh, and the best travel retail shop for the whiskey drinker: World of Whiskies, found in various UK airports, with three outlets alone in Heathrow.)
Check out the summer 2010 issue for the full scoop!