Duty-free, profit-heavy? How prices at SA airports duty-free stack up

Petr Erasmus, Director in the Tax & Exchange Control practice was featured in Financial Mail discussing Duty-free, profit-heavy? How prices at SA airports duty-free stack up

20 Jun 2024 1 min read Article

Airport duty-free shopping may seem like an opportunity for exclusive discounts, but most products do not offer significant savings. In fact, many items are more expensive than in traditional stores.

Petr explains that products such as hard liquor, cigarettes, and perfumes attract significant sin and luxury taxes, as well as duties, which allow for more flexibility in discounting.

Petr adds that although many travellers may feel disappointed by the lack of deals on many items in duty-free stores, there is nothing improper about the mark-ups. Like any retail space, airport duty-free operates on the premise of a willing buyer and a willing seller. The stores have the right to mark up prices on duty-free products to cover high rental costs or generate a profit.

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