Dunkerque Duty Free Shop

Press Release

DFDS passengers returning to travel find duty free bargains in Dunkirk

  • New €290,000 duty-free store in Dunkirk
  • 700sqm of retail space in the terminal building
  • Modern traveller expects more than the old-style duty-free
  • Offers on perfume, cosmetics, handbags, and sunglasses

Passengers travelling by DFDS ferry to Dunkirk will experience a new era of cross-Channel shopping at a new duty-free store in the port which is opening on Monday 4 October 2021.

As a result of Brexit when the UK left the EU on January 1, 2021, duty free shopping on the cross-channel ferry routes returned, with a new look that reflects the changing face of retail at sea.

Changes to regulations mean British passengers now do not have to pay tax (‘duty’) on a variety of products on board, leading to substantial savings compared to UK High Street prices.

Situated at the passenger terminal building right in front of the freight and passenger lanes, the duty-free shop at Dunkirk makes it even more convenient to shop for bulky items. Having cost €290,000 to fit out, the shop offers 700sqm of space and is located in the upstairs area of the terminal, adding to the facilities currently offered to passengers waiting for their sailings at the port.

Steve Newbery, Commercial Onboard Director, DFDS UK Ferry Routes, said: ‘We need to educate the passenger where there are real savings to be had. Perfume is already our biggest sales category but spirits, wines, beers and new categories like electronics will feature heavily. We have had to change till systems and ranges of products. Back in 1999 the Channel business suffered a huge drop after the end of duty free and took many, many years to recover but this new opportunity combined with higher limits is a real positive for the ferry industry.’

As one of the largest ferry companies in Europe and the market leader out of Dover, DFDS surveyed passenger attitudes to duty free shopping before the changes. Perhaps reflecting a wider lack of national awareness of the impact of Brexit, 35% of people surveyed said they didn’t know anything about the changes to duty free this year – yet 45% said they always take advantage of it when it is available.

The survey found the modern traveller expects more than the traditional offers from when duty free was last available in 1999. Perfume and cosmetics are big sellers, but new categories like handbags, sunglasses and electronics also feature heavily along with spirits, wines and beers.

The most popular products bought by those who said they take advantage of duty-free discounts are Spirits (64%), Fragrances & Beauty (61%) and Wine (51%)

  • Over 70% of those aged 65+ buy spirits
  • Over half of respondents aged 55+ buy wine
  • Fragrance & Beauty are most popular with younger respondents (under 35)
  • Over 80% travel abroad for leisure more than once a year
  • The age group most likely to visit France to stock up on duty-free items is 45-54
  • The majority of respondents would spend between £100-£199 in a duty-free shop.

Travellers can save 50 per cent on UK high street prices for some categories and 20 per cent on perfume, cosmetics, and electronics up to the permitted personal allowances. Passengers travelling to Britain can bring back three crates of beer, two cases of still wine and one case of sparkling wine, or four litres of spirits without paying duties. Each member of a group or family aged over 18 is entitled to this personal allowance. Prices on products are bench-marked against online retailers like Amazon.

The aim is for the Dunkirk duty-free shop to add DKK140m in revenue for DFDS over the next five years by supplementing the duty-free offer onboard its ships and allowing customers to make bulk purchases ashore. DFDS anticipates that the new Dunkirk shop will attract visitors to the local area and help grow tourism to the Calais and Dunkirk areas.

DFDS’ new duty-free shop at Dunkirk has created eight new jobs in the UK and France


For further press information, please contact:
Michelle Ulyatt / Sandy Fleming
Roch PR
T: +44 (0) 1304 807744
E: dfdsteam@rochpr.co.uk

About DFDS:
DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.

DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.

DFDS has been named ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for nine years running (2012-2020), as well as the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last ten years (2011-20).

DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries.

For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit www.dfds.com

Vote European Awards 2024

Championing the Seas!  

We're elated to announce that DFDS has been named the World's Leading Ferry Operator 2023 at the prestigious World Travel Awards – our 13th consecutive win!

This accolade cements our commitment to providing unparalleled experiences for our passengers and reflects the hard work of our exceptional team members who are dedicated to ensuring each voyage is as exceptional as the next.

We are also proud to announce that we have been nominated as Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2024 and we’d love your support once again.