R&F Retail Opens Possibly the World’s Smallest Duty-Free Shop in Holyhead

By: Steven Tarbox
Last updated:

Stena Line car passengers travelling to Dublin can now avail of a new duty-free shop at Holyhead.  The facility, owned and managed by Stena affiliate R&F Travel Retail, is based inside a 40ft shipping container at the port. Customers are able to purchase their duty-free goods at the store prior to boarding allowing them to load them directly into their cars.  Another store at Stena Line’s other Welsh terminal, in Fishguard, will open later this year.  The Holyhead facility is the first of its type serving Stena Line customers ran by R&F directly rather than by Ferry company  themselves.

R&F Travel Retail is a large retail and distribution company which counts Stena Line, TT Line, and Finnlines amongst its customers.  The company is also responsible for the shop at Cologne Bonn airport.  R&F also offers design services and was responsible for the shops onboard Stena Line’s E-Flexer class.  They assisted Figura Arkitekter with the interior design of the vessels as well.  The company was also involved in the refurbishment of the onboard retail spaces onboard the Stena Irish Sea fleet and they produce Stena Line’s retail marketing materials.  

Like Stena Line, R&F Travel Retail is a subsidiary of Stena AB.  The company supplies a range of about 5,000 different lines across categories including alcohol and perfume/cosmetics to over 90 stores in Northern Europe.

“It is are very exciting time for R&F as we take this next step in our expansion towards becoming a  pan-European travel retailer. Now that full international travel is resuming between Britain and Ireland we expect Duty Free to become hugely popular, with users of both Holyhead and Fishguard ports. We are confident that we can offer the best prices on the market due to our purchase volumes and we look forward to welcoming travellers with great deals and fantastic offers”, says Jari Virtanen, Managing Director of R&F Travel Retail.

Like the Holyhead facility, Fishguard’s shop will also be housed in a reused shipping container. According to Stena Line this is a quick and low cost way to develop the stores.  It  also provides commercial flexibility allowing them to easily expand if demand requires.  The container at Holyhead was already in place adjacent to the vehicle marshalling area, and so only the shop interior and branding had to be fitted.

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