Dean & DeLuca in travel tie-up

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The New York gourmet food chain Dean & DeLuca has announced a franchise partnership with Lagardere Travel Retail in order to open up 150 travel retail locations internationally over the next five years.

Dean & DeLuca is owned globally by Thai property development giant Pace Development, while Lagardere Travel Retail is a France-based company specialising in providing duty-free products and food services at travel hubs around the world.

“Since we acquired the Dean & DeLuca brand and operations in 2014, we have made numerous efforts to develop a model to bring the expertise and heritage of the brand in the gourmet food and beverage retail market as well as the cafe segment to a wider population,” said Sorapoj Techakraisri, chief executive of Pace Development Corporation.

The mix of travel with food and beverage is a profitable combination, Mr Sorapoj said, as the Dean & DeLuca outlets at Suvarnabhumi airport have much higher sales than those in downtown Bangkok.

In September, Dean & DeLuca and Lagardere opened two franchises at the Hong Kong airport, offering standard products from the former along with some take-out fare more convenient for travellers on the go.

“Our entry into food services continues to strengthen our portfolio, and the partnership with Dean & DeLuca confirms our ability to deliver our goals and meet the needs of passengers, airports and brands,” said Dag Rasmussen, chief executive of Lagardere Travel Retail.

Pace also recently signed a deal with Kinghill Overseas Holding, a subsidiary of CP Group, to open up to 500 Dean & DeLuca franchises in China over the next five years. There are currently 72 franchises open globally.