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Spread Your Wings

The following feature entitled “Spread Your Wings” explains the career opportunities at World Duty Free and was originally published in March 2015: …


Every year hundreds of people tell World Duty Free Group at interview that they want to work at the airport because they’ve heard it’s exciting, busy and a great environment to work.

That’s about all they know and during their selection process, they get the opportunity to find out much more about the company and get really excited about opportunities the company can offer  – whether it be a part-time job that suits their free time in between studying, a full-time role that can lead to progression in different areas of the business or a management role that will develop their leadership potential and open up all sorts of career opportunities both throughout the whole of the UK and internationally.

World Duty Free Group is synonymous with excellence in Travel Retail and it is recognised for the quality of service it offers and innovation in its airport stores. Last year, it welcomed a brand new Terminal 2 at Heathrow to its UK portfolio and a totally redeveloped walk through store at Stansted airport. This year the company continues with its exciting redevelopment at Terminal 5 and many other instore developments across its UK airports.

World Duty Free Group aims to create spectacular shopping environments to meet the expectations of its most demanding customers.

What makes it different from other retailers?

World Duty Free Group gets thousands of captive customers walking into its stores each day and the company knows lots about them already. Where they are flying to, where they come from and what sort of things they like buying. This helps the company to offer the service and products customers want from it. As the market leader in travel retail in UK and Spain, World Duty Free Group can make customers’ experience unforgettable by offering them:

  • Stunning stores
  • Brand expertise
  • Customer focus
  • Skilled colleagues

The hundreds of worldwide brands it offers could sell themselves, but the company is focused on the continual improvement of its customer service with the aim of making it EXCEPTIONAL for each and every customer. To achieve this, it needs talented people to come and work for World Duty Free Group – its people promise is to offer a great place to work giving each employee clear expectations for their job role, a competitive reward package that recognises high performance and achievement, numerous training and development mechanisms plus the opportunity to develop and progress within the business. The company is doing loads of that at the moment. For the last three years, it has selected at least 10 employees from the sales floor that are showing promise to join its Trainee Leader Scheme. In two years, it has promoted 24 colleagues to first line managers in its stores across the UK.

It is now offering development schemes for the next level of managers into more senior retail roles and it also has an international scheme that identifies and develops individuals for international projects where it is opening stores in new territories. It has loads of talented people in its business and it is them who will shape its future! World Duty Free Group loves identifying talent and developing bespoke ways to develop.

Felicity is a Regional Resourcing Advisor for two of the company’s UK regions. She studied Business Management and wanted to pursue a career in retail management so joined as a Customer Service Leader at Gatwick North. At a 1-2-1 meeting with her line manager, she expressed an interest in HR and nine months later was seconded into the local HR team to cover maternity leave. ‘I’m really grateful that somebody listened to what I said and remembered what I was interested in,’ she said. The company is now supporting her part-time study towards the CIPD.

Ricky worked part-time for World Duty Free Group at Heathrow Airport while studying. He was attracted by the busy and lively airport atmosphere. In just three years, he has changed job role five times. He was recommended to apply for the Trainee Leader Scheme by his line manager and just seven months later was promoted into his first role as Customer Service Leader. ‘The scheme was fantastic, I had never had so much focus on my development and felt supported throughout; I felt it changed me as a person in so many positive ways.’ He was then appointed to the management team to open the new Terminal 2 business last June.