APTRA rolls out responsible training at Singapore Changi

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association has embarked on a new Responsible Retail Training Programme (RRTP) for DFS staff in stores at Singapore Changi airport.

The RRTP collaboration is part of Changi Airport Group’s Quality Service Management Framework for concessionaires that supports all its airport retailers in their pursuit to deliver a high quality service experience to the travelling passengers.

The association, which is the trade association for the duty free and travel retail industry in the Asia Pacific region, says two back office and 16 front line sales staff have started the web-based modules and the remaining 14 sales staff will commence training when shift patterns and workload permit.

The RRTP is a bespoke training package for customer service staff in airports, ferries and downtown duty free stores which is designed to implement the principles of the ‘Self-regulatory Code of Conduct for Alcohol Sales’ which APTRA introduced in 2012.

The objective is to ensure that staff members respect local and international sales regulations when selling alcohol in duty free and travel retail stores and refrain from selling to passengers whose purchases may be seized by customs authorities on their onward journey.

This responsible approach to liquor retailing is set to underline the integrity of the duty free and travel retail industry which has been accused in the past, often unjustly, of selling alcohol to minors, of encouraging passengers to buy although their onward journey precluded such a purchase, and of failing to respect legislation relevant to the sale of alcoholic drinks.

DFS Venture Singapore general manager, Parker Gundersen said: “The RRTP is a useful accessory to our sales training programme which is easy to use and communicates rather complicated material in a way which is easy to digest. Thanks to its module format sales staff can do a little at a time so it fits neatly into their working day.”

Jaya Singh, president APTRA, said: “Overall the response from the DFS staff who have undergone training has been very positive and we have been complimented on the accessibility and relevance of the Responsible Retail Training Programme. We are grateful to DFS and Changi Airport for agreeing to be the pilot site and for giving us the opportunity to correct a few glitches in the programme.

“The more members of the industry who embrace the fine principles outlined in our code of conduct - and are seen to do so, the better our reputation as an industry will become and the more our views will be embraced in advocacy issues in the future,” said Singh.