Employee Experience 2022 Activity


GRI Indicators covered in this section:

2-7, 2-8, 2.9, 2-30

202, 401-1, 402-1, 403, 404-1, 404-3, 405-1, 406-1, 407-1


SDGs covered in this section:
4.3, 4.4
5.1, 5.5, 3.2

8.1, 8.4, 8.5, 8.8


16.1, 16.7

Every Dufry employee is an ambassador of the company. Whether in stores, offices or warehouses, all members of our staff contribute with their day-to-day work to shape the company and evolve our brand. Dufry places high importance in building a great and unique place to work for its staff, ensuring it delivers the best in terms of fair and equal working conditions, healthy and safe working environments, attractive salaries, promotion and retention strategies, avant-garde training programs and anything that contributes to generate high engagement levels amongst our staff.

Building on our core brand values – Global, Focus, Delivery and Solid – Dufry has developed a number of policies and procedures to ensure a consistent experience across the 62 countries in which it operates and which represent a strong foundation for the future, including after the combination with Autogrill.

Number of headcounts increased

Dufry had 23,792 people (FTE) working for the Group at December 31, 2022, compared to 19,946 at year-end 2021. The increase in the number of headcounts reflects the progressive re-opening of air routes accompanying the gradual recovery of travel.

On top of the jobs of its own employees, Dufry actively contributes to the wealth of local communities and societies by offering working opportunities to third party employees, thereby generating additional salaries and tax payments across the 62 countries where the company is present. In this context, our 2,200 plus stores are not just sales locations for us and our brand partners to sell their products, but also work opportunities for over 3,500 people working in our stores representing these brands and other service providers. From beauty advisors to IT developers, they all contribute to create a world class shopping experience and benefit from accessing a dynamic market and unique working opportunities.

Evolution of Diversity & Inclusion

Developing a diverse workforce is a core value for Dufry and something that our company is very passionate about. Unlike traditional retailing, our industry operates in multinational and multicultural environments. Being present in 62 countries, Dufry engages on a daily basis with customers, suppliers and colleagues from more than 150 different nationalities. To succeed in this industry, it is paramount to understand cultural differences as a way of engaging and better serving our customers.

Diversity is an essential asset to – and integral part of – our company and Dufry promotes an inclusive corporate culture that understands and celebrates diversity in all its forms, be it by gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, beliefs or creed. Our workforce comprises colleagues from over 150 nationalities across all functions and levels of the organization. This has been a consistent situation for many years and we continue to believe that this broad cultural diversity represents a unique competitive advantage. We also view it as a key element in the successful development of our Group and in the implementation of our long-term growth strategy.

The staff in Dufry’s shops in each country are predominantly local. Our presence in 62 countries around the world makes us an important employer in many locations, with many of our operations being located in emerging markets and offering interesting career opportunities. This, in addition to bringing expertise and experience on how to operate an international business, contributes to local development and wealth.


Our Customers are on a journey – so are we

  • Dufry is committed to building an inclusive and culturally sensitive workplace for everyone, in which all our people recognize that their unique characteristics, skills and experience are respected and valued.
  • Dufry employs great people from a wide variety of backgrounds and with a broad range of skills and experiences to best serve our customers and build a better and stronger company for all our stakeholders.
  • Dufry recruits, rewards and promotes people based on capability and performance – regardless of gender, national origin, ethnicity, lifestyle, age, beliefs, or physical ability.

Diversity & Inclusion Survey

In the fourth quarter of 2022, Dufry conducted its second D&I survey, reaching all headcount across all of our operations. Building on the findings of the 2021 survey, this second wave provides a clearer picture of the perception of D & I amongst the Group employees. This valuable input – received through a response rate of 63 % – will help Dufry to further evolve in terms of being more inclusive and equal for all, by identifying opportunities and develop targeted initiatives.

Diversity & Inclusion Awareness training

The results of the first survey confirmed our belief that awareness is a key factor in continued improvement in this area. Awareness needs to be driven by Dufry’s senior leaders in order to foster a company culture that embraces diversity, and ensures that recruitment decision-making consciously embraces opportunities to continue the diversification of our team, and puts inclusive practices at the heart of the company ethos.

Building on the feedback from the November 2021 survey, between January and May 2022, Dufry facilitated a ‘Masterclass on Inclusive Leadership’ that was attended in different groups of 20, by over 300 senior leaders and their direct reporting colleagues. It focused on understanding the importance and the different facets of diversity, but also prioritized awareness building on inclusive behaviors. The Masterclass produced significant results and advances, facilitated by a high level of engagement and a general recognition that we need to continue creating change with respect to behavior related to D&I. This included recognition that change in a number of areas is key to business growth, such as more diversity in hiring, encouraging ‘team-led’ approaches to problem solving, and using failures to drive improvement.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, Dufry extended the Diversity & Inclusion Awareness Training to Dufry’s entire team across the world. Through a series of video-training sessions – sponsored by the CEO and the members of the Global Executive Committee – topics such as ‘What is D & I?’, ‘Why D & I is important for all of us at Dufry ’, ‘Why D & I is fundamental to our business and the communities in which we operate’ were covered. The trainings also focused on inclusive behaviors and highlighted examples of many things that everyone might do unconsciously (unconscious bias) and can make colleagues feel uncomfortable and / or excluded.

Human Resources Policy as the cornerstone for a great place to work

Making Dufry the place where our employees want to continue working, involves investing time and resources to continuously assess and identify opportunities where Dufry can improve its culture, thus contributing to retaining talent and helping staff achieve their highest potential. Dufry is working relentlessly towards providing the best working conditions for our staff and gathering their feedback with regular employee surveys.

A fundamental element in connection with this objective is Dufry´s HR Policy, which is publicly available on the Group´s website. This Policy describes the common base, principles and guidelines, which, in terms of human resources management, are applicable to the whole Group. The policy, which has been shared and trained with employees, covers diverse topics, including:

  • Selection and hiring
  • Equality, Diversity and Respect for Human Rights
  • Working Conditions and Labor Relations
  • Health & Safety
  • Remuneration and Working Time
  • Career Development and Advancement
  • Succession planning.

Compensation and benefits

Dufry offers its employees competitive salaries and incentives as a way of attracting and retaining talented staff. Dufry´s standard compensation includes a fixed and a variable performance-based compensation that rewards the individual efforts of staff members. Variable pay is linked to individual and company objectives.

We regularly review and discuss professional development with employees and link their performance to incentives. Performance reviews are an important aspect of a long-term, successful employer-employee relationship. Therefore, it is important for us to build a constructive dialogue between each individual employee and manager regarding goals, priorities and personal development. All our staff members receive an annual performance review aimed at evaluating their performance and identifying further personal development potential for next career steps.

Our staff also enjoy additional benefits that vary from one location to another, and include medical insurance or transport allowances. In this regard, during 2022 Dufry continued with the rollout of Emporium – a webbased shop with thousands of products from Dufry´s core product categories, as well as exclusive campaigns from luxury brands at retail-discounted prices. This benefit is exclusive to staff members (Dufry & Airport Community) and includes a Friends & Family program. By the end of 2022, Emporium was available in 13 countries, representing Dufry’s main locations by headcounts – Brazil, Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. The company will continue with the rollout of Emporium throughout 2023.

Equal employment

As indicated in our HR Policy and in the Dufry Code of Conduct, both available on the corporate website, Dufry offers and promotes working environments where everyone receives equal treatment, regardless of gender, color, ethnicity or national origins, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation or religion. In addition, we adhere to local legislation and regulations in all the countries in which we operate. Any form of child labor or forced labor is strictly forbidden and clear recruitment procedures and regular workplace controls ensure that this never happens at any location.

Anti-discrimination, diversity and ensuring equal opportunities are, and have always been, important social and corporate issues for Dufry across all locations, especially (but not exclusively) in developing countries. Many locations in which the Group operates still pose challenges to the guaranteeing of equality. We monitor these countries closely to ensure we provide equal opportunities to all our staff. As explained on page 116 of this report, the company has in place whistleblower mechanisms to denounce discrimination cases if they happen.

We provide our employees with fair and competitive wages based on each individual’s background and experience, their particular job within our organization, the appropriate market benchmark in the respective countries and locations, as well as their performance. The remuneration structure of our employees is assessed on a regular basis to make sure there is no discrimination related to any kind of diversity.

Equal salary certification in Switzerland

Dufry became equal salary certified in Switzerland at the beginning of 2019 and was re-certified again in 2021 for another three years. This certification underscores the commitment to a fair and unbiased reward structure, which enables employees to develop and thrive in their careers. The certification process took place in three stages through statistical evaluation, on-site audits and interviews with individuals and panel groups. All phases of the certification and re-certification processes were performed at the Basel Headquarters and the Zurich Airport operation and gave proof on how management systems, HR policies and processes integrate the dimensions of equal remuneration.

Health & Safety

Workplace safety is a priority and an essential commitment for the company in our stores, offices and warehouses. As indicated in the HR Policy, the company ensures that all activities are carried out safely by taking all possible measures to eliminate (or at least reduce) the risks to health, safety and welfare of employees, contractors, customers, visitors and any other person who can be impacted by our operations.

The majority of our workforce operates in airports, seaports, cruise ships and similar environments. As a basic pre-requisite employees have to comply and follow the respective airport’s, seaport’s or vessel’s safety rules as these environments are highly regulated. On top of this, Dufry has specific health & safety regulations for its employees, including internal policies and guidelines – both global and local – which may go beyond the legal health and safety requirements.

Dufry generally strives to achieve high occupational health & safety standards and actively encourages compliance across the whole Group. As a result, Dufry has a number of different health & safety regulations and procedures throughout the organization. Regardless of the specific requirements of each local legislation, there are certain principles that all these procedures adhere to, including:

  • Compliance with current labor legislation on health and safety
  • Reduce work-related accidents, implementing the necessary occupational risk prevention plans in its locations, to achieve an effective identification of risks and to avoid them
  • Promotion of a preventive culture, training employees to achieve the best safety standards
  • Having due diligence in the coordination of activities and prevention measures with contractors, suppliers, or any third party that performs activities or is present in Dufry's work centers
  • Continuous improvement, establishing objectives and goals for improvement, systematically taking into account the requirements of stakeholders, continuously assessing performance, applying the necessary corrections to achieve the proposed goals and establishing verification, auditing, and control processes to ensure that objectives are met
  • Management of occupational health and safety processes change from one location to another, with a number of common guidelines that apply to all our operations, including the following:
    • Dufry operations provide topical information such as health and safety initiatives to employees, including workers who are not members of our staff but work on our premises
    • Health and safety activities are regularly reviewed to ensure issues are effectively managed and improvements are made where necessary. In some of our locations, reviews include employee representation consultations (where appropriate)
    • Responsibility for the governance and review of health and safety is with local operations and HR teams
    • At airport and seaport environments, close collaboration with concession partner teams is maintained to ensure compliance with their own H&S regulations and management process.

Promoting a healthy working environment

Ensuring a safe workplace is a duty of all members of our staff. Whilst the joint work of local Health & Safety Committees and HR teams is crucial in identifying potential risks and hazards, workers are also encouraged to report to these teams any work-related hazards or hazardous situations. The same process is used for workers to remove themselves from work situations that they believe could cause injury or ill health. Workrelated incidents are investigated and reported to management to develop and implement remediation plans (where and if needed), thus ensuring that processes are duly updated in cooperation with the Health & Safety committees.

Additionally, Health & Safety Committees undertake regular worksite analysis to identify potential risks and hazards. This analysis aims to identify existing hazards, as well as conditions and operations in which changes might occur to create hazards. Results of these assessments are shared with the local HR teams and management.

The highest incidence of occupational accidents is, of course, among store and warehouse staff. The greatest risks to which Dufry workers are affected include:

  • Risks related to material elements, objects, products and constituent elements of machines or vehicles
  • Falls at the same level
  • Incidents with transport and transfer devices.

Training on health and safety is critical to promote a safe work environment. We therefore conduct induction sessions with new members of our staff and hold regular training sessions with all of our staff, both in stores and offices, ensuring understanding of the policies and procedures. If needed, training is extended to workers who are not members of our staff, but work on our premises on behalf of third-party service providers.

Airport security practices

Due to the nature of our business, most of our staff are located in airport environments, either working in stores, in airport offices and / or in airport warehouses. As part of the airport eco-system, our staff have to adhere to and follow the security principles and processes established at the specific airports where our stores are located. Most of these regulations and policies are harmonized across the world to ensure consistent levels of safety and consumer protection. Worldwide safety regulations are set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and within Europe by the European Aviation Safety Agency. In order to work in our stores, members of our staff need to obtain the corresponding airport authorization, which in most cases involves training courses on security measures and procedures in the airport environment.

The Dufry employee journey

Dufry has comprehensively mapped all stages of an employee career in our company, starting from when an employee applies for a position, until the moment an employee leaves the organization. All the steps in between these two points and the experiences that the employee makes is what Dufry calls “the employee journey”, and it is the company´s systematic approach that then ensures we identify all the opportunities Dufry has to deliver a great place to work across all parts of our organization.

To simplify the assessment, Dufry establishes four critical stages on this employee journey: recruitment, training, career progression and recognition. 


To ensure “Fair Play” in everyone’s professional career development, Dufry’s recruitment process ensures that all applicants are treated fairly, and each applicant is given the same opportunity to be considered, so that the most suitable person can fill the position. The selection is based on the applicant’s competencies, skills, results delivered and the decisions taken regardless of: race, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, political orientation, disability or other discriminating factors.

Available positions are first published internally to ensure opportunity and growth of internal talent. Dufry’s recruiters review the skill pipeline of internal employees ahead of engaging with external hiring professionals. Referrals and recommended potential internal candidates are encouraged and evaluated in the same process against other potential candidates. Job offers are typically also posted on the Group´s website.

To ensure fair play in the selection process, all interview evaluations by Dufry recruiters and hiring managers are reported in Dufry’s HR portal Dufry Connect. If any gaps or personal development needs of the selected candidate are identified, recruiters are instructed to incorporate that information into the new employee on-boarding and development plan.

Training and education

Dufry’s training methodology follows the “Four E’s model”: Educate (Formal education), Experiences (Development), Environment (Culture of learning), and Exposure (Connections with other colleagues and professionals).

Dufry employees benefit from an extensive learning catalogue that covers programs to improve their performance in their current positions, as well as professional development programs to support career progression. Training is offered through several formats, including face-to-face, as well as virtual and online training sessions, on soft and hard skills. Training is open to all employees and managers at all levels and across the entire organization and all geographical locations. During 2022, 198,047 formal training hours were provided by Dufry.

Some of Dufry´s global learning programs include the following:

  • Global Welcome – Designed for office and retail staff alike, the Global Welcome is a comprehensive onboarding program for newcomers aimed at shortening the learning curve. In 2022, over 9,000 new joiners were trained using this program.
  • Retail Champions program – The cornerstone of our Learning and Development strategy for retail staff, this program has been designed to provide our professionals with the tools, knowledge and capabilities they need to perform well in their jobs and develop to their full potential at Dufry. Over 6,500 employees, including store leaders, have benefited from this program (interrupted during business closure). This set of training programs is complemented with product training programs for our store teams, typically delivered by the brands and local teams.

During 2022, we continued leveraging on our online training capabilities through:

  • Dufry Connect – Dufry´s HR portal, which permits establishing personalized learning programs for every employee based on their role, position and professional category
  • Elucidat – Simplifying the creation of training and learning courses by our learning & development teams to reach 100 % of our staff
  • Coursera – An online based training platform for management roles.

The introduction of these platforms, together with the continuous rollout of sales tablets and communications tools for our non-desktop employees, is increasing the reach of both product and skills training and benefiting a higher number of employees.

Career Progression

Dufry ensures that future and long-term management needs are being addressed by an optimal balance of promoting internal high-level personnel and hiring external talent (for example in new countries where we start operations). Dufry operates a global, systematic process to identify high-potential talent in the organization and to develop them toward key roles in our business model.

We strongly believe that talent management and succession planning are key activities for a sustainable business. Accordingly, we develop new and existing candidates for more senior management roles and we carry out yearly reviews of the quality of our talent pipeline at two levels:

  • The first level concentrates on a limited number of candidates who already have management experience and would be able to take over one of the senior positions in our organization.
  • The second level focuses on our stores. Amongst the top-performing store personnel and supervisors, we have identified over 200 “Retail Talent” employees as of year-end 2022, on whose development we will focus in order to ensure a quality store-management succession pipeline.

Dufry also established a mentoring program to support employees in taking ownership of their development and helping them to maximize their potential and accelerate their leadership development. The mentoring program pairs Dufry leaders (mentors) and talented staff (mentees). Mentors use their experience and professional background to provide guidance and support to mentees on their learning journey. The first edition of this program started in 2018 and 30 mentoring peers were formed. This program is expected to be resumed during 2023 with additional mentors and mentees. 

Awards and staff recognition

Employee recognition is an important way to value employee and team achievements. Every year, Dufry celebrates the One Dufry Awards, which recognize excellence and celebrate the success of our people worldwide who are dedicated to delivering.

The Awards are divided in five categories:

  • Best Leader Story Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the right behaviors and character and shown exceptional performance in Driving Employee Experience
  • Best Customer Experience Award, recognizes the highest scores measured by our Mystery Shopper Survey
  • Best Partnership Initiative Award, which recognizes an outstanding initiative with a supplier, business partner, concession partner, inter-company or other party, that was innovative, well designed, well executed and impactful – Best Business Growth Story Award recognizing the greatest business growth stories, including – but not limited to – a new store opening, a new airport / seaport / border / or other development, growth of a product category, a business channel, or an existing store that has delivered exceptional growth.
  • Best Organic Growth Award, which recognizes the country with the strongest year-on-year organic growth.

Engaging with our employees

Understanding our staff concerns and needs is critical for Dufry. For this reason, Dufry fosters a dialogue with its employees and invests in developing the necessary tools to promote communication across all levels of the organization.

Engagement survey

To better gauge our performance both within our company and relative to our competitors, we conduct regular employee engagement surveys that serve to gain understanding of employee perception of the company and identify areas of improvement. We ensure that the surveys always involve a substantial proportion of our employees, and that they reach out across the world. The last wave of our employee engagement survey was done in 2019 with very positive results: 75 % of our staff responded that they were satisfied working for Dufry (vs. the retail industry average of 63 %), and 78 % would recommend Dufry as a place to work.

Freedom of association and collective bargaining

As stated in our HR Policy, Dufry respects legally recognized unions and internal forums created to represent the employees’ interests. The company’s policy on collective agreements is tailored to each location in which it operates, as each location is subject to its own specific laws and regulations. As an example, the current practice in some of the main Group operations is described below:

  • In Brazil, there is a collective agreement in place which covers core employee related topics such as salary reviews, general allowances (meal, transport, benefits, etc.), work contract restrictions / special conditions, work shifts, vacations, health and safety, contributions, benefits, awards and requirements related to employee’s guarantees.
  • Greece has a collective agreement in place ruling the main employee topics.
  • In Spain, Dufry has a collective agreement in place that covers all employees, except senior management. The agreement, negotiated between the company and a committee made up of employee representatives and labor union members, outlines conditions such as salary, holiday days and health and safety in the workplace, along with other HR related matters.
  • In the UK, Dufry has an employee forum – “Voice” – made up of staff representatives. This forum is a partnership between the company’s management and its employees to influence and communicate business changes.
  • In the US, there are a number of recognized trade unions that Dufry engages with, including Unite Here, Workers United, United Food and Commercial Workers, Teamsters, Newspaper Guild and Culinary Workers.

Connecting with our employees

During 2022, we have continued with the rollout of technologies and tools to align information levels between desktop and non-desktop staff. Sales tablets, available in a growing number of our operations, are permitting a more fluid communication, especially with our sales staff and, as indicated before, expanding the learning possibilities.

The rollout of Beekeeper was further accelerated during 2022. This app-based solution enables employee connection, facilitates workplace engagement and increases productivity through unified communications. Through Beekeeper, we are able to share with the more unconnected members of our staff, information related to our company, as well as information related to their day-to-day work environment (such as shifts, product information, events in store, etc.). The app also features tools for internal chats and communications and the sharing of information in a very similar environment to that of the most recognized social networks. Currently, Dufry has over 24,000 live users on the Beekeeper platform, reaching more than 90 % of its workforce and expects to reach full rollout of the app globally during 2023.

Finally, Dufry also utilizes a number of other internal communication vehicles to facilitate the dissemination of corporate news and to keep our staff updated and engaged. These include the company´s corporate online magazine Dufry World – published in five languages four times a year –, the company´s intranet Dufry Gate, and regular e-newsletters that serve to communicate with our staff globally. Connecting with our employees During 2022, we have continued with the rollout of technologies and tools to align information levels between desktop and non-desktop staff. Sales tablets, available in a growing number of our operations, are permitting a more fluid communication, especially with our sales staff and, as indicated before, expanding the learning possibilities.

Overview Employee Structure 2022

  HQ & Distribution Centers Europe, Middle East & Africa Asia Pacific The Americas Total
FTEs 583 10,353 810 12,046 23,792
Headcounts 617 11,649 931 12,917 26,114

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