MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DFS Group, the world’s leading travel retailer, opens its doors to future industry professionals from ESSEC

By Johannes Ader, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2015-2016, Germany

One of the first stops on our exciting field trip to Hong Kong, was the headquarters of leading luxury travel retailer DFS. Founded in Hong Kong in 1960, the company’s global operations include stores in more than 18 major airports and 14 downtown T Galleria by DFS stores, across Asia Pacific, the US and the Middle East. 

The afternoon kicked off with a presentation by the company’s global VP of Human Resources and the Director of Strategy & Market Development, followed by a lively Q&A session. Both introduced us to the world of DFS, its history, inspiring work-mentality and exciting upcoming developments in Venice and Paris. 

For us students, it was especially interesting to hear from DFS how luxury business can be conducted in Asia Pacific in light of today’s challenges, such as facing a decreasing growth in China and the digitalization of consumers. 

The third speaker, Charles Bell, himself an alumnus of ESSEC’s MBA in International Luxury Brand Management (Class of 2013), shared his inspiring career journey with us and gave an insight into his work as Assistant General Manager for luxury jewelry at the T Galleria by DFS, Macau, Shoppes at Four Seasons.

The presentation was followed by an on-site tour of T Galleria by DFS, Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui East at the Chinachem Golden Plaza. The students had the opportunity to experience the dynamics of DFS’ operations closely and better understand how different types of customers are catered to and managed. It was fascinating to learn how a T Galleria by DFS store is operated behind the scenes and how DFS manages to provide excellent service and product assortments, tailored to the needs of its shoppers. 


Discussions were taken further at the following reception, kindly hosted by DFS. Here, students had the chance to learn more in detail about the world of DFS and future careers in the company. The reception was joined by a group of directors and managers of DFS to meet the students. 

In review, the class reflected that the afternoon was an excellent chance to gain insight into an industry leader such as DFS and to meet and interact with the team behind it. 

On a personal note, the meeting with DFS marked one of the trip’s highlights and, on behalf of the ESSEC MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, Class of 2016, I like to thank the team of DFS for the inspiring day.