CARIBBEAN. Travel retailer Rouge Duty Free officially opened its 1,400 square foot store in Orange Grove Plaza, Christiansted, St. Croix, in late March as it continues to expand its presence in the Caribbean. The St. Croix store is Rouge Duty Free’s second location in the U.S. Virgin Islands and joins a waterfront boutique in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
According to retailers, Rouge Duty Free St. Croix offers the largest range of fragrances and skin care products on the island. A spa cabin houses the Swiss skin care lines Valmont and Cellcosmet. The shop also has a Montblanc corner boutique and a Furla leather goods corner.
“Rouge Duty Free St. Croix is the luxury shopping destination for St. Croix,” said Raymond Kattoura, whose company Duty Free & Travel Retail Group Inc. manages the business for Rouge Duty Free Retail Caribe, the owner of the store.
“The gala opening on March 26th was a red carpet reception attended by VIPs, celebrities, influencers and bloggers from the island who received hand-delivered invitations. Guests enjoyed a “full moon Cruzan evening” with local music, an open bar and local canapés. The reception took place indoors and outdoors in accordance with the applicable COVID-19 protocols, ”added Kattoura.
“The new business was well received by the local population, who accepted it from day one. We have been extremely successful with the local markets in the Caribbean where we have mixed luxury with lifestyle and practicality. That’s what sets our business apart. “
Kattoura said Rouge sees growing retail potential in St. Croix. “St. Croix used to be a top luxury destination in the Caribbean with shops selling French and Italian fashion and brands like Montblanc, Caron and other top names. Unfortunately, the island has had a tough time due to hurricanes and other problems, and most of it has been lost. The neighboring islands took advantage of the void and grabbed tourism and investors.
“But the tide is changing again. St. Croix’s economy is recovering quickly. And with the reopening of the [oil] Refining, a surge in tourism and corporate investors, the island is back on the road to success. Several celebrities, including President Biden, call St. Croix their home away from home.
“Rouge will open additional doors in both the east and west ends of St. Croix to serve the entire island,” he added.
Rouge is also the largest duty-free retailer in Grenada, where it operates duty-free shops at the airport and in the luxury mega-yacht marina in Port Louis, as well as perfumeries downtown.
Rouge Duty Free is part of the Diffupar / Perfumerias Rouge Group based in Argentina, which currently operates 53 stores across America.