American Marketer


DFS steps up to help relief efforts following Typhoon Yutu

November 7, 2018

Typhoon Yutu approaching the Northern Mariana Islands. Image credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


LVMH-owned duty-free retailer DFS Group is responding to a tragedy, helping the people of the islands Saipan and Tinian who were hit with a typhoon.

On Oct. 24, the islands in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas were hit with what is being called Super Typhoon Yutu. As most of the residences are left without power or even their own homes, DFS’ senior management has rolled out relief efforts as well as a donation from the company.

“We continue to see a high number of natural disasters around the world, impacting the lives of countless people,” said Ed Brennan, chairman and CEO of DFS Group, in a statement. “DFS is committed to supporting our employees and their communities in good times and in bad, and we will do everything we can to help the people of Saipan to recover from the effects of Super Typhoon Yutu.”

In times of need
DFS Saipan president Marian Aldan-Pierce and general manager Milan Rabold have been working on relief measures for their staff and local residents, including providing fresh water supplies as well as laundry and shower facilities.

A $60,000 donation from DFS has been set aside to the CNMI Chapter of the American Red Cross for additional relief efforts for both Saipan and Tinian.

The retailer is also hoping to raise $100,000 through an online fundraising campaign, which DFS has pledge will match all employee donations.

Other DFS divisions such as South East Asia and Hawaii have contributed more than $50,000.

The retailer’s actions happened so quickly, thanks to its previous help with Super Typhoon Soudelor in 2015, which also impacted Saipan.

“DFS is an international company, but we are also proud to be a local business,” Ms. Aldan-Pierce said in a statement. “We look forward to resuming normal operations serving visitors to our island as well as local residents, but for now we remain focused on helping families to rebuild their lives.”

Aftermath of Tyhpoon Yutu

Luxury brands are often wielding their power for good and helping out during difficult times and natural disasters.

For instance, lifestyle publication Robb Report returned to Napa Valley, CA for its 16th annual Car of the Year event, which brings automakers and experts together to test drive and pick a definitive winner for the year from the latest crop of models.

The Penske Media-owned title saw last year’s event as especially important given the recent wildfires that caused devastation throughout the Napa Valley and Sonoma County area. As an act of goodwill toward the region, which has hosted the event for 15 years, all proceeds from the event benefited relief efforts for those impacted by the devastating fires (see story).