Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
All rights reserved
MANY trade visitors thronged Marina Bay Sands Expo for the TFWA event from 11 May to 15 May 2014. New alcohol brands and products, whisky, wine, perfume and cosmetics, handbags, gadgets, cigars, confectionary, chocolates, vodka, tequila and many more speciality products were on display…The Tax Free/Duty Free and Travel Retail sector in airports around the world is very BIG business!
For the most part, the exhibitors were very friendly and helpful…except for one notable exception.
At the Godiva stand, C S Lam of Godiva Chocolatier Asia in Hong Kong was incredibly unhelpful and rude to me. I went to see their range on 13 May as I thought of writing about them in my feature article. There was no welcome or attempt to show me their range of chocolate products. I thought that if the staff were busy I would come back the next day. I did return to the Godiva stand on 14 May. I decided to try a raspberry chocolate. C S Lam appeared and very rudely quickly closed the cover on the tray of chocolates after I tasted the raspberry chocolate as if to show me that “you can’t have any more chocolates!” His unfriendly and arrogant body language said: “You’re just a greedy journalist and I have no time for you!” Then C S Lam told me rudely and curtly, “Please leave, we need the place for a meeting!” I was most taken aback and very shocked at his uncalled for bad attitude and horrible and hostile behaviour to me! I became very angry and made a number of complaints to Godiva in Hong Kong, USA and Istanbul. I found out that Godiva is actually owned by Yildiz Holdngs which is a Turkish company. I decided to return to confront C S Lam the next day on 15 May. C S Lam was as hostile and unhelpful as before. He said curtly, “I see people by appointment. You have no appointment…I am only interested to see the trade and not the Press…” No information about the range of Godiva’s Duty Free products and Travel Retail products was given or offered to me at at all. In my humble opinion, C S Lam is a total liability to the Godiva company with his rude, unfriendly, hostile, arrogant and totally unhelpful attitude and extremely poor EQ!
What a lame and asinine excuse!
It was breath of fresh air to see my friend Edith, the President and Founder of Tintamar intelligent bags and hand bags. Edith is a total contrast to the Godiva people. She is helpful and explains all about her very innovative and coveted bags and accesories.
To be continued…