The Carnival Corporation-owned premium travel brand Princess Cruises is stepping back from retailing and handing over its shopping operations to Harding (global cruise retail specialist). In 2020, Harding was acquired by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP (1983-founded, NYC-based investment management firm with USD 34+ billion in managed assets).
Princess and Harding signed a deal that will see the fleet's onboard shopping (currently 14 boats) move under Harding’s management. The retailing on 3 more boats will be managed by Harding in due course.
In a statement, Harding said that never before in cruise retail had a move of such scale taken place - "a clear sign of the ambition of both companies to cleverly use the restart as an opportunity to reimagine what is possible with retail at sea.”
Harding approached Princess several months ago offering to take over the brand’s onboard retailing. The COO of Holland America Group (which also manages the Princess subsidiary) Natalya Leahy commented that the UK-based retailer had “the proven ability to continue growing our retail proposition.”
She added that lengthy and detailed discussions had been conducted to determine “what is best for our guests, our teammates, and our brand partners.”