Two most innovative duty free operators selected for Auckland Airport

20 February 2015

Auckland Airport has today announced that LS Travel Retail Pacific and Aer Rianta International will be the two duty-free operators at Auckland Airport from 1 July 2015.

Richard Barker, Auckland Airport’s general manager of retail and commercial, says, “Auckland Airport has completed its international tender process and, following the receipt of five strong bids, is delighted to announce that LS Travel Retail Pacific and Aer Rianta International, two of the world’s most innovative duty free operators, have been selected.”

“LS Travel and Aer Rianta will start operating at Auckland Airport from 1 July 2015 and their licence will be for at least seven years. They will provide our passengers with shopping experiences unrivalled anywhere else in the country.”

“The selection of these two operators helps ensure that our passengers will be able to choose from a wide range of products and services that represent the best of New Zealand and the world. There will be many new duty free brands and retail concepts, including a number of world firsts.”

“Travellers will start to see the positive impact of the two new operators on 1 July this year, however, the biggest changes will come once we have opened our new international departure area.”

“The appointment of LS Travel and Aer Rianta will also result in a significant expansion of our online retail channel, including ‘click and collect’ which provides passengers with the option of buying online and collecting their tax-free and duty free purchases when next travelling internationally.”

“Importantly, we expect the appointment of LS Travel and Aer Rianta will eventually result in even more employment opportunities at the airport.”

“Auckland Airport is focused on strategically growing its duty free and retail business and providing travellers with a great shopping and travelling experience. The selection of LS Travel and Aer Rianta will allow us to do just that. Both operators have proven themselves overseas to be driven and innovative in achieving strong, customer-focused, growth in airport duty free retail.”

“As a result of the duty free tender, and other changes in specialty stores,we expect our earnings before interest, tax and depreciation in the 2016 financial year to increase by an additional $5 million.

“The selection of LS Travel and Aer Rianta will enable our duty free shopping to become one of the best in the world, and shows our ongoing commitment to our passengers. This announcement is also an important step as we implement our 30-year vision to deliver Auckland and New Zealand’s ‘airport of the future’, says Mr Barker.

Matthieu Mercier, LS Travel Retail Pacific’s chief executive officer, says, “The win signals an exciting new chapter for both LS Travel Retail Pacific and Auckland Airport. LS will boost the airport’s duty free offer with innovative ideas, and we will leverage our extensive vendor relationships and global experience by offering a wide range of big name brands in perfume & cosmetics, local wine and liquor to name a few. Our goal now is to make it happen and to create a fantastic duty free experiences that exceed passenger expectations, and I believe that our vision for Auckland Airport will achieve this and more.”

Jack MacGowan, Air Rianta International’s chief executive, says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Air Rianta to enter a new partnership with an ambitious, forward-looking airport that is seeking to collaborate with a global duty free operator to enhance the retail experience of international passengers at Auckland Airport. From the moment we held our initial conversations with the team at Auckland, we recognised a shared vision about placing the passenger at the heart of the airport retail experience and about enhancing that experience with an exciting retail offer. We will bring to Auckland our global experience of successful airport retail operations and airport partnerships.”

Mr Barker concludes, “Finally, I would like to thank both DFS and JR Retail, our current duty free operators, for their strong proposals, for being great business partners and for the excellent service they have provided to our passengers over many years.”

Ends

Background information on selected operators:

LS Travel Retail Pacific, a division of Lagardère Services, is a world leader in travel retail. Operating in more than 30 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific, it operates more than 4,100 stores across the world, including a presence at over 150 airports and 700 stations. It runs the largest international network of duty free and luxury, travel essentials and foodservice stores. Throughout Asia Pacific LS travel retail operates more than 250 outlets, partnering with over 16 airports in Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and India.

Aer Rianta International invented Duty Free through the world’s first Duty Free Liquor shop in Ireland’s Shannon Airport in 1947. This pioneering spirit coupled with strength in building strong partnerships saw the company rapidly expand and be amongst the first to bring duty free retailing to the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. Today a formula of customer led thinking, innovation and a bespoke retail offer with a strong sense of place sees them successfully operate airport duty free stores across four continents - Europe, Asia, Middle East and North America. With a managed turnover in excess of US$1 billion ARI employs 3,500 people worldwide.

For further information please contact:

Simon Lambourne, Auckland Airport
+64 9 255 9089, +64 27 477 6120
simon.lambourne@aucklandairport.co.nz

Janette Doolan, LS Travel Retail Pacific
+61 2 8218 1142, +61 414 461 605
janette.doolan@lsaspac.com

Nicola Wells, Aer Rianta International
+353 18141446, +353 87 6959692
Nwells@ari.ie