Dufry and Moroccan airport operator Office National des Aéroports (ONDA) marked the development and growth of their 17-year partnership with the inauguration of new stores at Casablanca Mohammed V and Marrakesh Menara International Airports.
TRBusiness joined representatives from Dufry, ONDA and various other dignitaries in Casablanca yesterday (22 October) at the lavish unveiling, which was an opportunity to commemorate the partnership and expansion of the two airports.
The new openings are part of ONDA’s renovation and modernisation of Casablanca and Marrakesh Airports. Both airports handled 10 million and five million passengers respectively in 2018, with Casablanca Mohammed V the fourth busiest on the African continent.
Dufry opened its first Moroccan stores in Marrakesh in 2002, with the new Casablanca Terminal 1 departures duty free shop opening in January 2019. The revamped Marrakesh outlets have been trading since 2017. All the new outlets form part of ONDA’s recent revamp at both locations, where commercial and retail planning was undertaken by The Design Solution.
Addressing those in attendance, Pedro Castro, CEO Southern Europe and Africa, Dufry Group said: “We are proud to be standing here today in the most recent store opened by Dufry at one of the busiest airports in Africa which serves more than 30 airlines flying to Europe, Africa, America and the rest of the world.
“The aim was to ensure both duty free spaces [in Casablanca and Marrakech] were inviting for passengers and are an enjoyable part of their airport experience. At Dufry, we are delighted with these stores and the outcome of our partnership with ONDA.”
Outlining to TRBusiness the significance of these openings in terms of Dufry’s business in the Southern Europe and Africa region, Castro commented: “They are important as the size of daily business in Africa is still small compared to Europe or elsewhere.
“Africa is growing and will grow in the coming years especially in aviation. ACI Africa, whom we work very closely with has 65 member airports from 55 countries and is really trying to develop standards.”
He added: “At the end of the day, you have a few airports such as Casablanca which are big hubs and a few airports which are tourist destinations such as Marrakesh. We also have others airports in Morocco which are smaller and need development.”
Castro, who describes Africa as the continent of the future, says although the company is always thinking long term, “Casablanca and Marrakesh are already best-in-class in Africa in terms of airports and duty free offer.”
Currently, Dufry operates 26 stores in eight Moroccan airports, including nine stores in Casablanca and four in Marrakesh.
The duty free stores in Casablanca and Marrakesh are operated under the names Casablanca Duty Free and Marrakesh Duty Free respectively. Dufry also operates four Hudson stores across both locations.
VARIED RETAIL OFFER
In line with Dufry’s strategy, the stores offer passengers a range of international brands, while maintaining a strong sense of place in the airport environment.
The main duty free stores in both airports are designed as walkthrough concepts and located straight after security. The passenger flow leads travellers through Dufry’s retail offer before continuing through the airside terminal.
According to Dufry, the main departures stores are designed to be light, spacious and evocative of the Moroccan trellis pattern. Summarising the inspirations and strategy behind the designs, Nick Taylor, Director, The Design Solution explained: “Both Marrakesh Menara and Casablanca Mohammed V International present a distinct and resonant sense of place that shares an authentic spirit of Morocco. The design at Marrakesh in particular blends ancient and modern to reflect the rich heritage and modern vibrancy of this extraordinary city.
“The combination of design elements with a range of proven footfall drivers and engagement includes a sophisticated walkthrough approach to entice passengers and draw them into discovering the depth of the retail offer. This is built around a series of ‘shopping worlds’, tailored to specific categories and the needs of the passenger profile at the airport.”
He added: “The design incorporates a series of classic themes from the city’s powerful cultural heritage, including the mesmerising arabesque patterns, a rich colour palette, beautiful woodwork, natural beauty and the amazing intricacy of the tile mosaics, all of which is beautifully balanced by the equally traditional use of simple shades of white.
“The new retail spaces at Marrakesh demonstrate just how effective design can be in blending expressions of heritage and modernity —creating an exciting story to share with the traveller and leaving them with wonderful memories of the city.”
Isabel Zarza, Managing Director Africa, Dufry Group told TRBusiness: “These two airports are the most important in Morocco. All investment in the stores is complete and sales are booming. The flow of passengers here and in Marrakesh means passengers reach the terminal quickly, can spend time in the shopping area and are able to buy which is exactly what they are doing.”
She added: “Morocco is the most important country for us in Africa today, but we want to develop in other African regions.”
Youssef Jroundi, Marketing and Commercial Director, ONDA said the new stores demonstrated the highest level of airport retailing. “We trust Dufry and they trust us. All of us are extremely happy with the results.”
The traditional aspects of the store design are complemented by the digital aspects of the customer journey, including the availability of Dufry’s Reserve and Collect service and RED by Dufry, the company’s loyalty programme.
Additionally, ‘digitised’ store staff equipped with sales tablets provide up-to-date and detailed information on available products. Tasting stations showcasing confectionery items have been implemented in the duty free stores at both airports to enhance the shopping experience.
Passengers can find a range of core category duty free products including perfumes and cosmetics, liquor, confectionery, tobacco, a variety of local accessories, fashion and beauty products.
Casablanca Duty Free hosts the first multi-brand corner dedicated to fashion brands, while in Marrakesh, Dufry operates standalone fashion spaces (Atelier, Travel Star, Timebox and Suncatcher), each offering a mix of local and international brands. The standalone fashion stores are in addition to the fashion spaces within the main duty free store.
Many new brands have also been introduced including L’Occitane, Michael Kors, Nuxe, Rituals, Zadig&Voltaire and Zegna. Moroccan beauty labels include Jerraflore and marocMaroc. A luxury Haute Parfumerie fragrance corner has been created in Marrakesh.
In the fashion and accessories category, passengers can now find Armani, Bric’s, Calvin Klein, Desigual, Eden Park, Montblanc, Pinko, Samsonite, Superdry, Tommy Hilfiger, Tumi and Victoria’s Secret.
Completing the retail offer, Dufry’s Hudson stores provide the opportunity for impulse travel convenience, leisure and snack purchases.
See the November issue of TRBusiness for a full interview with Pedro Castro, CEO Southern Europe and Africa, Dufry Group.