Flemingo gears up for T20 spectacle

By Doug Newhouse |

From September 18, Sri Lanka is hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup T20 (Sept 18-Oct 7) and Flemingo Duty Free is ready at Colombo Airport.


As one of two operators at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) Flemingo is giving away a Suzuki Ritz VXi car during the tournament to one lucky customer spending more than $150 on their VISA card, plus several other prizes.


The promotion begins shortly ahead of the first of 27 scheduled day/night matches in the fourth ICC world tournament between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the 35,000-capacity Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.


Flemingo adds that daily prizes will consist of official T-shirts, caps and – most important of all – highly sought after match tickets.



Flemingo International’s Retail Business Manager Alec Denby acknowledged that this is ‘an exciting time for Sri Lanka and for cricket fans around the world’ and he says the retailer has made a real effort to try and entertain the arriving fans and BIA’s passengers.


The duty free operator adds that this is just another in a series of special ‘mega promotions’ it has run, having just completed a second such exercise with drinks giant Diageo. This involved a lucky draw offering winners La-z-Boy recliners, Sony 40” Bravia TV’s, Home Theater systems and Sony PlayStation 3’s – in addition to daily $200 and $100 shopping vouchers.


Denby said: “Our drive and focus is on creating a new and exciting retail shopping experience. Having big promotions always helps us to create a shopping environment that captures the interest of passengers”.



Flemingo International’s sales performance continues to go from strength-to-strength at its 3,000sq ft Departures and 2,600sq ft Arrivals stores at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), according to CEO, Atul Ahuja.


Speaking exclusively to The Business recently he said he is very pleased with the progress made at the location since it was split into a two-operator competing marketplace.


“We have still not reached 50% of market share, but we are increasing month on month and we are close to 40%,” he said.


“Having said that, competing against a giant like WDF who has been in the market for 15 years I think we have done fairly well in the first nine months.”


Flemingo says that the performance to date has seen its departures store take the bigger share of (55%) of its sales to date and Arrivals the balance, with liquor continuing to lead the way in the core categories, contributing around 57% to the overall mix.


Denby added: “Single Malts and high-end Cognacs are also a major focus for Flemingo and continued effort is being put into creating an exclusive, interactive shopping experience for each and every customer. We are giving targeted promotions to help passengers avail of their duty free allowance on Arrival”.



Confectionery is also a key contributor accounting for 30% of Arrivals store sales at times and promotions are said to be key here, with multi-purchases common place for returning Sri Lankans. Denby points to ‘fantastic promotions’ on confectionery to encourage multi purchase.


Meanwhile, Flemingo is continuing to build up its perfume business and has seen an increase of up to 60% in sales in some sectors. It is now providing high visibility space to brands such as Burberry, Givenchy and Calvin Klein to highlight new products and promote monthly perfume giveaways to its multi-national passenger mix.


BIA handled 6.14m passengers in 2011 and 5.3m in 2010 (+24%) and tourism is growing very fast in the country. An estimated 1.7m Sri Lankans work overseas and brought a welcome $5.2bn back into the Sri Lankan economy in 2011.



As a result of this growing demand, this December will see the commencement of construction of a new development project to create a new state-of-the-art multi-level terminal building. This will incorporate eight boarding gates, a parking apron with nine aircraft stands and multiple improvements for all utilities, including retail.


Most importantly, this second new international terminal facility will increase the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 13m. It will also feature new runway surfacing, plus new airport expressway and direct train links incorporated into the design.


The financing for this project is being provided by the Japan International Co-operation Agency which signed and agreed a ¥28.9m ($330m) loan agreement last March with Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd – the fully government-owned company that runs Bandaranaike International Airport and all other civil airports in Sri Lanka.


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