JR/Duty Free has expanded its travel retail portfolio after winning the duty free contract at Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand, commencing July 1, 2010. The company already operates at the airports of Auckland and
Wellington in New Zealand and at Darwin in Australia and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion in Israel and is now ranked the tenth largest duty free operator in the world by the Travel Retail Business, with a sales turnover of around $300m in 2008.
James Richardson?s Duty Free Division Chairman Garry Stock made the announcement today adding: ?We are excited at the prospect of operating at Christchurch Airport and designing and constructing two stores which will reflect a truly Canterbury and South Island experience,’ he said.
James Richardson has been active in the duty free industry in Australia since 1972, under the Group Chairmanship of Mr David Mandie AM OBE and has been the principal operator at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv since 1988. The retailer generates more than $250m in sales from this airport alone, although it prefers not to talk about its sales.
As JR/Duty Free, the James Richardson Group re-entered the duty free industry in Australia in 2006 and operates at Darwin Airport and with off airport stores in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. It has operated at Auckland and Wellington airports since July 2009 after taking over all of the Nuance group?s interests in New Zealand.
Evelyn Danos, Executive Director of the James Richardson Group, said: ?We are delighted that Christchurch Airport has placed their confidence in us to develop and grow the duty free business, in line with their expansion plans for Christchurch Airport.
‘The shopping experience at JR/Duty Free at Christchurch Airport will be an extension of Christchurch?s ?Gateway to the South? marketing programme?.
Milton Lasnitzki, Ceo of the James Richardson Group, added: ‘We will, at the earliest opportunity in conjunction with DFS management commence a process to invite DFS staff to apply for positions at JR/Duty Free. We prefer to employ the existing staff, who already know the airport and the customer?.
DFS Galleria holds the existing contract until June 2010, after which JF/Duty Free will operate 900sq m of duty free retail space in International Airside Departures (opening July 2010); 500sq m in International Airside Arrivals (from October 2010); and 100sq m in the existing International Landside Departures location (from July 2010).
Duty free sales at Christchurch Airport are said to be in the region of around NZ$30m ($21.7m) a year.
The concession opportunity comes at a time when the reality of the recession has seen Australian travellers looking for shorter-haul destinations for vacations and Christchurch has been a beneficiary of this.
In the year to date ending September 2009, Christchurch handled 1.1m international passengers, with 586,150 departures and 595,243 arrivals. This number looks well on track to match and surpass the 1.5m international passengers handled in the full calendar year of 2008. Last year, Christchurch handled 784,590 international departing passengers and 807,798 arrivals.
In October, Christchurch won the Airport of the Year award at the annual New Zealand Airports Association conference for outstanding initiative based on its route development and tourism marketing strategy.