ARI JV crowns Portugal Duty Free; contracts begin

By Luke Barras-hill |

Lisbon Duty Free is one of eight airport locations operated by Portugal Duty Free, the joint venture between ANA/Vinci Airports and ARI.

Aer Rianta International (ARI) celebrated a red letter day on 1 June after officially commencing its much-vaunted duty free and duty paid operations with ANA Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA) at eight airports in Portugal.

As reported in February, the multi-location travel retailer has forged a joint-venture partnership with Vinci Airports-owned ANA to manage a seven-year concession at the following airports: Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira Islands (Madeira and Porto Santo) and Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada, Santa Maria, Horta).

ARI and ANA/Vinci is operating 34 commercial spaces as Portugal Duty Free, including duty free shops (trading under location-specific fascias), satellite stores and fashion and beauty areas, over a total area of approximately 9,500sq m after securing the contracts in a competitive bid process.

All the current footprints have received an initial renovation aligned to the start of the contracts (1 June), with further upgrades to follow in the coming 18 months.

VINCI/ANA ALLIANCE BEARING FRUIT

In comments shared with TRBusiness from Lisbon Duty Free, Nuno Amaral, Chief Operations and Business Development Officer at ARI – and a native of Portugal – said: “Today is a proud day both personally – taking over the operation of duty free throughout my home country of Portugal – and for the entire ARI team who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Portugal Duty Free opened on time.

“What we have achieved so far in such a short time with our new partners, ANA makes me even more excited to see the full implementation plan come to life over the coming 18 months across all locations.

Power play in Portugal (L-R): Siobhán Griffin, Chief People Officer, ARI; Anthony Kenny, Chief Commercial Officer & Deputy CEO, ARI; Nuno Amaral, Chief Operations and Business Development Officer, ARI; Ray Hernan, Chief Executive Officer, ARI; Thierry Ligonnière, Chief Executive Officer, ANA; José Luís Arnaut, Chairman, ANA; Pierre-Hugues Schmit, Chairman of the Board of Portugal Duty Free and Vinci Chief Commercial Officer; and Francisco Pita, Chief Commercial Officer, ANA.

“After months of planning, it is so rewarding to see customers shopping and enjoying the new Portugal Duty Free today with smiles on their faces. New store concepts are being brought to life from the pages of our initial partnership bid to ANA, and our teams have worked tirelessly to make this possible in a short space of time.”

In traditional ARI fashion, strong elements of sense of place weave through the customer experience at each location, aligning with Vinci Airports’ and ARI’s respective strategies.

Each shop will benefit from a bespoke identity, reflective of the local landscape and culture, and flanked by novel retail experiences reflecting the essence of the country (Portugalidade).

Senior ARI and Vinci management gathered at Lisbon Airport today to mark the occasion, with music, master mixologists, artisan Santini ice cream and other surprises available at Lisbon Duty Free.

Nuno Amaral, Chief Operations and Business Development Officer, ARI pictured at the Lisbon Duty Free shop as Portugal Duty Free inaugurates its shopping locations across eight of the country’s airports.

SUMMER MARKETING CAMPAIGN GOES LIVE

Thierry Ligonnière, Chief Executive Officer, ANA, stated: “ANA/Vinci Airports is working to bring new world-class experiences to our passengers as part of our ‘Positive Mobility’ commitment.

“Our partnership with ARI will allow creating a bespoke sense of place and an unrivalled shopping experience, complementing the best of Portugal with leading international brands and travel retail exclusives with great value for our customers. We look forward to unveiling these to our passengers over the coming months.”

ARI Chief Executive Officer Ray Hernan commented: “After months of careful planning and collaboration across the business, we are delighted to launch our operations here in Portugal.

“I would like to personally thank the collective team who have worked tirelessly to deliver this launch on time and to the high standards we pride ourselves on at ARI, and to thank our brand partners for embracing this new opportunity with us.

“ARI and ANA are closely aligned on our values and our customer-centric approach, and together we plan to ignite the joy of travel retail for passengers with a unique retail proposition at each location. We have a robust implementation plan underway and look forward to bringing these exciting concepts to life over the coming 18 months.”

ARI’s new Summer marketing campaign dovetails with the refreshed Portugal Duty Free locations.

The Lisbon Duty Free retail team celebrate the official launch of Portugal Duty Free at Lisbon Airport.

TRBusiness learns that circa 2,500 global marketing assets have been utilised to enlighten the airport spaces.

“The vibrant branding is engaging customers at multiple touchpoints throughout their journey,” added Amaral. “This is only the beginning, with great things yet to come.”

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