Travel retailer ATU Duty Free has partnered with logistics firm Omniva to offer shipping for purchases from Riga airport to parcel machines across the Baltic states.
The service kicked off on 4 October, allowing shoppers at the airport’s ATU departures stores to send parcels instead of carrying them on their travels.
ATU Duty Free’s Latvian head Tamer Cigeroglu confirmed the news, noting that the decision was made after looking at shopper data post-pandemic. Gen Z purchasing habits were also taken into account.
The service is open to Baltic passengers travelling to destinations within the European Union.
Riga is the first airport in the region to offer a delivery service to passengers.
“Today shopping is not just about the product we purchase. In the new era, customers are buying the shopping experience and personalised services stand out,” Cigeroglu said.
“In this scope, as part of our Shop & Collect service, we offer our customers a privileged service with a partial delivery option.
“After shopping in our duty free stores, the products they purchase are sent to the pick-up points closest to their homes so that they do not have to carry the products with them during their travels.”
He added that products would be stored safely in the delivery points for up to seven days.
It also means customers can shop without being subject to duty limits as the purchased goods are delivered immediately to pick-up points.
The delivery service is priced at €2.99 for delivery within Latvia and €5.34 for parcels heading to other Baltic states.
ATU Duty Free’s parcel programme: ‘Modern e-commerce options’
“Versatile and modern services are an integral part of good airport customer service which passengers appreciate and take into consideration when choosing an airport for their trips,” said Artūrs Saveļjevs, a Riga Airport Board member.
“We are pleased that Riga Airport together with its partners is once again creating new and innovative opportunities in service design, combining conventional shopping in airport shops with modern e-commerce options.
“This service will be especially convenient to travellers from the Baltic states who will be able to take advantage of the wide range of Riga Airport shops and have their purchases sent to chosen pick-up points.”
Baltic residents are used to using parcel machines, ATU noted. Compared to other European countries there is a well-developed network of machines. In addition, trends show that their use is increasing following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Omniva manages a network of more than 1,150 parcel machines with 150,000 lockers across the Baltics.
The company delivered more than 15 million parcels in the first half of 2023, a 10% increase year-on-year.
“We are constantly thinking and working on the introduction of new services to provide the most convenient delivery solutions for our customers not only in the Baltic states,” said Māris Kuļikovskis, Omniva’s Head of Sales in Latvia.
“That is why we continue to look for and develop forms and ways of cooperation that are attractive to our customers.
“Unlike in other countries, parcel machines are the most popular delivery method in the Baltic states, and we expect this to be the case also in the future, as local residents appreciate the advantages of parcel machines – the possibility to receive the parcel when it is convenient, reasonable costs, a dense parcel post network, etc.”
Introduction of self-checkouts
ATU also announced it is planning to introduce self-checkouts at the airport shortly.
“As the passenger flows are growing, we are thinking about how to further improve the shopping experience, and self-service checkouts are one such instrument,” Cigeroglu added.
“It speeds up transactions and reduces waiting times, the advantage it provides in managing human resources planning correctly allows for more consultancy to be provided to customers about products or other needs.
“I believe that with self-checkouts service, we will increase the customer satisfaction and make the customer experience more privileged.”
ATU has invested over €300,000 in its Latvia stores. Projects have included a revamped promotion area, a fashion store, and classic duty free spaces.
The retailer is also focusing on introducing sustainable practices, including repurposing, refurbishing and redesigning existing furniture.
“By salvaging and upcycling, we minimise our carbon footprint in Latvia as well,” the retailer stated.
Earlier this year, ATU Duty Free celebrated the reopening of its upgraded main store at Tbilisi Airport in Georgia.