Cyprus Duty Free weaves local narrative into ‘rejuvenated’ store experience

By Charlotte Turner |

Cyprus Duty Free says that its customers can now expect ‘an even better travel retail experience’ than before the pandemic; a result of the company’s resilience and ‘commitment to excellence’, it says, as it looks to expand its own Cypriot range of products under the bespoke Kypriaka concept.

As reported, Cyprus Duty Free completed an ambitious renovation of its commercial space in late 2020 and in that same year it redefined its Customer Value Proposition (CVP), honing in on the following: ‘exciting experience’; sense of place; sustainability; hyper-connectivity; convenience; great gifting; exceptional range and value, and a safe environment.

“The newly redesigned stores have raised the standard for excellence in travel retail, capturing the essence of the island to create a true sense of place for passengers,” said Toni McDonald Retail & Marketing, Manager at CTC-ARI (Cyprus Duty Free).

“The clever store layout, its innovative concepts and unique product range all encapsulate the depth and beauty of Cypriot culture, flavours, sounds and aromas, sending passengers on their way with even more special memories of the island.”

Cyprus Duty Free staged an engaging activation instore recently for Valentine’s Day.


Cyprus Duty Free believes it has been able to strike a balance between traditional and contemporary by embracing new technology to enhance the in-store experience, such as using a 19-screen interactive video wall which greets passengers on arrival to the store.

Digital screens and QR codes have also been used to display way-finding information, making it easier for customers to locate and shop for their favourite brands and products.

Most recently, Cyprus Duty Free launched a new eCommerce site, which aims to ‘bring the best of the in-store experience online’ with an extensive range and value, travel exclusives, and increased delivery options for customers. These include Shop Before You Fly, Click and Collect and new eLocker pick-up.

However, as those familiar with the retailer will be well aware, for Cyprus Duty Free, people remain the beating heart of its business.

Valuing people: Toni McDonald (left) and Andrew Baker (right) recently named Angela Antoniou, Star employee for March and Q1 2022.

Valuing people: Angela Antoniou (center) was named Star employee for March and Q1 2022.


“Our world-class team of passionate retailers makes it possible to deliver an exceptional retail proposition each day,” said Toni McDonald, Retail & Marketing Manager.

“During the depths of Covid lockdowns and a grounding of air travel, Cyprus Duty Free remained dedicated to maintaining and nurturing its team through its employee-centric strategy.

“Exploiting downtime between flights, the team filmed the now-viral Jerusalema challenge as a morale booster, while a virtual team engagement initiative on Viber solidified a sense of camaraderie among the team.”

Toni McDonald Retail & Marketing Manager at AerRianta International

Toni McDonald Retail & Marketing, Manager at CTC-ARI.

According to McDonald, the excitement felt by the team as passenger numbers increase has been palpable.


Passengers travelling through Larnaca and Paphos airports can expect to feel that same excitement at every touchpoint along their journey, adds McDonald.


“Global experience is woven with local narrative, and innovative seasonal campaigns are brought to life throughout the store.

“From tastings to live entertainment, exclusive offers to bespoke products, Cyprus Duty Free raises the bar in global travel retail.”

Delivering a sense of place has long been a priority for parent company ARI in all its locations across its global network, and Cyprus Duty Free believes this has only grown in importance to the post-pandemic traveller, along with an increased appetite for provenance.

“Cyprus Duty Free embodies a true sense of place – from the store designs and materials inspired by traditional architecture to winding pathways reminiscent of bustling open markets, to the eclectic flavours and aromas of the Mediterranean,” added McDonald.

Exploiting downtime between flights, the Cyprus Duty Free team filmed the now-viral Jerusalema challenge (see below video) as a morale booster.

As reported, Kypriaka, Cyprus Duty Free’s bespoke concept store, offers customers an authentic taste of Cyprus and is home to a wide range of 100% locally produced products and crafts.

The retailer has even developed a new range of Kypriaka exclusive spirits, which include IRIS Blue, the first crafted gin made in Cyprus; Ovis Whiskey, a quadruple distilled malt whiskey; and Lambouri Brandy.

Cyprus Duty Free sponsored the inaugural TR Consumer Forum which took place in London last September. The company is a Headline Sponsor this year and looks forward to hosting the event in Cyprus.

Cyprus Duty Free (pictured here with the TRBusiness team) sponsored the inaugural TR Consumer Forum, which took place in London last September. The company is a Headline Sponsor for this year’s event and looks forward to hosting it in Cyprus this September (4-6).


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