Jordanian Duty Free Shops (JDFS) is seeking ‘anchor vendors’ for its Aqaba entertainment and commercial complex in southern Jordan on the shores of the Red Sea, TRBusiness has learned.
The 21,000sq m, three-storey Fountain Commercial & Entertainment Complex, which is currently under construction, is located in the port city of Aqaba, a special economic zone and regional trade hub.
It is gathered that the current occupancy rate at The Fountain based on vendors who have verbally committed to take up leases stands at around 65%.
It is understood that vendors with agreements will receive lease information by 31 December, ahead of the contracts beginning around April 2020.
However, those dates are by no means set in stone and hinge squarely on whether construction of the facility completes by the end of this year, as anticipated.
PETRA AND DEAD SEA SHOPS
While declining to share names, JDFS says an Italian firm has already been offered one of the anchor stores over 600sq m to run outlets, mainly discounted fashion for men, women and children.
The travel retailer will itself operate a 600sq m main duty free shop at the complex, which will also house the latest high street retail brands, speciality boutiques, quick-service restaurants, a supermarket, children’s play facilities, banks, pharmaceutical services, a beauty centre, a business centre and travel and tourism agencies.
“There are no written confirmations, but we have approached a lot of good companies who are willing to come,” Haitham Al Majali, CEO, JDFS told TRBusiness during the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference earlier this month.
Public company JDFS currently operates 21 duty free shops in Jordan. These are predominantly border stores, although it also manages ship chandling and diplomatic shops in the likes of Amman and Aqaba. These serve a variety of customers, from diplomats and non-residents to leisure and business travellers.
AMRALAND IS BORN
Looking ahead, there are plans for downtown outlets in Petra and an area near to the Dead Sea, which are expected to boost sales significantly.
Separately, it has launched its own white label brand for export called Amraland, which consists of locally supplied dates, olive oil and Dead Sea products.
Amraland will be sold in the travel retailer’s duty free shops in Jordan and expects to roll out to other shops in the Middle East & Africa and elsewhere in the future.
The official launch of Amraland was marked by an official ceremony that took place last week (7 October) in the presence of JDF officials and other dignitaries, including Jordan’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Dr. Tariq Hammouri and Minister of Labour H.E. Nedal Faisal El-Batayneh.
During the ceremony, Al Majali signed a memorandum of understanding with three local suppliers.
Watch out for the November print issue of TRBusiness for more on JDFS and its expansion plans…