Iraq Duty Free to run duty free shops at three new locations

By Andrew Pentol |

Iraq play button

TRBusiness speaks to Iraq Duty Free General Manager Fouad A Jabbour.

Iraq Duty Free (IDF) is to operate arrivals and departures duty free shops in three unnamed Iraqi airports after agreements were reached with the country’s Civil Aviation Authority and Ministry of Transportation.

It is understood the contracts are yet to be signed, but in an exclusive interview with TRBusiness Senior Editor Andrew Pentol, IDF General Manager Fouad A Jabbour, said the new locations would provide excellent brand exposure across the country.

“I can’t name the airports, but we have finalised an agreement to operate arrivals and departures shops at three new locations. We are in the final stages of signing the contracts,” he confirmed.

LIQUOR SALES BOOM

IDF is targeting total duty free sales of $9m in 2018, an increase of around +30% on the previous year. This will be driven by various product categories including liquor which was re-introduced with the help of the relevant authorities in February after a 13-year absence. He commented: “The re-introduction of the liquor category was huge in terms of turnover.

“New customers are interested in purchasing liquor products from Iraq Duty Free because they know our products are authentic and that we buy them direct from suppliers.”

Regarding renovations and expansions, IDF has already revamped its arrivals shop in the Iraqi Airways terminal at Baghdad International Airport to include a new liquor area. The focus is now on departures. “We closed the departures shop in August and are hoping to re-open it at the end of November. There will be a revamp of the whole look, design, structure and displays. Suppliers will bring their own display stands and have their own shop-in-shops.

He added: “In the longer term, we are also closing the arrivals shop in Basra Airport. We are moving into another area and will have a 36sq m prime location where customers will be more than welcome to come and visit.

“Additionally, we will also open another shop in the Emirates Airline terminal, which will further boost sales.”

Meanwhile, IDF is also diversifying into the airline arena. “What we have on the airport side is good for us, but we want to give travellers another way of purchasing. We are targeting local airline companies such as Iraq Airways, Fly Baghdad and Al Naser Wings.

“We already have duty free on board one of these airlines and are redesigning the carts to the have the right products for the right customers. We are testing this with one of the airlines and should be able to close the other carriers by the end of 2018 or Q1 2019.”

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