World Duty Free Group (WDFG) has reached an agreement with HMSHost in North America, to operate the travel retail stores, which it currently owns.
This will expand WDFG’s network of stores by more than 70% and be another major step forward in its international expansion, after integrating the retail businesses of Aldeasa and WDF.
Last month the World Duty Free Group opened its first 1,450sq m walk-through shop at Vancouver Airport (YVR) today replacing the Aldeasa brand which began trading in 2007.
[Left: WDFG opens store at Vancouver airport]
WDFG, HMSHost and Aldeasa all operate under the parent company, Autogrill S.p.A; one of the biggest providers of food, beverage and retail services for the travel industry.
Upon completion of the HMSHost NA transaction, 240 stores in 32 new locations across the USA from the Atlantic to the Pacific, will join WDFG’s existing 325 outlets in 21 countries, across five continents.
[Above: HMSHost news store in the US]
The move is designed to provide North American airport operators with a clearer focus on distinctive retail and food & beverage services, which to date have both been provided by HMSHost.
Travel retail professional, Padraig Drennan, has been appointed President of World Duty Free Group North America to oversee “a seamless transition” of former HMSHost stores into the new retail organisation. He will report to Jose Maria Palencia, CEO of World Duty Free Group.
With the addition of 32 new locations, including seven of the 10 largest airports in the United States and stores in landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Houston Space Center, the company will have a total of 565 retail outlets worldwide.