Despite describing 2013 as ‘a strange year’, CEO Enrique Urioste says Neutral Duty Free is proceeding with its plans to expand its downtown operations.
Urioste says this is set to take place on the northern Uruguayan border with Brazil at Rivera and in the Melancia Shopping Mall on the outskirts of the town.
“This store will measure 1,700sq m and this will replace our current shop in Avenida Sarandi. We will have more than double the current space and we will be able to expand our full range and give more space to the leading categories,” he said.
At the same time, planning is also advanced for the new 4,000sq m store in the Melancia Shopping mall: “Building work is going ahead at the mall and the promoters plan to hand over the store in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Urioste.
Enrique Urioste, CEO, Neutral Duty Free.
“This will give us sufficient time to fit the store out and open to the public sometime during quarter one in 2015.”
Describing the trading year in 2013, Urioste said: “It was certainly a strange year with two distinct halves – the first six months were excellent with double-digit growth and all our shops doing well; the second six months were very different, with the Real losing value against the Dollar.
“We and the rest of the business lost revenue – the third quarter was very poor indeed – although we did see a little improvement in the fourth quarter. When we look back on the whole year, we were just slightly down on 2012 and overall we are quite pleased with the final result.”