Alpha-Pantaloon consortium, comprising of the Pantaloon retail (India) Limited and UK based Alpha Airports Group Plc, have opened a duty free shop at the arrival terminal of Indira Gandhi International airport. The shop would be fully operational by 18-20 January, 2007.
Of the two high-traffic Indian airports, Delhi has more international passengers and they spend more than in Mumbai, as is evidenced by ITDC’s sales results last year where Delhi was the biggest airport duty free operation in India, generating US$13.6 million.
In Delhi International Airport (Pvt.) Ltd. (DIAL), the duty free shop at the arrival terminal will have retail space of 2, 000 sq.ft initially, which will be expanded to 7, 000 sq. ft by 15th February, 2007. The consortium has plans to gradually roll out another duty free shop at the departure terminal during 18th to 31st January, 2007.
Earlier this year, Airports Authority of India (AAI) transferred a 74 per cent stake in the airport to DIAL – a joint venture made up of infrastructure firm GMR Infrastructure, Fraport and Malaysia Airport Systems. The AAI owns 26 per cent.
GMR will spend as much as $1.5 billion by 2010 to upgrade the airport in India’s capital, said Srinivas Bommidala, managing director of Delhi International Airport.
In November, DIAL awarded the Duty Free Shopping Contract for Indira Gandhi International Airport to the ‘Alpha-Pantaloon Consortium’. The value of the contract for DIAL is at least Rs.500 crore, while its term will last 3.25 years.
Alpha Airports Group Plc has extensive experience in duty free retailing with more than 140 retail outlets across 40 locations in the UK, Europe, USA, and South Asia. In Asia it has outlets in Cochin, Colombo, Kathmandu and Male.
India is not uncharted territory for Alpha – it runs three stores at the Cochin Airport including a 5,200 sq.ft Arrivals shop in a JV with Kreol Trading. Here Alpha operates two sides of the operation – supply and retail management, handling management operations on the ground, plus buying and supplying merchandise to the stores.
The Alpha stores at Delhi Airport will feature an extensive range of products by some of the most popular brands in the world, which have been selected after careful research in passenger demographics, customer profiling & destination requirements, the company says. Passengers can choose from Armani, Gucci, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Nike, Swatch etc.
“Coming from our experience at the Cochin Airport – which targets largely the Indian expatriate/ professional segment in the Gulf – the mix for DIAL will be diametrically different. This is a different traveller community – very tourism based – and the offering will have more global + local appeal for the widest coverage possible,” says Paul Topping, Managing Director, Alpha Retail Asia.
The consortium is looking to use some of the space at DIAL retail venues as outlets for ‘destination merchandise’ – merchandise that is unique to India and is reflective of the region’s culture and art.
“Our core competence is in managing store operations to sourcing and defining the merchandise mix. Pantaloon’s is in managing HR, administration and systems. Pantaloon will also manage domestic product sourcing, while we will get the best of international brands to DIAL,” Topping adds.
Alpha-Pantaloon hopes to more than double the current annual duty free sales at the airport. The first phase will see the JV occupy all of the existing ITDC shops. This will include taking over 2,400 sq.ft of liquor and tobacco (L&T) space in departures; 1,300 sq.ft of L&T space in arrivals; 860 sq.ft of perfume and cosmetics in departures; 1,000 sq.ft of fashion in departures and two confectionery shops of 1,000 sq.ft.
In phase two, a new departures format will be constructed where L&T space will increase to 5,000 sq.ft; arrivals duty free will be extended to 2,600sq ft; and there will be 1,700 sq. ft for perfume and cosmetics; a 1,300sq ft perfumery in arrivals; a 1,500 sq. ft fashion offer; and 2,000 sq. ft of confectionery.