Indian retailing major Shoppers’ Stop Ltd. and international airport retailer The Nuance Group AG have announced a joint venture for entering the duty-free retail market at Indian airports. The equally owned joint venture, Nuance Group (India) Pvt. Ltd, is the culmination of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties in June last year.
While airport retailing is a flourishing business in many countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, and even in the Far Eastern parts, India has only now woke up to the opportunities inherent in this format. The Shoppers’ Stop-Nuance Group deal is expected to flag off a whole new culture of retailing in the country, whereby travellers will be treated to international brands and formats at Indian airports. It is just as well that the implementation process is being accelerated by the upcoming privatisation of several major airports as well as by the expansion of various airline companies in the country.
Nuance Group AG is the largest player in the global airport retailing space, with decades of experience and operations spanning five continents. The company executes a portfolio of five different kinds of retail services – tax + duty-free shops, specialist stores, brand stores, food service and in-flight services. Among the recognitions the group has received are the 2007 Raven Fox Global Travel Retail Awards for “Travel Retailer of the Year” and the 2006 Frontier Awards for “Best Airport Retailer of the Year”.
Roberto Graziani, president & CEO, The Nuance Group AG, commented, “India has emerged as a significant player in global business and economy in the last decade. The rapid economic boom has also had its effect on Indian travel, with an upswing in air services, increasing number of Indians travelling by air, and foreign arrivals to destination India. Being the largest airport retailer in the global market, it was only natural for us to define India as one of our key strategic expansion areas.”
BS Nagesh, customer care associate and & managing director, Shopper’s Stop Ltd, said, “We believe with this partnership we will extend our unique shopping experience to the airports and touch the lives of millions of travellers. This will also help us create a larger footprint across the country.”