Kishore Biyani's Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd and its British partner Alpha Airports Group Plc have won a Rs 500-crore three-year, three-month contract to run duty-free shopping at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, the consortium said in a statement on Wednesday.
Delhi International Airport (P) Limited (DIAL), run by the GMR group, which is busy modernising the national capital's airport. DIAL's first phase of the airport would be ready with the completion of a new integrated terminal building in 2010.
DIAL is a joint venture company comprising the GMR Group, the Airports Authority of India, German airport firm Fraport, Eraman Malaysia and the India Development Fund.
The Alpha-Pantaloon consortium said the stores at Delhi airport will feature an extensive range of products by some of the largest and most popular brands such as Armani, Gucci, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Nike and Swatch.
“The brands for India have been selected after careful research in passenger demographics, customer profiling and destination requirements,” it said.
Asia, which now has some of the world's fastest growing economies, accounts for nearly 35 percent of the global duty-free sales, and airports could well turn out to be major hotspots for retailing activity as companies seek to tap footfalls in the catchment area of airports.
Privately built airports in Bangalore, Kochi and Hyderabad are also betting on retail outlets to boost their image and profitability.
“No longer is duty free shopping just about loading up with as much cut-price liquor and tobacco as customs regulations back home allow. Instead, airports are increasingly becoming upscale bazaars, retailing premium goods, electronic products, gourmet foods and fashion accessories,” said a DIAL spokesman.
Alpha Airports Group Plc has more than 140 retail outlets across 40 locations in the UK, Europe, the US, and South Asia. In Asia it has outlets in Kochi, Colombo, Kathmandu and Male.
Srinivas Bommidala, Managing Director, DIAL, said that the Alpha group’s “experience across the globe would provide world class experience to travellers at the Delhi Airport.”