Travel retailer LS travel retail Pacific has opened two Aelia Duty Free stores in Australasia for the first time. The duty-free brand had previously debuted in the region in the airside departures and arrivals areas at Queenstown airport in New Zealand’s South Island. The new stores were unveiled on July 25 at an inauguration event where guests were treated to a selection of wines from local vintners in the new departures lounge store The new opening adds to the company’s growing presence in luxury and duty-free within the Pacific region, including stores under the Duty Free Stores New Zealand and Duty Free Stores Australia banners, as well as Aelia Duty Free stores in Noumea.
The recently-unveiled stores have seen the duty-free footprint at the airport more than double, the company stated. LS Travel Retail has used the expanded space to bring a number of international brands to Queenstown airport for the first time including Dior, Estée Lauder, L’Occitanne, Jurlique, Clarins and OPI.
In addition, a number of new categories were also introduced to the airport by the retailer leveraging on the strengths of its global vendor partnerships including sunglasses, fashion watches and jewellery from brands such as Guess, Nautica, DKNY and Fossil. Passengers will also find technology accessory brand "tech2go" and wines from the local Central Otago region at the new stores.
LS Travel Retail Pacific CEO Matthieu Mercier stated: “At its heart, Aelia Duty Free is about unique experiences, just like Queenstown. It’s also built on innovation. Innovation in retail design, in the brands we stock and the categories we bring to the market. Perhaps most importantly – innovation in the way we approach customer service, treating each and every traveller interaction as an opportunity to build a relationship.”
LS Travel Retail Pacific’s general manager duty-free Ivo Favotto describes the new offer as “combining the biggest international brands in duty-free with a distinctly New Zealand taste”. According to a statement from the company, the development was made possible through a strong partnership approach between the relevant stakeholders and the signing of a 10-year concession agreement.
He also said these factors were key elements behind the company’s significant investment in store design and retail innovations. Favotto acknowledged the invaluable support of the company’s vendor partners in the creation of the new retail experience.
Queenstown airport CEO Scott Paterson said: “Our vision is to make Queenstown easy to get to, with an airport that leaves a wonderful first and lasting impression. For us this is very much about our terminal experience … and duty-free plays an important part in this mission. Thanks to LS Travel Retail Pacific we now have a beautiful duty-free offer to match our new international terminal.
“Queenstown Airport is experiencing strong growth, with passenger numbers in the last financial year up 24%. We’re convinced this growth in traffic, our investments in the new terminal and our fantastic new duty-free offer will have a positive outcome for everyone, especially—and most importantly—our passengers,” Paterson added.