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Nuance wins St Petersburg duty-free contract

Travel retailer The Nuance Group has been awarded all three lots in the St Petersburg Pulkovo airport duty-free tender and will operate core category stores and speciality outlets in a newly-built passenger terminal serving about 4m passengers from early 2014. The win marks Nuance’s entry into the Russian travel-retail market.

The seven-year concession is estimated to be worth €800m ($1.07bn)in turnover, according to Nuance. Of the 3,183sq m of retail space, 1,910sq m will be dedicated to a walk-through duty-free store offeriung fragrances, cosmetics, liquor, tobacco and confectionery. The remainder will be spread among 11 speciality stores including Swarovski, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Bvlgari, Sun Catcher, Temptation, Atelier, Master of Time and a dedicated store for electronics, travel accessories and toys, in addition to a Spirit of St Petersburg destination concept and an express duty-free store located in the north pier.

Nuance said its retail concept it tailored to Pulkovo airport, with “a strong tie to [the] cultural, historic and architectural heritage of St Petersburg” to deliver a sense of place and with a strong focus on category management. Features will include a dedicated lounge for liquor connoisseurs, a vodka boutique including a tasting bar, a luxury fragrance boutique, a walk-in humidor as well as a dedicated space for male grooming products. The store will also include an “interactive digital approach with augmented reality solutions”, representing another first for the airport, Nuance added. The core duty-free shop was created in partnership with The Design Solution.

The Nuance Group Europe CEO Andrea Belardini said: “This retail concept…will become a landmark in the Russian travel-retail market. It builds from the strengths of our well-known and tested core categories concept, as well as our experience in managing a diversified portfolio of specialty solutions. Our Duty Free Store concept is tailored for St Petersburg Pulkovo airport and will include a number of new design solutions that will create an unprecedented atmosphere for every category.

“At the forefront of our objectives was to ensure that the management of St Petersburg Pulkovo airport could be proud of ‘owning’ a special and unique shopping experience,” he continued. “A strong sense of place is delivered through the concept of ‘Venice of North’, which is realised through the representation of canals becoming a red thread of the shop ceiling guiding passengers thorough the different and exciting departments of the walk-through store.”

St Petersburg Pulkovo airport commercial director Evgeniy Ilyin said: “The Nuance Group has created a unique ‘sense of place’ concept for the new passenger terminal, which will ideally complement the interior design of the airport and we believe will provide a superior customer experience. Pulkovo airport congratulates Nuance on their outstanding proposal including commercial and operational strategies for maximising duty-free revenue at St Petersburg airport. We are confident that cooperation of Nuance, one of the world’s largest duty free operators, with a strong local partner who has great experience in the Russian market will create benefit both for the airport and its passengers. This award is a key milestone for our commercial team and we look forward to opening these exceptional facilities in the new centralised passenger terminal of Pulkovo airport.”

Pulkovo is the third-largest airport in Russia and currently serves more than 11m passengers a year. The new centralised terminal is under construction and scheduled to be completed at the end of 2013, spanning about 130,000sq m with an adjacent north pier covering 9,400sq m. The airport aims to have passenger capacity of 35m by 2040.

Photo of nuance stpetersbutg vodka Feb2013