Fijian travel retailer Tappoo Group is to open a new multi-million TappooCity shopping complex in Lautoka City, Fiji’s second-largest city, which will feature a duty-free offering.
The firm was chosen by the Fijian government following a transparent selection process.
The design of the complex, based on a circular, glazed atrium along with an expansive structure, was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Fijian prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
This latest development follows calls for expressions of interest to develop areas around Churchill Park. The deadline for submissions was June 28 2013. Tappoo Group’s submission was considered best-suited for the area by Lautoka City Council, given the need for sustainable economic growth. An investment of around $20m to develop the shopping complex will provide Lautoka residents with a range of products from leading brands and various services.
The project includes the construction of a gateway to Churchill Park adjacent to the proposed shopping complex, five corporate booths and development of car-parks on the East and West sides of the complex.
The new 100,000sq ft (9,290sq m) TappooCity Lautoka complex will be built along Vitogo Parade and located beside the entrance of Churchill Park when operations commence, It will consist of Tappoo department stores, speciality shops, entertainment, an international food-court and ancillary services such as banks. It will also have a duty-free element, details of which will be revealed in due course.
Construction work will begin shortly and the project is due for completion within 18 months. The Tappoo City Lautoka complex is expected to create approximately 250 jobs during the construction phase and in excess of 300 jobs once operational. Other developments for the company in Lautoka include the expansion of its bottling company, development of a new Tip Top ice-cream factory and creation of the first-ever Tappoo Industrial Park.
Tappoo Group executive director Harnish Tappoo told DFNIonline: “There will be a duty-free offer within the complex which will also cater to the local market and we are very proud and excited to set this benchmark for Fiji. The government has been very supportive and they are very proud of it as well.”
Speaking at the ceremony Bainimarama said: “Anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit TappooCity in Suva knows what it has done for our capital city. It’s not just a world-class shopping experience and a jewel in the retail crown of Suva. It is has done a huge amount to lift the overall tone and image of the capital.
“Now the same standard if not the same size is coming to Lautoka. And every resident of the city and the surrounding area looks forward to the same experience.”
Group chairman Kanti Tappoo (pictured above) added: “We have consistently demonstrated our faith in the Fijian economy, and in the ingenuity and intelligence of the people of Fiji, by devoting every effort to the continued expansion of our operations here.”
Referring to the government’s support of local investors and its forward-thinking policies Tappoo said: “It is this type of forward-thinking that gives us increasing assurance to continue to invest in the country that we proudly call our home.”
The Tappoo Group runs duty-free departures and arrivals stores at Nadi and Nausori international airports and a variety of specialist shops at Nadi airport. Last year it secured a franchise agreement with UK specialist news, convenience and bookseller WHSmith to introduce the WHSmith brand into resort corners and some of its destination stores.