Official Launch for World Duty Free’s Eleven Stores in Helsinki Airport
London, United Kingdom, 10 December 2015 – With the completion in November of its third and final tax and duty free store at Helsinki Airport, World Duty Free, a travel retailer of the Dufry Group, today hosted an official launch for its eleven retail operations in Terminal 1, Terminal 2 Schengen and Terminal 2 Non Schengen.
Winning the concession at the end of 2013 to operate several stores at Helsinki Airport, expanded the travel retailer’s geographical presence and gave it its first contract in the Nordic Countries. Helsinki Airport is the busiest airport in Finland and a major European transfer hub especially for flights between Europe and Asia. It handled almost 16 million passengers in 2014 and a major redevelopment programme by Finavia is underway to accommodate up to 20 million passengers annually by 2020.
Working in close partnership with Finavia, World Duty Free (WDF) is committed to delivering world class customer service and a fabulous airport shopping experience to Helsinki Airport’s passengers.
EUGENIO ANDRADES, CEO, WORLD DUTY FREE GROUP comments, “We were delighted to win the opportunity to operate at Helsinki Airport. With its unique geographical location – the shortest route between Europe and Asia – the airport serves as the main European gateway to Asia, with an impressive 17 direct destinations to Asia in 2016. We have worked closely with our partners at Finavia to create the very best stores and offer passengers an inspiring choice of premium brands, exclusive products and local specialities”.
VILLE HAAPASAARI, AIRPORT DIRECTOR, FINAVIA continues, “We have been upgrading the commercial service selection at Helsinki Airport extensively during the past couple of years. Having a global and experienced operator such as World Duty Free as part of our service offer is a great thing for us. We hope that we can provide our passengers not only what they are looking for, but new experiences and positive surprises as well”.
The travel retailer’s portfolio of commercial space at the airport includes a walk through tax and duty free and duty paid store in Terminal 1, which started trading on 13th November 2015. With a footprint of 283 sqm, the store has a strong emphasis on Finnish brands to cater for the many short haul non domestic European flights from this Terminal. A sense of place is enhanced with the introduction of WDF’s shop in shop concept; ‘Thinking Finland’, which gives additional local flavour with its range of premium souvenirs and food items.
Moving on to Terminal 2, WDF dominates the retail offer with a walk through tax and duty free and duty paid store and three ‘boutique’ stores in the Schengen area and another walkthrough duty free store, four boutique stores and a VIP Lounge store in the Non Schengen area. The passenger profile differs significantly between the Schengen and Non Schengen areas; so once again, WDF has tailored its product offer appropriately. T2 Schengen has a wider European passenger profile with the main nationalities being Scandinavian, Italian, French, Spanish and Polish. Several new brands have been introduced into the main store including L’Occitane, Rituals and Sisley fragrance. There’s a focus again on Finnish products with the inclusion of a smaller ‘Thinking Finland’ counter concept.
A separate Multibrand Luxury store showcases a selection of premium brands including Porsche and Versace. Sunglasses have been a big success story here, occupying just 20% of the store space, but accounting for 50% of the total store sales at the height of summer. On the opposite side of the walkway WDF’s Ralph Lauren Polo store focuses mainly on clothing and some accessory lines and caters for a predominantly female passenger profile.
WDF is justifiably proud of the Beauty Brands store it has created in partnership with Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) in Terminal 2 Schengen. Fitted out to the highest specifications, the 175sqm store has real impact and brings together a collection of premium ELC brands including Tom Ford Beauty, La Mer, Jo Malone London, Bobbi Brown, M·A·C and Origins. The Jo Malone London concession is the first one in Scandinavia and has therefore been extremely well received by the airport’s passengers, as it’s the only place they can buy this coveted brand. M·A·C and Bobbi Brown are both new brands for the airport.
At 1280sqm, the main walk through store in T2 Non Schengen is WDF’s largest store at Helsinki Airport. With its high proportion of Asian and Chinese passengers, 70% of the passenger profile is transit. Consequently, there is a much stronger focus here on international brands and several new products have been introduced to give a real depth of range including Crème de la Mer, La Prairie and Sisley.
The Liquor area in this store incorporates WDF’s Connoisseur Collection concept, which showcases the premium cognacs and whiskies so popular with Asian and Chinese passenger profiles. As it’s illegal to sample alcohol in store in Finland, retailers have to find other ways of engaging customer interest and helping them understand what a particular spirit may taste like. This is done in highly creative ways, for example by exploring aromatic notes in different liquors, rather than their flavours.
A large sampling area is included in the Food and Confectionery area to allow a regular cycle of promotions and product sampling for customers. Fazer, the number one confectionery brand in Finland, has a significant presence in this store and a delicatessen area offers chilled meats including reindeer and bear as well as Finnish cheeses. There is significant competition across the airport on souvenirs, so to differentiate its offer WDF has focused on premium souvenirs, seeking to grow that aspect of the category with items from suppliers such as the Finnish design brand, Arabia, who product quality mugs and other china pieces decorated with the iconic Moomin characters.
The boutique stores in T2 Non Schengen all have a notably premium product offer to suit the passenger profile. The Max Mara store occupies a prime location in the terminal and started trading on 23rd November. In the Multibrand Luxury store, Bally – a brand that is particularly popular with Asian passengers – is performing strongly, accounting for 40% of total sales. The flexible format of this concept store means that different brands can be introduced and trialled, to keep the product mix fresh and relevant for customers. Burberry attracts a high level of interest from Chinese passengers, whilst the Chocolatique store provides a final opportunity to purchase premium confectionery items from brands such as Godiva, Butlers and Fazer.
WDF’s retail offer at Helsinki Airport is completed with the VIP Lounge store, which forms part of the Finnair flagship First and Business lounges. It offers passengers a final opportunity to do some airport shopping and delivers a consistently strong trading performance thanks to its prime location.