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Airport retail store operator Flemingo to take off online

Airport retail store operator Flemingo to take off online

Mumbai, Thursday May 12th 2016

Flemingo, which operates airport retail stores across various countries, will soon start selling its products online.

“We are setting up an e-commerce website to complement our services. But, we’ll not be competing with the likes of Flipkart and Amazon. Our focus will be on luxury brands,” said Arjun Ahuja, Managing Director of Flemingo Airport Retail, which currently operates 14 luxury stores at Mumbai domestic terminal and runs 400 retail stores across airports in 40 countries.

To differentiate itself in the online space, Flemingo is planning to host ‘Trunk Shows’ in customers’ living rooms or office conference rooms. “If you are a customer who wants a Porsche Design product, but you’re too busy to choose a product, we’ll bring a trunk to your house or office, set up a shop in your conference room and you could buy the merchandise there,” Ahuja said.

He said the service will be initially available only to customers who have shopped at Flemingo’s Porsche Design store at the Mumbai domestic airport.

Domestic airport retail

Flemingo, which is among the largest duty-free operators in the world, now believes domestic airport retail business has a lot more potential than duty-free business.

“We’ve done transactions at our duty-paid shops that are higher than the transactions we’ve ever had at our duty-free shops. We’ve had passengers spend as high as ₹8 lakh on a single bill at Mumbai domestic airport.” “We’ve never had this kind of bills at our duty-free shops. Our biggest customers so far have been passengers from smaller cities such as Surat, Agra, Nagpur, Jaipur. They are aware of the brands, but don’t have access to those brands in their cities; so they spend tonnes of money.”

Flemingo already offers home delivery to its customers and shares product pictures on WhatsApp for customers to choose from before shipping.

The company entered the duty-paid business in 2004 and currently runs 14 such stores. It is hoping to grow its annual business from ₹20 crore currently, to about ₹100 crore by the end of this year.

“Today in India, the spend per passenger at a duty-free is about $6.5 (about Rs. ₹430). We’ve realised that in Mumbai, the spending power of a domestic passenger is about $3.5 (about ₹230). And the number of domestic passengers is three times that of international flyers,” Ahuja said.

At the Porsche Design store, the average size of a transaction is ₹28,000.

The company is also betting big on large airport retail contracts that will go for tender this year.

“Currently, the government is tendering airport retail space at 14 airports through a master concessionaire route, which means one operator will manage the entire retail space at the airport. This gives us great opportunity to grow as there is very little competition for such large tenders.”