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Duty-free shops return to airport - Dubai-based firm to open two top-rung outlets around Christmas

Duty-free shops return to airport - Dubai-based firm to open two top-rung outlets around Christmas

Kolkata, Wednesday November 9th 2016

Calcutta airport is getting a Christmas present — a duty-free shop that it does not need to be ashamed of.

Come December, sought-after brands like Gucci and Cartier will be available at the city airport, which will get its first proper duty-free shop. The Dubai-based Flemingo International, selected through bidding, will set up a shop each in the arrival and departure lounges.

The airport used to have an apology of a duty-free store earlier, but that, too, was shut down in July after the contract with ITDC expired. The store, set up in 1968, often ran out of stocks and the monthly turnover had dropped from Rs 40 lakh in 2006-end to Rs 10 lakh at the time of closure.

“The new shops are expected to provide world-class facilities,” said V.K. Monga, the director of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

“The shops, together spread across 170 sq metres, will be opened in the first week of December,” Flemingo vice-president P.K. Thimmayya told Metro from Delhi.

The company runs duty-free shops in 13 Indian airports, including Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, but none in eastern India. It does, however, have an outlet at Haldia port. “Some of the world’s best-known liquor and confectionery brands will be available at our stores. Passengers will have a real retail experience,” claimed Thimmayya.

“The line-up of brands includes Gucci, Calvin Klein, Escada, Cartier, Morris Perfumes, Euro Italia, Glenmorangie, Johnnie Walker and Toblerone,” added a Flemingo official.

Among the items to fill the racks will be liquor, cigarettes, chocolates, perfumes, electronic goods, Darjeeling and Assam tea, and even spices.

A Flemingo source said the company will apply for more space once the new terminal building, being set up under the Rs 2,000-crore modernisation scheme, is ready.

Calcutta airport now operates “14 to 19 international flights” and the figure is likely to rise steadily. “Things are looking up in Calcutta and we expect to do good business,” said Thimmayya.