By Owen Ryan
SHANNON Airport has launched a tender process to secure a partner to operate its historic travel retail outlet.
The Shannon Group has also announced that it will rename its store Shannon Duty Free, the original name for the travel retail offering at Shannon, which was the global birthplace of duty free. It will happen when the current service agreement for the space, which has been known as The Loop for the last few years, winds up in June.
The shop is currently operated by Shannon Airport Authority, under a transitional agreement with Aer Rianta International, following Shannon’s separation from the State Airport’s group at the start of 2013.
However Shannon Group is now seeking a joint venture partner for the travel retail business and it formally advertised on the Moodies Report, the information website for the global travel retail sector.
Announcing the decision to seek a joint venture, Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said; “In keeping with the innovative spirit of Brendan O’Regan when he founded duty free shopping globally at Shannon all those years ago, we are seeking a partner for airport retailing at Shannon Airport.
“We are restoring the old name to the retail space here because Shannon Duty Free is a brand that is recognised and respected in the trade and publicly. The history behind the name is incredible and it is a legacy that we will seek to honour. Shannon Airport sees this joint venture, as an opportunity to maximise and improve the travel retail store offering at the airport as we grow passenger numbers. We are looking for potential partners with the same level of ambition as we have and our door is open to all interested parties.”
Tenders are to be with Shannon Group by March 21 and the planned commencement date of the new joint venture is July 1.
One of the pre-selection criteria is that applicants would have a minimum turnover of €250 million.