By Shezna Shums
Flemingo Group has been awarded a contract to open a 6,000 sq feet duty free shop at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), giving competition for the estimated US$ 55 million revenue from travellers.
At present there are about 5.5 million travellers though Sri Lanka’s only operational international airport annually. If every traveller spends an average of US$ 100, the revenue would be over US$ 55 million, the company speculated. This number is also expected to grow at an average of 40%, setting the stage for increased profits.
The shops will be open at both the arrival and departure lounges.
Flemingo Group is a company which records a turnover of US$ 180 million and employs over 1,000 people worldwide. It also has duty free shops in India, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Asian region. This is also the company which was awarded from the Indian side to carry out the ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo.
Flemingo Group, one of the world’s largest players in duty free and travel retail, reached an agreement with the BIA to operate duty free services in Sri Lanka. The contract was signed by Flemingo Managing Director Mahendra Thakar and BIA Chairman Prasanna Wickramasuriya on 29 June.
Speaking on the agreement, Thakar said Flemingo group, with its exponential growth over the past few years, was fast becoming a serious contender in the duty free industry, the world over.
“We have been growing rapidly for five years now, and along with all our partners, investors and suppliers, we plan to expand aggressively by offering the market the very best products and services in the industry,” he asserted.
Flemingo, which was established in 1997, saw swift growth over the years and today is one of the largest duty free retail players in emerging markets with over 140 outlets. It is the largest duty free retailer in India with a total of 36 stores and has a strong presence in Africa and the Middle East with 26 stores.
Flemingo has also recently entered the eastern European market and acquired duty free operations in Poland, Romania, Russia and Turkey. It has also made an entry into the Russian market with duty free stores in four international airports and France with Montpellier Airport.
Speaking on the growth of Flemingo, Chief Executive Officer P.K. Thimmayya said: “We have taken partnerships from a single location to a global level, propelling on the strengths we see in one another. Flemingo seeks to continue its growth cycle parallel with all its partners and suppliers and become a global giant in the corporate world.”