Aelia is already operating in Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Queenstown and Rotorua. It’s part of LS Travel Retail Asia Pacific, which operates similar companies such as Duty Free Stores New Zealand and Duty Free Stores Australia, as well the familiar airport presence, Relay. Its other core brands are NewsLink, Watermark Books, Hub Convenience, Discover, Kaboom, The Fashion Gallery, So Chocolate, Icons, Purely Merino, Purely Australian and Voyage.
LS Travel Retail Pacific is itself owned by Lagardere, a travel and media group operating in 40 countries.
The Loop is the trading name of Aer Rianta International, an Irish travel retail company. It employs more than 3500 people worldwide, and turned over more than $1 billion last year.
Auckland Airport said in a media release that the Aelia and The Loop were chosen in February this year following an international tender process. Richard Barker, Auckland Airport’s general manager retail and commercial, says the two new duty free retailers will introduce new local and international brands to the airport.
“In time, [Aelia and The Loop] will be complemented by a wide range of new stores once Auckland Airport completes the expansion of its international departure area in late-2017.”
He says the airport is committed to making sure a comprehensive range of duty free products will be provided during the transition period. Jr Duty Free finished trading yesterday evening, and DFS will finish tomorrow at midnight.
Barker told the New Zealand Herald that the existing duty free retailers were criticised at Auckland Airport’s annual meeting last year for their hard sell tactics, and the new companies promised more relaxed service.
Jack MacGowan, Aer Rianta International CEO, says the company is “very much looking forward to bringing our innovative retail offer to Auckland Airport, providing travellers with an award-winning shopping experience in store as well as online.”
Matthieu Mercier, CEO of LS Travel Retail Pacific, says the company will offer innovative ideas and many “firsts” for Auckland Airport.