Dufry opens doors to new-look Sharjah store


Dufry reports an unexpected increase in trading during phase one of the refurbishment process

International travel retailer Dufry is re-animating the retail landscape scene at Sharjah International Airport as it wraps up an intensive period of refurbishment with a refreshed concept.

Passengers traveling through the emirate’s busy airport are already able to enjoy the new-look perfumes and cosmetics, fashion and watches, jewelry and accessories categories, with the introduction of Dufry’s Hudson store brand set to be the icing on the cake.

Iain Forrest, General Manager, Middle East, India & Subcontinent, Dufry, helmed the project, which saw phase one include the relocation of the entire P&C section from the left-hand side of the original store layout to the right-hand side. The expanded brand line-up welcomes Cartier and Benefit with the existing Bobbi Brown bar also undergoing a complete makeover.

Says Forrest: “The actual footprint for the category space is slightly less but much more focused on brand and product adjacencies, and the introduction of further niche fragrances will also be introduced as the shop evolves.

“Brands have either installed their latest design concepts or will feature on our new generic furniture.”

In the near future, Omega, Rado, Longines and Tissot watches will boost the existing watches inventory with regional brands such as Bateel and Patchi to feature in the food category.

The decision to relocate the portfolio of luxury products (watches, jewelry, fashion and accessories) from the previous standalone shop to a new position adjacent to the P&C categories, was done to create better synergy in terms of the customer experience, and has resulted in double-digit growth in these categories according to Forrest.

Despite the challenge of maintaining a 24/7 operation while creating a new passenger journey, Forrest reports a smooth-sailing project experience overall. “With passenger numbers continuing to grow it was important to keep customer disruption to a minimum, which we managed to do. Business trading during phase one actually increased, which came as a pleasant surprise as we had expected some decrease solely due to the relocation of products,” he says.

The remodelled space includes a first for the region in the shape of a 110-square-meter airside Hudson shop. The convenience brand is currently being rolled out across the US and Sharjah will be a showcase for Hudson in the Middle East.