Duty Free to get a new look

The duty free shops ... a wider choice for travellers.

Duty free shopping at the Bahrain International Airport is set to become bigger and better this month.

Bahrain Duty Free is completely refurbishing its retail outlets at the airport and the new-look shops are set to open this month.

The shops, which are currently on the mezzanine level, will move down one floor to the main departures level.

The new shops will occupy an area of 3,300 sq m, an expansion of approximately 70 per cent in retail space.

Bahrain Duty Free is introducing an open plan "shop in shop" theme with suppliers using signature branded furniture to promote the concept, said a spokesperson.

"The plan is to create a winding street effect through the middle of the terminal which passengers can meander along, leading them through a variety of retail outlets," the spokesperson said.

"Our 'shop in shop' boutiques will include Lanvin, Dunhill, Hugo Boss, Bally, Nini Ricci, Lacoste, and Gentlemen Givenchy. We will also house a unique ladies lingerie boutique, a specialised leather shop and a stand-alone optician where an order for prescription lenses can be placed in the morning and collected in the evening."

The new retail space will allow for an increase in size of each department. A humidor twice the size of the existing one will allow passengers to select their favourite cigars at leisure.

A vintage wine cellar will also be introduced which will house a variety of wines and a selection of ports and cognacs. All wines will be stored in a chilled warehouse at the recommended temperatures.

An Arabic courtyard will feature in the shopping street where local potters and weavers will demonstrate their talents, bringing local tradition to the attention of the public.

The shops will be located in the central passenger flow so it will target the departing, transit and transfer passengers more directly.

"The new location will make shopping more convenient to passengers especially those with short connection times. Being on the departures level the shops will be highly visible and will provide easy access to all passengers," said Bahrain Duty Free public relations and marketing officer Deirdre Spillane.

"We expect to see passenger penetration increase considerably in our new shops."

Bahrain Duty Free has more than 40 special promotions running at any one time on a wide range of products including liquor, cigarettes, perfumes, watches and jewellery and many more.

The company works closely with its suppliers to obtain the best results and also runs its own promotional campaigns without the support of suppliers, said Spillane.

Special attractions include the highly successful gift vouchers which are available for purchase on the duty free website by phoning customer service and raffle draws offering prize moneys worth $133,000 and $67,000.

The company has also introduced several innovative schemes to make duty free shopping more convenient for travellers including a pre-order service, mobile shops at the departure gates stocking 10 top sellers in the main product groups, and on-site courier service in association with DHL.

Bahrain Duty Free which began trading in October 1991, has won several international awards underlining its success including being named the Highly Commended Middle East Travel Retailer of the Year in this year's Raven Fox Awards and winner of the Emerald Duty Free Award last year.