Retail in Asia

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Dufry/Avolta strikes breakthrough master concessionaire joint venture with Hubei Airport Group in Wuhan

Dufry – soon to be named Avolta – has strengthened its China market presence by forming a joint venture with Hubei Airport Group to operate Wuhan Tianhe Airport Terminal 2 as master concessionaire. The partnership encompasses 77 outlets across 13,000 square metres of space.

The airport served over 27 million passengers in 2019 and is the 14th busiest airport in China measured by passenger traffic volumes.

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With the partnership, Dufry said it will “fully leverage its newly enhanced capabilities resulting from the Dufry-Autogrill business combination to showcase innovative travel retail, F&B, convenience and hybrid concepts, optimising revenue generation and elevating the travel experience”.

The offer will include domestic and international brands and concepts tailored to Chinese and international travellers while delivering a strong Sense of Place, said Dufry. Following the development phase, the first outlets are planned to open between the end of December 2023 and early January 2024.

Dufry CEO Xavier Rossinyol said: “Wuhan Tianhe’s Terminal 2 will be the first entity in the Chinese market to be jointly operated by Dufry, soon to be called Avolta, the world’s leading travel experience company, and Hubei Airport Group, one of the foremost airport groups in China. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Hubei Airport Group for placing their trust in us as a master concessionaire partner.

“This is a brave and exciting next step for our company. In line with our Destination 2027 strategy, we look forward to introducing innovative concepts which will elevate the traveller’s airport experience to an entirely new level. We’re confident that this aligns with Hubei Airport Group’s own vision to set the highest international standards for airport commercial operations.

“As Avolta, we are more than Dufry, and we are more than Autogrill, and this significant contract attests to our expanded ability to offer airport partners a comprehensive set of travel retail, F&B, convenience and hybrid concepts, fully managing the commercial spaces in our role as master concessionaire.”

Hubei Airport Group chairman Li Zhonglu said, “Hubei Airport Group has joined hands with Dufry to establish a comprehensive and deep-seated strategic partnership, leveraging the airport’s ‘big channel, big hub, big network and big platform’ functions, and also leveraging Dufry’s global supply chain, operational expertise and its leading position in the industry.

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“In doing so we are deepening our resource sharing, strengthening efficient collaboration, and working together to build the platform, elevate the travel experience, and expand the market opportunities. Working together, we can successfully promote the integrated development of Wuhan as a travel hub, and better serve travellers, as well as the province’s further development as it opens up to the outside world.”