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ACSA unveils revamped ORTIA Duty Free Mall ahead of Christmas
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | 00:00

Airports Company South Africa Limited (ACSA) today unveiled its revamped Duty Free Mall at O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA), the unveiling coinciding with the launch of its “Come EARLY for Christmas” promotion in which nearly R700 000 can be won at Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban International Airports.  ACSA also revealed its plans for a R53 million extension to ORTIA’s Duty Free Mall, due for completion by the end of 2007, well ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Says Rory Mackey, ACSA Group Executive: Commercial, of the refurbishment:  “We purposefully completed the refurbishment in time for Christmas to demonstrate our commitment to our South African customer base, our dominant international travel market.  We are confident the South African travelling public will be pleased with the dramatic enhancements to favourite South African brands such as News Café and Cape Union Mart, whilst sales already point to them approving of the arrival of sought-after international brand Lacoste.

Whether it is international brands, holiday clothing, audio visual equipment or airtime to use on holiday or whisky and wine gifts you’re after, ACSA’s Duty Free Malls have it all.  The benefit of these unique shopping destinations is that you don’t have to add to your travel stress by trying to fit it all in before arriving at the airport – just get to the airport early and do it all there.

Mahesh Govind, Assistant Group Executive: Retail, says the focal point of the Duty Free Mall’s 14-store revamp is the facelift to the three dramatic triangular nodes which, since their installation five years ago, have become iconic features of Africa’s busiest airport and the Gateway to sub Sahara Africa.

“The refurbishment of the main tax and duty free store, the anchor of the mall, has dramatically improved our ability to cater for the unique characteristics of transumers who are, on the whole, well travelled, affluent and very discerning, but time-poor and on a rollercoaster ride of anxiety only associated with airport travel.  It is essential that they locate what they desire instantly and hassle-free,” Govind said.

To this end perceived barriers such as artificial walls, product islands and split level sections have been replaced with a single-level retail space that literally opens up to the transumer through the effective use of floor layout, design and lighting that deliver high visibility and easy access.

The core duty free product categories of liquor, tobacco and perfumery form the three cornerstones of the revamped store and are clearly visible in a single glance due to their prime positions and associated dramatic visual impact.  As premium product categories whisky and wine have been elevated through magnificent galleries that intuitively draw the distinguished transumer.

Across product ranges brand identification is extremely valuable to the hurried transumer and product branding has therefore been increased and so too its visibility.  Whether it is Mont Blanc, Swarovski, St Dupont or Thomas Sabo the transumer is after, location is now much easier.

A brand new addition to the main tax and duty free store is an electrifying promotional court adjacent to the main entrance that alerts transumers to the range of special offers and sales discounts.  “We are pleased to finally offer transumers a single point of reference where all value propositions are showcased and we are confident that this area will prove especially valuable to those transumers in need of last-minute gifts,” Govind said.

On the whole the Duty Free Mall has been given an added boost with the arrival of highly sought-after international brands Lacoste and The Body Shop.  “Research pointed to the need for a modern apparel brand, which saw the arrival of Lacoste, a brand that embodies our transumers’ approach to life: performance and pleasure.  Like legendary tennis star Rene Lacoste, the store is already proving to win the hearts of transumers, who cheer by shopping,” Govind said.

“The arrival of The Body Shop”, says Nicky Rose-Innes, responsible for retail marketing at ACSA, “came about through an open tender process that provided ACSA the opportunity to establish a brand new retail concept that best suited the already exciting retail offer.  There is no doubt that The Body Shop will add a new glow to tax and duty free shopping at ORTIA, especially to our female transumers.”.

Finally, when transumers are all shopped out and ready to settle down, they can do so in the two awesome food and beverage nodes which flank the main tax and duty free store, where they can soak up the thrilling views of airside activity through 330m² of glass.  The new News Café, housed in the Northern node, is the biggest installation challenge ever undertaken by the brand-owner in its illustrious 10-year history.   One of the new features is a raised wooden deck for a draught lounge with eight draught heads to cater for the cosmopolitan beer-drinking needs of travellers.

The Southern node is home to the up-market Africa Lounge and international brand Caffè Ritazza, a bustling Latin inspired coffee shop that is well known in over 30 countries across the globe.  In the Africa Lounge the décor and furniture is a wonderful eclectic mix of colonial, rustic and contemporary African.  The piece de resistance is a flock of illuminated geese designed by internationally acclaimed local artist Michael Methven.  A special feature of the Africa Lounge is its “Theatre of Food” kitchen where travellers can view the chefs in action.  Africa Lounge is bound to leave an overwhelming and truly African impression on all travelers, no matter their origin.

“We hope the South African travelling public will be pleased with what we have delivered for them and we invite them to come early for Christmas, enjoy this unique shopping experience and hopefully win one of our fantastic cash prizes.” concluded Rose-Innes. 

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