James Richardson retains Tel Aviv Terminal 3 duty free concession

ISRAEL. James Richardson has been named the winning company in the tender for core category retail (covering liquor, tobacco, confectionery, perfumes, cosmetics and drugstore retail) at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport T3.

Israel Airports Authority confirmed today that James Richardson, the incumbent at Ben Gurion for many years, won the competition with a minimum annual guarantee offer of US$169 million.

The company will operate a ten-year concession at a location where it has 3,300sq m of retail space. James Richardson’s sales in 2012 were US$343 million, according to IAA.

James Richardson is set to maintain its long-standing presence at Tel Aviv T3

The award follows an intensely close competition with only US$2 million separating James Richardson’s bid from that of runner up Gebr Heinemann Israel, an entity created by the German retailer and Russian-Israeli company Alfa (unrelated to Alpha or World Duty Free Group).

The Moodie Report understands reliably that James Richardson and Heinemann Israel were the only bidders, despite strong interest from international operators early on in the process.

IAA Commerce & Business Development Department Marketing Manager Einat Eliraz told The Moodie Report that the authority had aimed for a speedy decision after this morning’s tender deadline. “We wanted to decide in one day as we did not want to keep the bidders waiting until after the weekend, and as it turned out all the bids were very well executed, with no clarifications needed.

“The new contract will run from 2 October 2014 and we look forward to James Richardson’s new plans at T3.”

The retailer generated US$343 million in 2012 sales

James Richardson Chairman Garry Stock told The Moodie Report that the retailer was delighted with the win against tough international competition.

Commenting on the retailer’s plans, especially in light of the concerns raised in its recent legal case seeking to alter the tender terms, Stock added: “All our concerns, especially on the regulatory challenges, were very material and challenged us on where we had to go. We had to engage in a two-part process; first pulling back the business in light of those challenges, and then springing forward again with fresh ideas.

“We are looking forward to taking our offer here to another level. The world is not standing still and we have plans to adapt. Those ideas will unfold over the next year or so and we will be working with our General Manager Ori Gilboa to develop them further.

“The Israeli traveller is very demanding, and the tourist market here is rapidly evolving. Our new plans will make sure we keep pace with those demands.”

Stock also took the opportunity to recognise the huge significance of James Richardson’s family ownership on its success in Israel over the years. He said: “This win is a great credit to the late pioneering David Mandie, who brought James Richardson to Israel, and his daughter Evelyn Danos who now runs the business – and was with us in Israel to hand in our bid. Thanks to their leadership and commitment to this market we now have a concession that we will be taking up to its thirty-sixth year. That is a remarkable achievement.”


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