Dufry has been awarded a new eight-and-a-half-year concession contract at Sofia International Airport in Bulgaria to operate a total of thirteen shops, eleven of which will be duty-free and two of which will be duty-paid.
Dufry will take over the operation of the 1,433 m² of existing commercial space as of June 2022 and will develop a new 1,800 m² walkthrough shop and a new 170 m² Arrivals shop, both of which will be located in the airport’s Terminal 2. This new concession further consolidates Dufy’s footprint in Bulgaria by introducing an additional location on top of the existing operations at the Burgas and Varna airports.
Sofia Airport is the largest international airport in Bulgaria and handled over 7 million passengers in 2019. The airport has already started a major redevelopment which includes the construction of a new terminal and aiming at delivering a five-star passenger service. Dufry will significantly improve the commercial offer as part of this extensive redevelopment, setting a new benchmark for travel retail in Eastern European airports.
The retail space in the existing Terminal 2 will be totally transformed with the construction of the 1,800 m² main walkthrough duty-free store and the new duty-paid Arrivals shop. The core product categories will be offered across the various commercial outlets and in the new walk through store customers will discover an extensive product mix including internationally renowned brands, exclusive products and new launches. There will also be a strong focus on local products, which will be showcased within the store in a “Taste of Sofia” area, to convey a strong sense of place.
Commenting on the new contract, Alberto Iglesias, Chief Operating Officer, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe & Middle East said, “Dufry is proud to have been awarded this important new concession in Bulgaria. We would like to thank Sofia Airport for the trust they have shown in us. As the leading global travel retailer, we will use our extensive knowledge and expertise to take the airport’s shopping experience to an entirely new level for over seven million passengers who visit Sofia Airport each year. A key element of the new walk through store will be the integration of digital technologies.”
Jesus Caballero, Sofia Airport Chief Executive Officer, added: “With the appointment of the professional duty-free and travel retail operator Dufry for the airport shops, we are a step closer to delivering the envisaged excellence to our passengers. Our travellers deserve a better commercial experience on the airport premises and Dufry is going to deliver it. Our expectations of the global travel retailer are in line with Sofia Airport’s major transformation aimed to rank the airport among its European peers.”
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