Aena has launched the world’s largest duty-free shop tender by turnover, the terms of which have been published today on the airport manager’s website. The expected turnover is €18 billion and includes 86 duty-free points of sale, plus a large number of additional premises dedicated to other categories, which, among all of them, will occupy an area of 66,000 square metres, or more than seven football pitches.
“This tender has generated a great deal of excitement and has already sparked the interest of the main operators in the sector”, explained Aena’s Commercial and Real Estate Managing Director, María José Cuenda, who confirmed said interest in the presentation of the main outlines of the strategy at the largest meeting of the airport retail sector in the world, which was held in Cannes last October. This new tender will involve renewing the management of these commercial spaces at 27 airports in the Aena network, since the current contracts are in force until 31 October 2023.
The bidding specifications include a greater number of lots, with a total of six compared to the three in the previous tender, and with a sufficient size for economies of scale to be developed. In this way, one of Aena’s main objectives is fulfilled: to boost participation and promote competition.
In addition, the duration of the contract is substantially increased, going from 7 to 12 years, with the option of three annual extensions. Aena thus responds to an important request from the operators, which is to benefit the return of the investments.
The tender strategy also aims to maximise the value of this business line by reaching more customers and boosting global sales; attract the largest number of international operators to bid for the different lots (establishing rules that avoid empty lots in the award); diversify the business (expanding product categories and services); adapt to changing trends that are occurring in both passenger type and the model; and incorporate and support the development and implementation of new technologies and digitisation.
These objectives, aimed at maximising revenue, are anchored by Aena’s fundamental pillars: sustainability, technology and customer experience.
In addition, the impact of Brexit has been taken into account, as it represents a major change in the business of Aena’s duty-free shops, since the duty-free regime predominates in almost all lots. It should be noted that British passengers represent Aena’s main market.
The result of the tender is expected to be published in July 2023, after being ratified by Aena’s Board of Directors.