ATU, Heinemann and Hamila triumph in Tunisia


A consortium of ATU Duty Free, Gebr. Heinemann and Hamila Duty Free has been awarded the tender to operate the duty free shops at five international airports across Tunisia for eight years and two months from November 2014.

The airports – Tunis‐Carthage, Djerba‐Zarzis, Sfax‐Thyna, Tozeur‐Nefta and Tabarka‐Ain Draham – collectively handled 8 million passengers in 2013, with the total retail space amounting to 5,406sqm.

ATU Duty Free (itself a JV between TAV Airports and Unifree Duty Free), Heinemann and Hamila Duty Free won the tender with an offer of €32 million.

“Winning this tender is very important to us. It marks a major expansion of our operational network in Tunisia, which started in 2009,” commented ATU Duty Free general manager, Ersan Arcan. “I believe a key feature of our success was the strength of the consortium itself. We combined with Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG, which is the largest duty free retailer and supplier in Europe, who took the lead in the bid. We also had the opportunity to benefit from valuable insight and support from our other partner, Hamila Duty Free, a strong Tunisian duty operator.”

The tender was organised through a competitive bidding procedure, including a pre-qualification stage. Dufry, LS travel retail, World Duty Free Group, Aer Rianta and Flemingo all reportedly participated.

“Serving 8 million passengers in 2013, these airports will be very important operation points for us,” Arcan continued. “Aviation and tourism is making rapid progress in Tunisia and the potential for further growth will help fuel our future success. Our new Tunisian operation will open the gate of Africa to us, where we believe there are genuine opportunities to increase the scope and scale of our business.

“Airports are generally the first point of contact with visitors to any country. It is part of our business culture to offer our customers the best welcome possible. Whether in Tunisia or the six other countries where we operate, our main aim is always to create real added value by delivering the best international retail standards as well as featuring and supporting local culture.

“Providing customer satisfaction is key to us. We aim to offer famous global brands at the best possible prices. Given our strong supply chain and logistics, our intention is to deliver a wide and diverse range of brands to the Tunisian duty free marketplace.

“We are also very proud to continue the process of creating a new generation of jobs for the industry. We have done that at Enfidha and, more recently, at Monastir Airport. Our prime focus is to invest in people who we see as the front line to our customer base. Commercial success always follows when there is a genuine understanding of the values of customer service combined with product knowledge. We are very excited indeed over our future in Tunisia and look forward to extending a great welcome and memorable experience to all arriving and departing.”