Sky Duty Free celebrates first land border store opening at Foz do Iguacú
Sky Duty Free, a company created by a team of duty free industry leaders, held its celebratory opening of its first duty free land border store in Foz do Iguacú, Brazil on Monday May 4th 2020. The two-story, 550-square-meter store is located in the center of the city, close to the borders of Argentina and Paraguay.
The opening was attended by company staff and local politicians, including the city’s mayor, in accordance with social distancing regulations. Americas Duty Free spoke with Alex Beridze, Director of Operations and Business Development, Sky Duty Free, to hear his impression of opening day.
“It was a good opening,” he says. “However, due to the COVID-19 regulations, we couldn’t let everyone in. We allowed 10 to 15 people at a time, as they had to keep to social distancing. We had someone at the door spraying everyone’s hands with alcohol or offering gel to ensure the safety of shoppers, and everyone had to wear a mask to be allowed entry,” explained Beridze.
According to Beridze, the team is considering having a larger grand opening ceremony at a later date once COVID-19 restrictions have eased.
When asked if the global pandemic has affected 2020 business projections, Beridze said, “No, nothing has changed. We know what we are doing and there is a reason why we are here. We are open and we are running.”
The Foz do Iguacú store supports several different category offerings including Spirits, Tobacco and Beauty; these are the top three categories and the store’s main focus. The store presents wide-ranging brand partnerships, Moët Hennessy, Brown-Forman, Bacardi, Pernod Ricard, Diageo, JTI, Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Estée Lauder are just a few sizeable availabilities.
More to come
While the location is popular with international tourists, it also has its share of local and regional visitors. Therefore, though international tourist numbers are limited due to current travel restrictions, visitors from local cities are shopping at the store. Foz do Iguaçu is one of Brazil's most-frequented tourist destinations, mainly due to Iguaçu Falls. “In Iguaçu, we normally see travelers from Europe, South Africa, China and America, however, due to international travel restrictions at this time, tourism is limited,” says Beridze.
Sky Duty Free plans on further expansion in 2020, according to Beridze. “We definitely we have more locations coming up and we will make an announcement this week.” Stay tuned.