The first border duty free shop in the Brazilian state of Paraná –under the name of Sky Duty Free– is due to open within a matter of weeks. So far, following the approval of legislation in Brazil permitting duty free stores in 33 cities, the only store openings have been in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. These have taken place within the past two months.
The operators of Sky Duty Free plan a soft opening of their 550sqm store located in the center of the town of Foz de Iguaçu as soon as merchandise arrives from suppliers in Montevideo and other countries.
The official inauguration is planned for the end of January, but the final date will depend on stock availability of the major brands arriving in-store as merchandise arrives direct from suppliers in Europe and North America.
According to company director Alex Beridze, Sky Duty Free will offer a wide range of international brands to meet the needs of tourists visiting the Iguaçu Waterfalls. Located on the Brazilian – Argentine border, and adjacent to the triple border shared by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the area is a major tourism destination.
“We aim to have all the leading brands of spirits, wine, tobacco, perfumes & cosmetics, and food & confectionery, available for travelers to the area. Brand owners who have visited our store are happy with what we are doing and we think we will be giving a great selection of brands to people who come and shop with us,” says Beridze.
“We were unable to import until we got our license from the Receita Federal, the Brazilian Customs Authority. Now we are working as quickly as possible with our partners to get merchandise on the shelves at our store. As soon as all the brands are there, we will have the formal shop opening,” he says.
The opening at Foz de Iguaçu is only the start according to Beridze, who says that the company will be looking at more opportunities in Foz and other parts of Paraná.
“We have visited all 33 towns where duty free shopping is permitted in Brazil and we are already looking at a number of projects,” he adds. “We also hope to announce new stores in various other countries around the world within the next few months.”
Comment – Situated close to the low tax stores in the Paraguayan town of Ciudad del Este offering a solid travel retail offer and the London Supply 10,000sqm megastore in Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, the new stores in Foz de Iguaçu will face strong competition. Sky is the first and we understand that DFA Brasil will also be opening soon. Almost certainly there will be more stores announced over the next few months. It should be interesting to see how sales develop in all three countries as competition intensifies. Unlike other border towns, the tourist flows in the Triple Border area are strong throughout the whole year – this is good news for store owners, the competition will surely be even better news for shoppers.