Top Brands International acquires Bright Star Duty Free in Asuncion

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Since acquiring Miami-based Image Duty Free last October, Panamanian company Top Brands International continues to power ahead with its expansion strategy.

Earlier this year, Top Brands acquired the duty free operations of Paraguayan travel retailer Bright Star. The acquisition further strengthens the company’s presence in the airport travel retail channel in the region.

Bright Star is the main duty free retailer at Aeropuerto Internacional Silvio Pettirossi in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Danny Yohoros, President of Top Brands International, tells TMI that his company, a mainstay in Panama and Colombia, has been looking to expand in the region, focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, family-owned Top Brands International has been in business marketing and managing prestigious international brands for over 40 years, and currently operates more than 55 locations across 11 Latin American countries.

The Image Duty Free acquisition gave the company access to the Caribbean through Image’s stores in the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and French Guiana as well as a foothold on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Yohoros says its deal with Bright Star encompasses two duty free stores at the Asuncion departure terminal, covering some 380 square meters of retail space.

“One of the stores is a walk-through shop. These are Bright Star’s flagship operations,” he says.

Top Brands sees the Bright Star shops offering excellent potential: “Before they were only focusing on fragrance and cosmetics but since Top Brands carries all categories, we will now expand the assortment so that we can give our customers a wider range of products,” he explains.

About 90% of the store is now dedicated to fragrances and cosmetics, and Yohoros is reconfiguring the layout to expand the offer.

“We are working with our architectural team to be able to convert about 35% of the space for spirits, cigarettes and confectionery. We think we can do this without affecting the volume of fragrances and cosmetics now being sold,” he says.

“The stores were renovated not long ago and we will keep the same design. They are upscale with very good brand awareness.”

Yohoros is also optimistic about growth potential in Asuncion. “The airport in Paraguay is experiencing very good recovery from the Brazilians and especially from Argentina, so we expect to see good growth in spend and traffic.”

The acquisition was finalized by the government last week.

In related news, Raphael Vinson, formerly key account manager for Puig in the Americas, has joined Top Brands as Head of Perfumes & Cosmetics. Antoine Goetgheluck, formerly president of Image Duty Free, has left the company.

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