ATU Duty Free, Heinemann Americas to work closely on Houston contract

Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport

ATU Duty Free has been awarded its first duty free retail concession in the USA. The Turkish-based company is a joint venture between TAV Airports Holding and Unifree Duty Free/Gebr Heinemann.

The new 10-year contract will commence on July 1, 2015 in Terminals A, B, C & D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, Texas.

ATU Duty Free General Manager Ersan Arcan said: “Houston is a great city with a rich culture; our vision is to incorporate those elements in our future shop concepts and design. We are 100% committed to this project and our partner-ship with Houston Airport.”

Gebr. Heinemann’s regional subsidiary, Heinemann Americas, Inc., located in Miami, Florida, will work closely with ATU Duty Free to support and develop a great shopping experience in the Houston airport.

Heinemann Americas, Inc. CEO Steffen Brandt said: “We look forward to enter the American retail market together with our partners from ATU Duty Free; we are convinced this union will be successful.”

TMI understands that in most of its partnerships, the Heinemann business model consists of providing such services as trade marketing, category management, staff training, purchasing execution, logistics, customer services and retail concepts, all in cooperation with the partner company.

In addition to ATU Americas, the other concession winners at the Houston airports include WDFG North America, Paradies, Host International, SSP America Texas and Latrelle’s Galley, providing food and beverage, specialty coffee, retail services and duty free products to customers at IAH and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Houston’s second commercial airport.

“The concession program is an important part of the customer experience and is integrated into the overall operation of the airport,” Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz said when announcing the concession winners. “We wanted to create value for our passengers who use our airports to travel across the state or around the world. We were looking for pro-ducts and services that satisfied the needs, wants and desires of our passengers.”

The new contracts will be phased in over the next several months and run through December 2025, said the Houston Airport Systems (HAS). The new agreements are projected to generate more than $170 million in gross sales and double the rent paid to the airport.