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Tappoo Duty Free is planning to increase its Nadi Airport duty free departure shop space from 11,000sq ft to 15,000sq ft and it is also set to open a major new four-storey department store in Suva called Tappoo City, which it hopes will become the benchmark for quality downtown retailing in Fiji.

Tappoo Ltd’s directors Harnish and Yogesh Tappoo told TREND recently that the retailer has hired Kingsman to come up with the design and they believe that the finished article will be “every bit as good as anything the international trade might have seen in Singapore, Sydney or Auckland”.

Harnish Tappoo said that liquor and tobacco, followed by perfume and cosmetics are the most popular products with customers: “The new design in our airport store – where we are working with Kingsman and which we will hopefully be renovating at the end of this year – is giving very good prominence to liquor and tobacco and equally good prominence to perfume and cosmetics. But at the same time we are trying to develop some niches. We have also become very strong in jewellery.

“I reckon Kingsman are the number one shop fitter and the ground floor is going to be based on international styling. We are also building our destination merchandise and in the last couple of years we have established what we call the Fiji Market which is destination merchandise, but with a theme to it. So upstairs we are providing quite a bit of space to present this destination merchandise.”

“We are also going to make jewellery a little like they have in Dubai with a mecca. This will concentrate on fine jewellery as well as Fiji pearls and we are branding this Fiji Ko. We want to give a special identity and branding to Fiji pearls which are actually grown in Fiji and the colours are actually very beautiful.

“We’ve also just opened a Beach Culture store in Nadi Airport, which is a standalone store and an Australian brand and we have a franchise for that. It is doing very well in the few months that it has been open.”

Tappoo says the store expansion will be completed in phases, with the full offer expected to be open by May or June of 2010. This will expand the store by the aforementioned 4,000sq ft.

In addition, he says the company is opening its new flagship store in Suva this September with an unprecedented investment level of around $25m, which Harnish Tappoo describes as the biggest investment to date that the company has made in Fiji.

“Our flagship store is going to be a three-level department retail store with a food court on the fourth floor. It’s actually right next to the Suva harbour and Suva is getting a lot of cruise ships now. Almost every week we get two large cruise ships. We’ve got a smaller store at the moment and we are getting a lot of traffic from the cruise ships. We’ve already got deals with some of these cruise ships. Some people just want to go on cultural tours, but people on shopping trips come on a bus – we provide the transport – and they come to our store to shop and then go around town and then they go back to the boat.

“We are naming the store Tappoo City and it will be by far the largest department store in Fiji. The ground floor is about 24,000sq ft and it is about 60,000sq ft in total and then we’ve got the specialty stores.”

[A major exclusive interview with Tappoo Duty Free’s senior management will appear in The Travel Retail Business magazine later this month-Ed].

Article by Doug Newhouse, 13 July 2009

Source: http://www.trend-news.com/default.asp?newsid=6567

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