POLAND. Flemingo International subsidiary Baltona Duty Free has been awarded a five-year duty free contract at Wrocław–Copernicus Airport.

Baltona will operate six stores in a total area of 850sq m. The largest will be the 300sq m multi-store Wroclaw Duty Free, which will combine international and Polish goods.

Best of all worlds: The 300sq m Wroclaw Duty Free will focus on core categories and blends international and local products

The company, which has retail airside exclusivity, said it had created a “natural” shopping path between each of the stores in an attempt to maximise footfall. Baltona will adjust the offer during the contract period if necessary.

Baltona said the initial retail offer was created after considering the results of recent passenger surveys.

Sense of Place will be a key feature of the new retail area. A dedicated ‘Polish Spirit’ concept will offer a range of regional products including Polish wines, fine foods and handcrafted products.

Local flavour: Polish products are to the fore in a dedicated ‘Polish Spirit’ concept

Baltona Duty Free CEO Piotr Kazimierski said: “We are happy to come back to Wrocław Airport after five years [away]. We feel very strongly [about] offering a complete solution of master retailing to regional airports.

“I am sure the new Wrocław Airport shops will attract the attention of the industry and will turn many passengers into satisfied shoppers. As we constantly seek new and innovative ways to provide our customers with the ultimate shopping experience we are glad to have our parent company’s experience and support in all our efforts.

“The new retail design is a way for us to surprise passengers. That will be based on unrivalled customer service, offering both Sense of Place and a wide assortment of famous international brands.”

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Baltona Duty Free Business Development Manager Marcin Kiryluk added: “I strongly believe that close cooperation between retailers and airports is the best and only way to create a coherent, passenger friendly environment which enhances [the] shopping experience and makes the whole journey more attractive. I am sure that we have managed to achieve that goal at Wrocław Airport and the new retail offer presented by Baltona will fully maximise the airport’s potential.”

The new retail space at Wrocław–Copernicus was designed by London-based travel retail design specialists The Design Solution. The company aimed to integrate traditional elements of the city’s architecture with modern trends and technologies.

The Design Solution Director Nick Taylor commented: “The way this airport operates, passengers pass through security at ground level and the shops in departures located on the first floor in a linear arrangement facing the gates. Given the shop is not a walk-through, our first challenge was to ensure passengers were aware of the main store as early as possible, to get them to move into the shop at the initial entrance.

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“Our strategy, when planning the shops, was to make the shopfronts as open as possible whilst providing enough back wall space. For the main store, we removed the corner of the store and created a powerful promotion at the threshold so that passengers coming up the stairs from security would see the offer as they moved up. Our approach to the look and feel of the main store was to take an aspect from the character of the city and create a contemporary design which feels integrated into the airport’s fabric.

“So at the beginning of the process, we visited Wroclaw and took a tour around this historic city to get a feel for its spirit. There are many unique qualities to Wroclaw, from the many bridges over the waterways, to the 250 ‘Krasnoludek’ – a mythological dwarf figurine found in the most unexpected parts of the city.

“Our inspiration was taken from the spirit of the old town square which attracts tourists globally, and is arguably one of the most beautiful in Europe. We created a leitmotif for the stores inspired by the Gothic gable ends of the gothic buildings and the colours from the facades prevalent in the main old town square. From this, the logo of the store was born – Wroclaw Duty Free.

“These ‘facets of colour’ were used to create striking three-dimensional canopies within the stores. We designed a new generation of fixtures for these stores, which give a crisp contemporary look and feel focusing on the product. In the spirit of Poland shop, Sense of Place was enhanced by using warm stone ’setts’ similar to those found around the city and a local famous pattern from the Bolesławiec region. It was important for the designs to have a synergy with the airport, and so we extended the black glass concourse facade and created organic openings to the shopfronts with a reveal of timber ‘ribs’ to give an overall softer entrance feeling.”