IRAQ. Financial Links-owned Iraq Duty Free has opened its latest store at the Iraqi Airways-dedicated Departures Terminal at Baghdad International Airport. The facility complements a new Arrivals Terminal, which opened in March.

The store opened on 17 December with an updated design, new space for key categories and a series of shop-in-shops across 508sq m (see video from the day of inauguration above). Fashion & accessories is a particular focus of the store. New brands include Samsonite, Lacoste and ST Dupont among others. There is also a wider sunglasses offer, an improved electronics range and a special area for wines & spirits.

A new look for Iraq Duty Free at the Iraqi Airways Departures Terminal, with beauty (below) a vital category.

Iraq Duty Free General Manager Fouad Jabbour told The Moodie Davitt Report: “With the newly opened store, after renovation we experienced an immediate increase of 35% over last December. We are sure that the growth will continue throughout 2019.”

Iraq Duty Free is building on a contract extension captured in 2017 with investment at its key airport locations. The company – the exclusive duty free retailer at Iraq’s major airports of Baghdad, Basra and Sulaimaniyah – will now run the duty free shops at these airports until March 2029.

The store features striking new zones for sunglasses and electronics, with other key categories such as watches and confectionery gaining space.

Reflecting on the performance in 2018, Jabbour said: “We had exceptional trading in 2018 and experienced a 25% increase in sales over 2017. Taking into consideration that the Iraqi Airways departures shop was closed for nearly four months, it was a great year for us.”

Forthcoming projects include renovation of two shops in the terminal that handles international airlines, which should begin by Q2, as well as an upgrade of the Basra Airport arrivals store.

Jabbour added that new stores could open at more airports in the country later in 2019, subject to agreement with the airport authorities.

Fast fashion: New brands include Lacoste, Samsonite and ST Dupont.

Click here for The Official MEADFA Guide 2018, published by The Moodie Davitt Report, featuring an interview with Iraq Duty Free.