The FINANCIAL -- There has been a 40% increase in sales in Tbilisi Duty Free compared to the same period of last year, from January to November. One of the reasons for this significant increase is due to the increase in sales of the Wines of Georgia shop. ATU Duty Free plans to enlarge and renew shops in Tbilisi Airport in 2014. The company is going to open a new 148 square metre shop in Kutaisi Airport in January 2014.
“Opening of the Wines of Georgia store has been very successful both in financial and sustainability terms to preserve and promote Georgian wine culture. It is enjoyed by passengers using Tbilisi Airport,” Murat Demirag, Georgia Operations Manager at ATU Georgia LLC, Tbilisi International Airport, told The FINANCIAL.
ATU Duty Free established the wine store in 2011. There are 11 wine brands currently presented at the store. “Teliani Valley is the bestselling brand,” said Demirag.
Bestselling products at Duty Free Tbilisi include: Khvanchkara semi-sweet red wine, Sarajishvili XO, Marlboro Gold Original NHW, Ch.Mukhrani Chacha grape spirit, Marani Kindzmarauli semi-sweet red, Parliament Aqua Blue NHW, Marlboro Red NHW, Teliani Khvanchkara red, Badagoni Khvanchkara semi-sweet red and Satrapezo Saperavi dry red.
“Sales of the Wines of Georgia store have increased by 32.3% compared to January-November 2012,” said Demirag.
According to Demirag, 10% of the Tbilisi store’s customers are Georgians. 17% are non-defined, and the remaining 73% are foreigners.
250 different brands in all categories are currently offered in Tbilisi Duty Free.
“Products sold at ATU Duty Free, apart from local Georgian products, are produced in many different countries. However all our purchasing is made from one of the world’s biggest duty free distributors Gebr. Heinemann whose headquarters and main warehouse is in Hamburg, Germany,” said Demirag.
“Our classic duty free items such as perfumes, cosmetics and liquor prices are in general much lower than the domestic market prices. Some of these products are not even available in the domestic market,” he added.
“The cigarette prices may be higher but we would like to point out that the cigarettes sold at ATU Duty Free are imported from Switzerland whereas in the domestic market the same cigarette is produced in Ukraine. Although the brand of the cigarette is the same, due to the tobacco used and the manufacturing methods the Swiss-produced cigarettes are a much higher quality product. We prefer to offer the best quality products,” said Demirag.
Duty Free Tbilisi prices are affected by many criteria including international economic changes, said Demirag. “As the majority of products sold at ATU Duty Free are imported we would like keep the price increases to a minimum in order to keep offering advantageous prices in accordance with the domestic market.”
“We would like to enlarge and renew our shops in Tbilisi Airport in 2014. When we complete the renovation we would like to add many more brands to the ATU Duty Free shops in terms of cosmetics and accessories. Also, we are going to open a new 148 square metre shop in Kutaisi Airport in January 2014,” Demirag told The FINANCIAL.