Empire Airport Service declares bankruptcy; DFSW pullsout of Wellington


Japan's Empire Airport Service has closed its five stores at Narita Airport, following its bankruptcy on 11-Jan-2011 due to major cash-flow problems through 2H2010. Empire’s collapse leaves Narita International Airport Corp (NAA) with additional space as part of its strategic retail plan.

NAA had been looking at reorganising the layout of the stores operated by its three duty free subsidiaries (NAAR, NADF and NJDS) in conjunction with their merger slated for 2012. It will include the lots vacated by Empire in its options and decide on their use with a view to maximising its group’s profits.

Duty Free Stores New Zealand announced it will no longer be able to supply products to passengers travelling through Wellington Airport, due to an increase in charges to hand out goods at the location. DFSW said charges were up by 240% to USD33.50 for “an average bag of duty-free goods”. DFSW CEO Grant Archibald said he approached the New Zealand Commerce Commission to investigate the situation and asked Wellington Airport to provide DFSW with separate facilities to prevent the increased charges.

Of listed duty free operators, Dufry gained 3.3% and Hellenic Duty Free was also up, closing the day 3.1% higher. Japan Airport Terminal finished trading on Monday 1.5% lower.

Selected Duty Free daily share price movements (% change): 21-Feb-2011

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