Qatar Duty Free opts for in-house news & books option; WHSmith to exit in November

QATAR. Hamad International Airport retailer Qatar Duty Free has opted not to renew the lease of long-time news, books and convenience retailer WHSmith and to launch an in-house offer instead, The Moodie Davitt Report reliably understands.

The move is in line with Qatar Duty Free’s highly successful in-house model across its duty free, luxury and other specialist retail operations. Qatar Duty Free will take over the business once WHSmith’s contract expires at the end of November.

WHSmith sells a wide range of newspapers, magazines, books, snacks and drinks across eight stores at the Doha gateway. It also sells travel accessories, including electrical adaptors, flight pillows and headphones.

In a note to vendor partners, WHSmith International Commercial Director Stuart Michell said that the company had recently opened stores in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia amid continued expansion in the Middle East.

The new in-house operation will join an eclectic array of retail, food & beverage and other consumer services at the vast Qatari gateway, which is undergoing a major expansion programme

Note: Qatar Duty Free will once again be hosting The QDF Factor at the Virtual Travel Retail Experience (11-15 October), reprising last year’s acclaimed competition to drive and reward industry innovation through a six-month listing with Qatar Duty Free and a complimentary US$50,000 advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report. Full details will be released in coming weeks.

Martin Moodie May 22, 2021 at 06:12PM

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