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Aldeasa Makes U.S. Debut In Atlanta

MARTIN MOODIE

US. Aldeasa [on June 6] celebrated the grand opening of its new duty-free store at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) at a function attended by more than 100 VIPs.

The opening of the 6,886 sq. ft. marks Aldeasa’s debut in the U.S. Senior representatives from the mayor’s office, the Department of Aviation, Aldeasa sister companies HMSHost and Alpha Group, Shellis Management Services (Aldeasa’s DBE partner) and Aldeasa were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was followed by a celebratory luncheon. As guests arrived, they – and shoppers – were entertained by two top local jazz musicians.

ATL’s Director of Concessions John Cugasi introduced proceedings by telling guests: “Our mission is clearly not all about being the world’s busiest airport but all about being the world’s greatest in the passengers’ eyes.

“The store we are celebrating today clearly moves us towards that goal. We are extremely proud at the effort that Aldeasa and the greater team have put forward. The duty-free experience is a central and very exciting part of the traveler’s journey – we envisaged an experience that would be bright, energetic, memorable and filled with a shopping experience of the greatest brands that passengers have come to know and love. This shop has delivered on that promise and has really delivered a quality shopping experience for our travelers.”

In a passionate speech Aldeasa Chief Executive Officer José©-María Palencia said: “One thing we have learned since we have been here is how important the airport is in the life of the city, the most up-and-coming city in the United States.

“We are committed, along with the airport of Atlanta, to exceeding the expectations of passengers.” He closed by paying tribute to the 100 or so Atlantans working in the Aldeasa team “who will make our dream come true” as well as to Shellis Management Services President Clark Sharpe and HMSHost CEO Elie Maalouf, who had played a key role in getting the store opened.

In a typically ebullient presentation, Maalouf said: “Thank you to the city of Atlanta for receiving and opening the finest duty free store in the United States. I go to all of them and this is the finest.”

Sharpe said: “I think we have truly reached a new customer experience. This aviation department expects to be world class and we expect to epitomize their customer service vision.”

Local and regional businesses will be able to reach more than 200,000 people as they pass through the terminal at Barnstable Municipal-Boardman/Polando Field (HYA).

The Community Showcase Program, a partnership between the airport and Clear Channel Interspace Airports, will act as a catalyst for promoting tourism, economic development and community support. The airport will share in the revenue generated from the advertising, which uses new display technology.

“The new technology is incredible,” says Quincy Mosby, airport manager. “As I walk through the terminal I have noticed that many of the passengers are stopping to look with obvious approval in the form of oohs and aahs!” 

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