Shannon goes back to the future for duty free relaunch

Anne O’Donoghue

Reporter:

Anne O’Donoghue

Celebrating the relaunch of Shannon Duty Free were 1940s paparazzi photographer James Sexton, Marilyn Monroe lookalike Caroline Flynn and bell-boy  Alan Power. Shannon, the world's oldest duty free, launched its new look this week with 1940s inspired celebration which was a big hit with guests
Shannon Airport travelled back in time this week, as the Shannon Group relaunched the airport’s duty free shop, the first in the world, with 1940s-inspired celebrations that had guests in party mood.

Shannon Airport travelled back in time this week, as the Shannon Group relaunched the airport’s duty free shop, the first in the world, with 1940s-inspired celebrations that had guests in party mood.

The 40s were in full swing at the airport for the relaunch on Monday night.

Some favourites from the era were brought back to life, as guests and passengers were treated to a Dean Martin tribute act. Marilyn Monroe’s double was also on hand for the celebrations. She was papped by 1940s reporters, while bell-boys held doors open for her. Proper order!

Neil Pakey, CEO of Shannon Group, said the relaunch is not only the start of a new beginning for Shannon Duty Free, but also a way to celebrate its fantastic past.

“Today’s relaunch won’t just be a starting point for a new era of high quality shopping at the airport; it will be a celebration of all that’s gone before.

“We are so proud to have invented duty free shopping and we’re excited to relaunch today and celebrate what we believe is an exciting future for Shannon Duty Free,” said Mr Pakey.

Almost 70 years ago the duty free, brainchild of Dr Brendan O’Regan, started as a small kiosk where Ms Kitty Downes sold souvenirs, Irish linen and other locally produced goods.

These humble beginnings became the blueprint for the world-wide, multi-billion dollar duty free industry we know today.

As part of the relaunch the duty free saw the introduction of new signage and branding.

New product lines and layouts are in the process of being implemented. Shannon Duty Free said they are striving to establish a more effective, exciting and profitable retail outlet.

The relaunch also saw the introduction of new supplier Gerb Heinemann, who is the oldest in the world in their field of duty free supply, making the new partnership a unique blend of histories.

Gunnar Heinemann, joint owner of Gerb Heinemann, said they are pleased to partner and supply Shannon Duty Free over the coming years. “As the oldest duty free supplier in the world we believe our partnership with Shannon Duty Free, the world’s first duty free shop, is both unique and exciting.

“It is a very important milestone for us in our business and in our efforts to further grow our footprint. We very much hope that our pioneering histories form the foundation of a great future together,” said Mr Heinemann.

To celebrate the relaunch a number of exclusive travel offers have been introduced to Shannon Duty Free. There will be up to 20% off fragrances for a limited time.

Freddy the teddy, a giant six foot teddy bear, has taken up residence in the duty free to promote an offer of a free teddy with every purchase over €75 during the Christmas season.

Alternatively people can donate their bear to charity if they wish.

Shannon Duty Free offers an extensive selection of fragrance, liquor, food, luxury goods, designer brands, confectionery and essential travel accessories.

The duty free offers 60 brands, including top names in fashion and beauty such as; Chanel, Gucci, YSL, Armani, Versace, Clarins, Lancome, Benefit and Marc Jacobs.

Popular brands of food and liquor are also available including Jameson, Pernod, locals brands like Knappogue Whiskey, Bunratty Meade and Poitin from Clare.