Lt. Col K. M. S. Perera
For the convenience and pleasurable shopping of the estimated one point two million passengers who use the Katunayake International Airport, are two amply stocked duty free shopping complexes with an attractive and eye-catching variety of brands of liquor, cigarettes, confectioneries, cosmetics, electrical goods, watches, cameras, stationery, local handicrafts and of course Sri Lanka’s, gems which need no introduction. The whole gamut of goods displayed to catch the eye of the passenger, on arrival, before Customs, and in the Transit area, in the Duty Free shops, run by well known names in the island, are tantalising enough to attract the most discerning. Lt. Col. K. M. S. Perera, Chief of Commercial and Properties at the Airport and Aviation Services which runs, maintains and operates the Airport, who is optimistic about the future of the sales especially after the extensive renovation of the terminal building said ”We have allocated 7,500 square feet for duty free shopping and we hope to have still more speciality shops. Our philosophy is to be profitable by generating morn commercial income.
Non aeronautical revenues bring in more money. And after the signing of the Peace Accord there is a marked increase in the number of passengers. We hope to make the complex more attractive and advertise our shops widely – and make a mark on the global duty free map.” “The best things in life aren’t free – Just Duty Free” runs an advertisement. This may be what the Orient Company had in mind with a near monopoly of shops at the complex, which supply liquor, tobacco, confectioneries, cosmetics in one, household goods in another, watches and cameras and fourth with televisions, cassette recorders and videos. The shop at Arrivals is a boon for the Sri l.ankans who return home with their hard earned dollars – especially from the Middle-East and a penchant for foreign goods. These shops provide them with a wide range of goods, after their own hearts. In the streamlined and spacious Transit area are the attractive displays of Gomez’s with stationery items, writing instruments, gift items, artificial flowers, glassware, brassware and pharmaceuticals. Pesons with their household name in the city keeps up to their reputation with a tempting array of high class textiles, ready-made garments, cosmetics, costume jewellery – for mostly the fair sex whose demands are inexhaustible. Another shop of their’s stocks sports goods, Toys, carpets and rugs and leather and plastic goods. Delicate stone-studded jewellery which Sri I.anka is well known throughout the world for is displayed at Janeb Jewellers – their craftsmanship guaranteed to delight the most demanding tastes.
The Ceylon Ceramics Corporation, with their delicate chinaware and tastefully designed crockery of many designs has a shop to display their products. Along with the high-quality porcelain, a superb collection of handicrafts from Laksala the one-stop shop for locally hand made silverware, brassware, coir, wooden, leather products, hand made lace and textiles with the stamp of high quality and a tradition of excellence, are also on display. “Good wine needs no bush” they say, – and so it is with the blue sapphires, star sapphires, Cats eyes, Rubies and many other kinds of gems in the shop of the State Gem Corporation. One of the world’s leading sources of precious stones, and a reputation of being in international Collections – the gems need no introduction. What more can the potential customers ask for in a Duty Free Shopping Complex ? With such a range of goods on the shelves and competitive prices to beat other shops – it is indeed a shopper’s haven.