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AH Riise “Caribbean Host” expansion reaps rewards

U.S. Virgin Island’s duty free operator AH Riise reports an extremely encouraging response to the recent expansion of its St. Thomas airport store, Caribbean Host.
The expansion, which was completed in early April, added nearly 50% more selling space to the original store, boosting the area to approximately 1,500 sq.ft., said Jim Eilen, AH Riise director of merchandising & sales. The senior manager played a key role in the design, development and build-out of the store.

The Caribbean Host store, which is located past check-in and TSA in St. Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport, originally opened in March 2009 with a traditional assortmentof duty free liquor, tobacco and fragrances in an area of about 900 square feet. The expanded store also added premium cigars, including the Davidoff brand.“The new store is warm, cheerfuland much more spacious and we see passengers buying across all the categories. We are receiving very positive feedback,” says Eilen.
“Passenger traffic has been encouraging and passengers’ attitudes to shopping are returning. Sales are significantly ahead of last year’s.” Approximately 700,000 passengers pass through the airport annually. AH Riise is optimistic that the improvement will continue.
The Caribbean Host store and the fixtures were created by Miami based NKNewlook Inc.