May 26 2023  |  Retailers

One World Duty Free and Port City Colombo partner to open DF store in Sri Lanka

By Hibah Noor

Pictured L-R: Dimantha Kinigama (Director, Commercial and Operations of the Commission), Dr Priyath B. Wickrama (Director General of the Commission and Commission Member ), Keira Zhang (Founder & CEO of ODF), Yang Lu (Managing Director CHEC Port City Colombo) & Eric Ou (Deputy Manging Director, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd) at the Lease Agreement Signing Ceremony

Singapore-owned omnichannel retailer One World Duty Free (ODF) and the Colombo Port City Economic Commission (Commission) have signed two agreements to operate Sri Lanka’s first-ever downtown duty free store.

At a ceremony held at the Commission’s office, ODF’s Founder and CEO Keira Zhang and Director General & Member of the Commission Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama ratified their commitment to a strategic partnership aimed at shaping Port City Colombo’s global trajectory.

According to the company, the partnership was underscored with the formalization of two critical agreements: an Authorized Person Agreement between ODF and the Commission on May 23; and a lease agreement between ODF and CHEC Port City Colombo Pvt Ltd (CPCC) on May 22. These agreements, embodying their shared vision, lay the groundwork for ODF to transform Port City Colombo into an eminent global duty free retail hub.

“In our partners at Port City Colombo, we recognize a level of ambition which is perfectly aligned with One World Duty Free’s game-changing approach to duty free retail," said Zhang. "The opportunity to showcase our credentials on the world stage and contribute to the creation of a landmark destination in Asia is a key milestone in One World Duty Free’s journey of progressive expansion across Asia.”

ODF is set to develop and operate a 1,250-square-meter duty free store at Port City Colombo, offering a curated mix of international brands spanning Beauty, Wellness, Spirits & Wines and Fashion. ODF’s first retail store outside of Singapore will be nestled in the 7,000-square-meter Port City Duty Free Mall, positioned amidst international prestige hotels and casinos.

Construction of the ODF store is slated to commence from mid-2023, with trading planned to kick off by year's end. ODF Port City Colombo will offer travelers a purpose-built shopping environment enhanced by the company’s innovative approach to smart retail.

“In order to make our vision for Port City Colombo a reality, we have sought out best-in-class partners that can bring fresh thinking and innovation," said Dr. Wickrama. "One World Duty Free’s technology-led ethos and commitment to delivering memorable consumer experiences will play a critical role in ensuring we deliver a compelling retail offer to travelers from across the world and thus the Commission’s vision of creating Port City Colombo as a world-class touristic shopping destination.”

Anticipating a sustained resurgence in tourist arrivals following the COVID crisis, Port City Colombo is set to accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic development by creating a new gateway to South Asia through state-of-the-art infrastructure, including commercial and residential buildings, recreational facilities, a financial district, and a modern transportation network. Developed in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, and CPCC as a public-private partnership, Port City Colombo is Sri Lanka's biggest FDI-funded development project to date.


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