Eason loses Terminal 1 tender as WH Smith wins five-shop contract
BRITISH bookseller WH Smith has ousted Eason's from its position as one of the main retailers in Dublin airport's Terminal 1, the Irish Independent has learnt.
The Irish bookseller secured the licence in 2010 to operate the seven outlets in Dublin and Cork airports that had been previously run by the Hughes & Hughes chain.
But while it is still operating in Cork, the shops in Terminal 1 will be taken over by WH Smith from October.
The UK company is already operating in the recently built Terminal 2.
All 48 full- and part-time staff employed by Eason's will transfer to WH Smith.
An Eason's spokesman confirmed that it had lost the tender.
"We tendered for the concession in T1 and we were disappointed that we weren't successful," he said.
It is understood that there were still two years left on the tender, but the retailer requested that the contract be renewed, which would have reduced the number of outlets from five to four. The 2010 licence with Eason & Son covered five stores at Dublin airport and two outlets at Cork airport.
Under that agreement, Eason paid the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) a percentage of turnover rather than a fixed annual rent.
This system – which also previously applied in the case of Hughes & Hughes – included a minimum annual payment and meant that the DAA and the retailer effectively shared the trading risk.
The five stores are spread between the duty-free area – which is located after security – and the pre-security area.
A spokeswoman for the DAA said there had been a competitive tender process.
"It goes through the normal procurement process and obviously there is a list of criteria," the spokeswoman said.