A company that had previously bid on retail space in Tampa International Airport is suing the airport because it didn’t win a contract. WDFG North America competed in a bid process along with several other companies. The contract for one of five packages was awarded to a retailer called Paradies.
That company is opening a Spanx retail store, the Body Shop, Dylan’s Candy Bar and a cluster of newsstands.
The bid was for “package one,” which allows concession companies to open stores in airside terminals
In its lawsuit, WDFG alleges the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority “erroneously” lowered its ranking, leading to the bid being awarded to another competing company.
Part of the problem, they argue, is that the board ignored WDFG’s audited financial statements and instead used an incorrect interpretation contained in a separate financial disclosure as a basis for ranking the company.
WDFG then submitted a protest to the board’s ruling that was later denied on June 4 during a board meeting.
Now WDFG wants the court to overturn the denial and “remand” the matter “back to the [Authority’s] board for further action.
WDFG filed the suit despite the fact that it had won at least one other bid. It’s not out of the usual for companies bidding for terminal retail space where vendors have access to travelers in limbo who have limited shopping options before or in between flights. Vendors often sell items easy for travelers to nab as last- minute gifts or some semi-necessary amenities for flights.
The company operates more than 550 travel-related stores in 20 countries.