By Nancy Eagleton….
For the second year in a row, Miami-based NewsLink Group, a group of leading airport stores under the direction of Pinecrest residents, Raymond Kayal, Jr., and Christopher Korge, was awarded “Best News and Gift Operator – Small Retailer” by Airport Revenue News, a national industry journal.
NewsLink operates more than 30 airport stores in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Newark, Boston and Cleveland. The company has estimated sales of $40 million per year and competes against companies that achieve hundreds of millions in sales annually.
“Our focus isn’t necessarily to be the biggest in the industry, but to be the best at every level,” said Kayal, president and CEO of NewsLink. “We spend a tremendous amount of time and energy focusing on store concept, design and architecture, and we utilize high quality finishes in our stores. This is pretty unusual in the industry.”
NewsLink’s two newest stores, Shop Britto and Coco Bay, opened recently in the Miami International Airport North Terminal. Shop Britto was named one of Travel and Leisure magazine’s “10 Best Airport Hot Spots” worldwide. It features the artwork of Romero Britto on prints, souvenirs, casual clothing and other collectibles. Coco Bay offers airport travelers a collection of resort wear and accessories.
Kayal reports that NewsLink has plans to open additional stores in Miami by the end of the year. One new concept will be a newsstand in partnership with Ocean Drive magazine. NewsLink also will open a gourmet market called Privé and a women’s fashion accessory store, based on the success of Coco Bay.
Besides innovative store concepts, Kayal says that customer service is a key criterion. NewsLink consistently receives high rankings in industry secret shopping reports.
“We strive for service excellence everyday and I realize that our success is due largely to the talented individuals on the NewsLink team,” Kayal said. “Being recognized by Airport Revenue News as a leader in our industry is truly a collaborative effort.”
Kayal was born in the Pinecrest area and attended Christopher Columbus High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and his law degree from the University of Miami. He was an attorney with White and Case in Miami for six years before joining his father full-time in the family business in 1998.
Kayal is the third generation in his family to run the airport concession company. His grandfather, Mitchell Sirgany, began the family business, Sirgany Enterprises, in 1959, and his father ran the business until 2004.
“NewsLink is able to compete successfully in this multi-billion dollar industry thanks to the business foundation laid by my father and grandfather,” said Kayal. “When my father retired from the day-to-day operations of the business, I joined with Christopher Korge, a long-time family friend, and together we formed NewsLink Group. Both Chris and I grew up around the business and it’s always been a big part of our lives.”
Kayal is married to wife Corinne and they have three children — Gabriella, RJ and Mitchell. Korge is married to wife Irene and they also have three children — Andrew, Kristina and Angela.
The NewsLink corporate headquarters is at 6910 NW 12 St. For more information, call 305-594-5754 or go to www.newslinkgroup.net.