[Feature] Revolutionising shopping centres: #1- Airports as a travel retail destination.

The duty free area at Changi airport.

At Singapore’s Changi airport, considered to be the best in the world, no fewer than 70 million travellers pass through every year! “From now on, flow areas must be part of a well- defined environment”, insists Hugo Vanderschaegh, Managing Director of Altavia Travel Retail. This implies clear visual cues in the architecture and in the offer, with local products and local brands. “There are personae in airports, defined according to the way people travel. These personae help to understand travellers’ expectations and to work on an appropriate mix of offers”.


Meeting every traveller’s needs and expectations.


In Saudi Arabia, at Jedda airport, local café Barn’s is taking over a space opposite Starbucks. The idea behind that? To satisfy both travellers who are reluctant to change and those who want to immerse themselves in the travel atmosphere. The airport is also adapting in a pragmatic way.


Barn's jedda

© Altavia ODG


“Should there be a duty-free discount? In some airports, the price of alcohol is very competitive, so the answer is obviously yes. In this particular case, the duty-free shop devotes a large part of its m2 to alcohol and tobacco, with discount prices and a super- efficient layout that allows customers to order in advance and do self- checkout”, he explains.


“The airport is moving beyond its walls.”


A final piece of the puzzle is the place of digital technology. “The airport is moving beyond its walls”, he points out. At Heathrow airport, travellers can have a product ordered online delivered within 30 minutes? “That’s why we need to include a concierge and storage area in our master planning”.

This article features in the book “Retailing the future”, which explores the unprecedented revolution taking place in the retail sector.

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