Airport Retail – Primed to Take it On?

It’s almost holiday time. Airports are primed up for leisure travellers.
It’s a perfect opportunity for retailers to take advantage of the crowds in this fast paced environment.
Here’s some prime elements worth considering.

When’s the Prime Time?

It’s the time between check-in through security and boarding the aircraft.
It’s when travellers have time on their hands to wander, browse and spend.
It’s when they’re most looking for things to enjoy for themselves or to gift to their loved ones.
Nowadays, with self check-in to speed things up, they’re more likely to be in a happier mood than back in the day when long queues frayed tempers and dampened spending habits.
Impulse spending can be big.

What’s the Prime Position?

The winding track or the cluster effect are two location-based methods for setting up retail in an airport.
Shops located where walking traffic is highest generally are the most successful.
Having passengers pass by shopfronts on a winding path or creating a street effect of clustered shops are both successful set ups.
Travellers aren’t really there to shop so evoking the right atmosphere is of prime importance to get them spending.
Placing merchandise in the right spot where it can be seen is crucial.

Man in face mask in airport or supermarket or other public place during coronavirus epidemic. Safety

What are the Prime Products that sell?

Products most likely to sell well in an airport environment fall into various categories and can differ according to which airline and terminal they are sold in.
They are more likely to be, in general:
Foods: small snack items, gift packaged foods
Gifts and souvenirs
Emergency items: eg: toiletries, sunglasses, phone chargers, camera cards
On trend items: handbags, clothing
Pastime items: books, magazines, games, toys.
Retailers looking at setting up in an airport environment need to consider their product closely and do plenty of homework before moving forward with it.
Mid-end, recognisable brands are well placed in the airport shopping environment.

What Prime Planning is necessary?

Airport authorities will need a good, firm business plan and demand a high level of finish in the retail fitout.
That’s a given. Shopfronts need to meet a high standard.
Materials used in the fitout are all important.
Traffic flow through the shop to attract impulse buying takes prime position.
Food preparation and methods of selling need to be spot on.
Product choice and placement, deliveries, handling, packaging will all need to be addressed in the planning stage and presented to the authority for consideration.

Converting browsers into buyers is the challenge, so focusing on the basics of airport retailing is the wisest step to take.


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