PTE live news: Heathrow reveals new developments in retail innovation

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Fraser Brown, retail director at London Heathrow has revealed some of the key ways the airport differentiates itself in the retail environment at Passenger Terminal Conference 2019.

Speaking at the event, he revealed how the airport is investing heavily in its retail and F&B offering to ensure that it remains one of the world’s leading hubs. Heathrow has been voted as one of the world’s best airports at the Skytrax awards over the past few years, and for the past eight years has been voted the World’s Best Airport for Shopping. The 2018 Skytrax World Airport Awards will be revealed at a ceremony on March 27 at Passenger Terminal Expo.

“The retail stores at Heathrow are some of the most productive locations in the world,” said Brown. “We have spent a lot of time and money over the past five or six years in really stripping out our retail spaces and improving them. We have learned that in the media space brands want impactful, large pieces of media for advertising, such as the iconic media towers at T5. This is compared to the older model where if there was a blank white wall we would just slap a poster on it.”

During his presentation, Brown reported that in 2018 the airport managed to grow its retail revenues: “We managed to return about Euro 10 per passenger in terms of retail income,” he said. “Across 80 million passengers per year this is a significant part of the airport’s revenue stream.”

Brown also revealed how Heathrow typically refits, upgrades or welcomes a new brand into about 50 units every year. “This is quite a ferocious churn of activity,” he added. “We also look to work with unique brands that might not have experience of working in the airport sector. Our Harry Potter store is a good example of that. We have found that we have to work closely with new brands to ensure they understand the value of being located within an airport. It is brands like Harry Potter that really make a point of difference between your offer and what you might find somewhere else.”

The Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference continues tomorrow in London, UK. There’s still time to register for the event – click here to get your pass!

 

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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