Retail buzzing at Sydney Airport

Sydney AirportThere’s a lot going on at Sydney Airport as its improvement program continues to help it attract exciting new retailers and take advantage of the huge forecast growth in the global airport retail market.

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According to research group, Verdict, this market is set to reach US$59.2 billion in 2019 – a rise of 72.9 per cent on 2013 – on the back of stronger passenger growth and growing affluence in emerging markets, which will boost spend. The relaxation of Chinese tourist visas and those visiting India will also drive growth.

Verdict forecasts that Asia Pacific will have the fastest growth in airport retailing sales over the next six years, with the market more than doubling.

Sydney Airport general manager, retail, Glyn Williams, noted this week that this potential growth had played a role in the overall improvements program at Sydney Airport.

“We recognise the change in our customer demographic and profile, as well as the strong growth of the Chinese market, set to become our largest international visitor market next year,” he said.

Sydney Airport has invested close to $2.7 billion in new terminal and aviation infrastructure since 2002, with plans to invest a further $1.2 billion over the next five years.

And, as part of its overall improvements program, Williams said Sydney Airport has launched a number of airport firsts and Australian retail firsts – a way for some retailers to test the airport retail market.

“In the T2 domestic terminal, we will be launching the very first Australian store for Bath & Body Works, a hugely successfully American beauty brand,” he explained. “Desigual, a world-famous Spanish fashion brand, will also showcase one of only two stores in Australia at the International T2. Earlier in the year, we launched the first beauty concept store by LS Travel Retail, AMUSE Beauty, into T2.

“In our T1 international terminal, we’ve successfully welcomed Mach2, an airport first and part of the famed Machiavelli family, into our casual dining precinct. Most recently we announced Chur Burger, an airport first, and SumoSalad Green Label will join the food and beverage refresh at the new T2 casual dining precinct to open later this year.”

T1 international makeover
In June, Sydney Airport began phase two of its upgrade of its T1 international terminal, which deals with more than 13 million passengers every year.

Due for completion in the third quarter of 2016, the T1 works will make it easier to get around the terminal and improve the retail and food and beverage offerings in line with the latest trends and tastes.

The phase two upgrade follows the airport’s signing of a new duty free partner, Heinemann, which last month unveiled the first of six new duty free stores in T1 and is set to invest more than $60 million in its airport presence.

Its newly designed 1200sqm duty free store is inspired by Sydney’s iconic landscapes and was designed to offer the latest in modern travel retail design and is inspired by Gebr.

It will be unveiled as phase three of the T1 improvements program will commence, when it kicks off in September.

Meanwhile, WHSmith is opening the first of its six stores in T1 this month. Its new, larger format stores in T1 will introduce highly personalised product zones and feature a number of external ‘store-in-store concepts from major ‘brands, ensuring a wider range of products are available.

“This is a real evolution from the traditional ‘books and news’ operations and introduces a reinvigorated range of must-have travel product essentials, that make every journey easier in a convenient one-stop shop,” said Williams.

And, in June, Sydney Airport revealed that Australian Way was to become its new Australian experience travel retailer in T1. Its first store will open this November.

According to Williams, the airport will also soon be announcing the first of its luxury precinct retailers, which is set to launch in the first half of 2016.

As part of its transformation of its T1 landside departures area, the airport has also added more eat-in seating and new eat-in and takeaway options – a move that has attracted food and beverage chains like Oliver Brown, Toby’s Estate, Top Juice, Pretzel World, Nando’s, Roll’d, Soul Origin and Hokka Hokka.

Vibrant vision
Part of the airport’s vision was to bring to life a vibrant casual dining precinct inspired by the growing popularity of street food. “With the growth of Asian markets, particularly our Chinese visitors, who are now our second largest inbound market, we’ve increased the number of Asian dining options,” said Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport CEO.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of activity too at Sydney Airport’s T2 domestic terminal, Australia’s busiest airport terminal. It has also been attracting new retailers as part of its own upgrade, designed to provide customers with added choice and value, and enhance the overall airport experience.

On the food and beverage side, Sydney Airport began stage one of a project to refresh and improve the T2 departures casual dining precinct in August. It will provide a newly designed food and beverage space, with reconfigured seating that will add capacity. It will also include a reorganised food and dining mix to provide a wider selection of fast and fresh, gourmet and street food options.

Some of the new food and beverage options include Mad Mex, Roll’d, Hokka Hokka, Red Rooster and Sahara Grill. Existing providers already include the likes of Brasserie Bread, MoVida and Toby’s Estate.

Williams added that a strong focus for Sydney Airport is on digital and how it can provide insightful and relevant information to passengers to help enhance their journey.

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