Airport retail space – how Gatwick helps stores to target shoppers

16th October 2014

Continuing our story from last week about the new investment in airport retail space at Gatwick airport, this week we take a look at some of the aspects which have contributed to the success of it’s recent retail design makeover:

World Duty Free walk though store at gatwick Airport

Everyday is Saturday

Gatwick’s head of retail, Spencer Sheen reported that the traders are doing very well in the newly designed retail space, with some saying that their revenues are four times higher than those generated in their high street branches:

“It’s rare to know you have an hour to engage people. And as they are going on holiday they are also in a very positive frame of mind and that discretionary holiday spend starts the minute you get through security.”

The new retail space at Gatwick is open from 4am to 10pm and this means that there is no gradual increase in footfall like there is on the high street – and no lunchtime rush – there is a steady flow of customers, keen to spend their holiday money – “It feels like a busy Saturday every day” explains Sheen.

Targeting customers

One of the main advantages that airports have over the high street is the fact that they can work very closely with retailers in order to improve sales, by providing information, including passenger analytics which include the flight times and nationality of the customers, as Sheen suggests:

“We can almost target by destination, so some of our best retailers will be changing displays throughout the day, based on knowledge of what different nationalities like to buy and who is coming through the airport.”

For example, World Duty Free knows that Norwegians have a penchant for Rioja and runs promotions which are specifically targeted at Norwegian shoppers, based on WDF’s customer data and the information provided by Gatwick:

“So we have some deals and comparisons with duty free in Norway that are quite favourable. They like to buy Baileys as well so we also display other items they might want to purchase with Baileys.” Says Sheen.

As previously reported on the Barber blog, combining different pieces of data to target specific customers is not only a blessing for sales, it also gives airport retailers the opportunity to test products and new ideas on different audiences – and on large numbers in one go. Many non-traditional brands are now testing their wares in travel hubs by building stores or concessions to test the market in an exciting and rapidly changing retail environment.


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