As previously reported on this blog – retailers are focusing more and more on travel hubs as a new channel for commerce as increased footfall and multichannel technologies provide increased opportunities to reach a large number of potential customers. These retailers include non-traditional brands that you might not expect to see selling their goods at an airport or train station and in the news this week, we see the trend is gathering momentum as another famous brand announce their plans to set up shop. Fortnum and Mason, the iconic British food and gift retailer, famous for their luxury wicker hampers are going to open their first airport store and a bar at London Heathrow’s terminal 5 later this year.
The carefully designed 1,000sq ft shop will be positioned in a prominent area of terminal 5 and will feature a range of bestselling products from the retailer’s flagship London Piccadilly store. The primary focus will be on Fortnum’s exclusive and quintessentially British selection of high-end hampers and exquisitely packaged food and gifts including teas, preserves and confectionery as well as luxury savoury treats such as smoked salmon and caviar.
The store is scheduled to open on 31st October, swiftly followed, in December by a new Fortnum and Masons Bar which will also be positioned in a prominent location within the terminal. Here visitors will be able to try a range of fresh seasonal food such as charcuterie and hams along with an impressive selection of fine champagnes, sherries and wines which have been carefully chosen to accompany the food.
Concurring with our previous observations on this blog regarding the rise of travel retail – Ewan Venters, Chief Executive of Fortnum and Mason suggests that the move into Heathrow is a great choice for the retailer at this time:
“Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport and the first impression of the country for more than 35m passengers a year. At Fortnum’s we have three centuries experience of serving customers travelling the globe, so it’s fitting we should now serve passengers flying to some of the world’s most glamorous locations, including the likes of New York, Hong Kong and Istanbul, and of course, Dubai.”
Max Vialou-Clark, retail director at Heathrow agrees:
“Fortnum and Mason is a world-famous establishment and the perfect fit for Heathrow. Its fantastic range of gifts and hospitality services are in a league of their own and we’re proud they’ll both be available to our customers.”
The new store and bar is anticipated to provide 40 new jobs at the airport with perhaps more to follow at other UK travel hubs as the retailer recently reported a five-fold increase in profits from the previous year.