WASHINGTON -- With travelers arriving at airports earlier and
spending money while they wait, it's no wonder revenue-minded and
customer-conscious airports are paying so much attention these days
to their selection of shops, restaurants and bars.
Baltimore/Washington Airport just awarded a 10-year contract to
BAA USA to develop a retail program when the airport opens its A/B
terminal complex, scheduled for 2005.
And Southwest Florida Airport, which just posted the highest
December passenger traffic in its 19-year history, signed contracts
for the 28-gate terminal it plans to open next year.
BWI, which is undergoing a $1.8 billion expansion, hired BAA to
manage 141,000 square feet of space, which includes 50,000 square
feet in new space, for specialty retailers and food services. BAA
projects its own spending on capital improvements and subtenant
spending on building their stores will total $40 million to $45
"Now, perhaps more than ever, airports are commanding a fresh
approach for their retail concessions -- not only to meet the
unique and ever-changing needs of air travelers but also to improve
customer satisfaction, significantly grow revenues and contribute
to the state's economy," said Mark Knight, BAA USA vice president
and regional director.
Regional products and foods will be included in the offerings,
BAA manages retail space in 19 airports. In the U.S., BAA may be
best known for its Airmall at Pittsburgh Airport, although it also
manages retail, food and beverage at Boston and all operations at
Indianapolis. In the U.K., it created the retail program at parent
company BAA's seven U.K. airports, including London's Heathrow.
The Maryland Aviation Administration said it chose BAA, in part,
because it is known in the industry for bringing top-name retailers
into airports -- many for the first time -- such as Gap, Clinique,
Brookstone and Timberland.
The authority also liked the company's "street pricing"
requirement, with a money-back guarantee to consumers that they
will not be charged more for goods and services at airport shops
than they would at the retailer's nonairport stores.
In Fort Myers, Fla., the Lee County Port Authority contracted
with Host International and Paradies-Shell Factory II -- a joint
venture between the Paradies Shops and a local firm -- to bring
food, beverage and retail establishments for the new Southwest
Florida Airport terminal. The Paradies Shops and Host International
already provide the services in the existing terminal.
The Paradies Shops, which operates more than 325 shops in 60
North American airports, plans to operate 15 newsstands, gift shops
and other retail outlets in about 13,000 square feet of space at
Southwest Florida, including the PGA Tour Shop, Books and the Bean
of Sanibel, Brighton Collectibles and the Shell Factory.
Host International, which operates in 70 airports, will use more
than 18,000 square feet of space at Southwest Florida for 15 food
and beverage locations, ranging from Starbucks and Burger King to
Casa Bacardi and Beaches Cafe.
To contact reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].