New London Heathrow Shopping Experiences for Christmas

London Heathrow Airport has launched two new shopping services for Christmas.

The offers include an online shopping experience, named ‘Heathrow Boutique’, for passengers to browse and book purchases before they arrive at the airport, currently live at www.heathrow.com/boutique. The other shopping experience on offer is a home delivery, named ‘Heathrow delivered’ for passengers who would like to have their purchases delivered complimentary to any UK mainland residential address.

A recent study has revealed that around 41% of passengers at London Heathrow airport travel through the airport to visit friends and families during Christmas, and hence, the airport is often a place where they shop.

Nick Adderley, the marketing and insight director at Heathrow airport, said, ‘December is a special time at the airport – more than any other time of the year, Christmas is the time Heathrow brings people together. We have done a lot of work to make every journey better for our passengers, ensuring that the spirit of Christmas touches our airport with surprises and treats for everyone.’

Other holiday activities and services offered by the airport to passengers during the Christmas period are family lanes in security; ‘Kids eat free’ offers; and carol singers and chocolate treat giveaways for children.

London Heathrow airport has reported higher retail sales compared to any airport worldwide, very much ahead of Incheon Airport in South Korea, which ranks second.

Gross retail sales at Heathrow in 2011 stood at around £1.7bn, compared to £1.5bn reported in 2010; while net retail income per passenger increased by 5.3% in 2011, to £4.35, from £4.13 in 2010.

Global Travellers to Shop More at Airports In 2012

The UK-based hotel company, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has released details of a study that suggests that global travel trends are set for a change in 2012 with an increase in airport retailing.

The survey has shown that travellers are shopping more at airport stores, with global airport retailing being worth £16 billion in 2012, making it the second fastest growing retail channel next to e-retail. Women that prefer to travel light and shop at the airports outnumber men, the research results indicated.

Travel in 2012 will be defined by the use of the Internet for just about everything, including booking flights and hotels, purchasing parking, and acquiring hotel and in-flight amenities. Travel companies are set to benefit from new services on the Internet, with travellers using the web to order food at restaurants in advance, so that it is ready for them on arrival, and to order goods in flight that are delivered when they return home. The IHG report dubs this growing phenomenon, ‘from tablet to table’.

New global travel patterns are also affecting local geographies, with the development of smaller towns around airports that are away from the main cities. IQ development is expected to be another growth area, with Forbes tipping the ‘Brain Development’ software industry to become a trillion-dollar earner, from the $265m that it currently takes in the US.

Research is also showing 100 new airports will be opened in China by 2020, while the Dubai World Centre Airport in the UAE will provide facilities including a golf course and the world’s biggest shopping mall.

Joe Ferry, the company senior vice president of global innovation and design, has said, ‘IHG is an insight led business and understanding the requirements of our guests both today and pre-empting what they may look like in the future is key to building our brands and nurturing loyalty. The Re-mapping trend, for example, is evidence of this. As we see the rise in populated areas outside of main city centres, our recently launched Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts brand will aim to cater for the specific needs of the Chinese traveller and also support the rapid growth of some of these Tier 2 and 3 cities in China.’