Budapest Airport is in the process of completing its retail revamp of Terminals 2A and 2B to match the substantially different passenger profile at the terminal since the collapse of national airline Malév.
Earlier this year the airport had to close terminal one, where low-cost airlines were based, and relocate them to T2 which had been Malév’s hub in order to cut costs and make the best use of its facilities. In March last year, the modern SkyCourt which connects T2A with T2B, was built with an upscale retail offer.
With the renovation of the T2A and T2B sections now almost done, the airport has modified the retail offer to reflect the new low-cost passenger profile and is adding new shops and brands not available previously in Hungary. They cover product categories such as jewellery and bijou brands, electronics, travel accessories, sunglasses and cosmetics.
During the next few weeks, passengers en route to their boarding gates in T2A will see the changes as new shops open this month and in October in the transit area.
Last week, the first Virgin store in Hungary was opened (left), offering travel accessories and consumer electronics, with a primary focus on electronic equipment. “The opening of the Virgin store is all the more important as this group of products has so far been missing from the retail mix at the airport,” says a spokesperson at the airport.
Another brand making its debut in Hungary is Michal Negrin (below right), a chain launched by an Israeli couple nearly 25 years ago, which offers a whimsical take on jewellery, fashion, home décor and accessories. In the same category but at a much lower price point, is the ‘one price’ US chain Bijoux Terner which is also opening its first store in Hungary offering fashion, watches and jewellery. All products are priced at €15 euros.
The Sunglass Center & Watch Corner, due to open in mid-October, will be familiar to many Hungarian travellers as it is present in large shopping centres in Hungary. Sunglasses are expected to prove popular throughout the charter season in the autumn and winter.
Hungarian-owned chain PlayersRoom kicked off the opening spree with its second airport shop at the end of July, selling shoes, clothing and sports equipment. It already has a unit at the SkyCourt.
Low cost passengers at Budapest Airport are forecast to make up 52% of passengers by the end of this year, double their share of 26% in 2011, while the full-service business (including Malév) will take a 43% share this year, down from 70% in 2011.
[A full report on Budapest’s transformation in the aftermath of the Malév collapse can be found in the forthcoming October TFWA Cannes edition of The Travel Retail Business.]