FRA bulks up retail offer as T3 bid evaluations and negotiations progress

By Luke Barras-hill |

FRA’s revenue in the shopping and service sector in Q4 2023 was +12% higher than the same period in 2019.

An expanded luxury footprint, new F&B openings and ongoing project developments for the much-anticipated Terminal 3 underpins Frankfurt Airport’s (FRA) future retail focus, TRBusiness has learned.

ACI World data for international passengers in 2023 ranked FRA as eighth among the world’s busiest international hubs, with just over 54 million international passengers – a rise of +20.8% over the previous year.

However, that figure is still -14.2% below pre-pandemic 2019 (and in 2022 FRA ranked sixth overall, two positions higher).

But top-line statistics do not always tell the full story. Seoul Incheon Airport’s post-Covid comeback powered it ahead of FRA last year, as the Asia hub rose meteorically from position 32 in 2022 to seventh in 2023, boosted by an enormous +212.9% increase in international pax.

Singapore Changi Airport also climbed four positions in the rankings, from ninth to fifth – boosted by an +83.1% rise in international passengers. In fact, FRA’s eighth position in 2023 is the same as its ranking in 2019.

For fiscal 2024, Fraport AG expects passenger volumes in Frankfurt to grow to between 61 million and 65 million passengers, which has very positive implications for non-aeronautical revenues.

It’s no secret that high spenders, such as Chinese travellers, appreciate luxury brands. Accordingly, last year saw a renewed focus on luxury in Frankfurt, spearheaded by openings from Cartier (in partnership with Wempe Jewelers) and Canada Goose. The latter – the brand’s first ever airport travel retail store – is operated by FAR (Frankfurt Airport Retail), the joint venture between Fraport and Gebr. Heinemann.

Sebastian Thurau, Vice President VIP, Conferencing and Visitor Services, Fraport AG.

Luxury’s ‘key role’ at future T3

In April this year, FAR further expanded the airport’s luxury offer, with the opening of a 100sq m Bulgari boutique in Terminal 1.

“Luxury is a highly relevant retail segment at our airport, especially given the fact that such sought-after brands have recovered a lot faster than specialty retail in general,” explained Nina Kristin Gür, Vice President Retail Key Account Management at Fraport AG. “This segment will also play a vital role for the future development of our Non-Schengen marketplaces in the areas B, Z, and J in our future Terminal 3.”

She continued: “The tenders [for T3] in all segments are closed and the offers have been evaluated. Our preferred bidders in the areas of F&B, convenience, car rental and money exchange have been selected. For speciality retail we are in negotiations with most of the partners we would like to work with. We are very happy with the beautiful concepts proposed.”

Last year, Fraport announced a commercial consultancy contract with Newmark Retail, with Frankfurt Terminal 3 one of the first projects earmarked for support.

“Newmark is a great sparring partner, always giving us a lot of food for thought, and has challenged us for the final branch mix,” acknowledged Gür. “We are not only collaborating on the Terminal 3 project, but on several other areas which we will develop in the years ahead.”

In line with its objectives to offer passengers a luxurious travel experience, last July Fraport unveiled its new VIP Terminal at Frankfurt Airport.

“We are very pleased with the launch and its success,” noted Sebastian Thurau, Vice President VIP, Conferencing and Visitor Services, Fraport AG . “Our location is accessible directly from the landside [area]. It can therefore be offered for highly exclusive events too.”

He continued: “Luxury brands have the opportunity to present themselves to a very exclusive target group in our VIP spaces. This exclusive target group does not enter the regular terminal, but only the VIP area.”

This is an extract of a report carried in the June/July Top 10 Airports e-zine. To read the full report, click here.

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