LHR shakeup: Fraser Brown in; Chris Annetts moves

By Luke Barras-hill |

Annetts_BrownRetailmove

Left to right: Fraser Brown, Retail Director and Chris Annetts, Expansion Commercial Director.

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has appointed Fraser Brown as Retail Director, TRBusiness can reveal.

Brown replaces Retail & Service Proposition Director Chris Annetts, who moved to take up the role of Expansion Commercial Director in November to grow non-aeronautical revenues and develop the hub’s burgeoning airline network in line with its planned capacity expansion.

In his role as Retail Director Brown will be responsible for all elements of retail, VIP and premium services at the airport. He reports in to Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker.

Beginning his career at ExxonMobil, where he spent 10 years in various management roles, Brown moved into aviation with a spell as Head of Travel at London Gatwick Airport.

HeathrowAnnetts

Source: LHR.

EXPANSION AGENDA

He joined Heathrow Express – the airport’s high-speed railway that operates services to and from London Paddington station – in 2014, rising to the role of Managing Director in 2015.

Brown also possesses experience at LHR managing Ultra Global PRT, a Heathrow-backed SME that designed, developed, built and now operates the world’s first commercially operational Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system.

Appointed Retail & Service Proposition Director in 2016, Annetts has overseen a flurry of retail improvements at LHR, notably at Terminal’s 3, 4 and 5, where higher airside participation and spend per passenger has dovetailed with an uprated luxury offer at the locations.

A comprehensive refurbishment of the World Duty Free store at Terminal 3 together with a tranche of openings from the likes of Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Superdry, Kate Spade, Dixons Travel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and L’Orchidee have added to LHR’s expansive commercial footprint.

Meanwhile, the airport continues to move decisively to improve its digital retail infrastructure and fulfilment capabilities via mobile payment platforms, as reported recently.

Commenting on Annetts’ move, an airport Spokesperson said: “This is a hugely important role for delivering the right capability at the right price for airlines, and Chris will use his broad commercial experience to build a clear plan for this important area of Heathrow expansion.”

Annetts said: “While I am said to leave this role (Retail & Service Proposition Director) behind, I am really excited to take on the challenge of working closely with the airlines to realise the opportunity that Heathrow Expansion presents.”

LHR – like many airports – will be watching closely as the UK Parliament holds a rescheduled ‘meaningful vote’ on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Multiple media reports claim today this will take place on Tuesday 15 January. The vote was delayed in December amid vociferous cross-party concerns the PM would lose heavily.

Jonathan Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, LHR had previously insisted the airport remains ‘Brexit ready’. He told TRBusiness: “We are prepared as we can be. There’s a limit to how much planning you can do without knowing which scenarios you are planning for and to what extent you can actually implement them.

“For the big things; keeping the airport flowing; keeping us working as a business, yes, we have all those plans in place and that’s the most important thing; having a sustainable business through what may very well be a period of uncertainty.”

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