Manchester Airport announces tender process for 27 Terminal 2 openings

By Kristiane Sherry |

Manchester Airport is putting 27 new retail and F&B units to tender.

Manchester Airport has revealed plans to open 27 new shops and restaurants in its revamped Terminal 2, with a tender process set to open this month.

The airport operator says it hopes to announce the final line-up of new eateries and retail units by April 2024, ahead of the remodelled terminal opening in 2025.

Manchester Airport says its catchment area spans Scotland, North Wales and the Midlands, and that it expects millions of international visitors. 

Once the second phase of work is operational, more than 80% of the airport’s passenger traffic is expected to pass through Terminal 2.

The new developments come as part of a wider £1.3 billion/US$1.6bn transformation programme at the terminal.

Manchester Airport is part of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the UK’s largest group of airports, which also owns and operates London Stansted and East Midlands. 

Pre-pandemic the group flew more than 60 million passengers to more than 285 destinations.

World cuisines and a boutique high street

The new retail and F&B units will be located in an extended departure lounge, featuring a world-cuisine and quick-eats food market, and a boutique high street-style shopping area.

Other offerings will include a Champagne Bar, premium brand stores, artisan cafés and a brasserie.

Manchester Airport said it expects a blend of regional and national brands to operate the new units, consistent with the areas of the terminal already open to passengers.

The first phase of opening saw a number of Mancunian brands open locations in the airport, including burger and shake chain Archie’s, Italian restaurant San Carlo, Manchester brewers Joseph Holt and Seven Bro7hers, and coffee brand Pot Kettle Black.

Manchester Airport is planning a ‘vibrant and airy’ T2 offer.

“Opening an outlet in Manchester Airport together with our partners HMSHost UK has been an incredible experience,” said Mark Flanagan, owner of Pot Kettle Black.

“We started in Manchester nine years ago in just a small premises in Barton Arcade. Now through the branch in the airport we’re reaching customers who come from all over the world and we’re even seeing international customers visiting our city centre branches because they’ve been to the one in the airport. 

“Back in 2014 we never thought we’d be an international brand but the airport branch is helping us do that.”

Local brands have been joined by household names including Costa Coffee, WH Smith, Pret a Manger and Wagamama.

‘Vibrant and airy’

Manchester airport’s shopping area is set to be called The Avenue, and is designed to have a “vibrant and airy” feel.

Each store front will open onto airfield views, with lots of passenger seating for “added comfort”. 

Manchester Airport has stated it is looking for retailers selling toys, fashion, accessories and travel essentials for units in the space.

In addition, it has said it is looking for partners to showcase “the best of the North”, either through the design of their stores or through the product offering. 

Would-be retailers and operators should incorporate a taste of the North in their bids.

“We are well aware that our guests’ holidays start at the airport and we want them to enjoy their time here – whether that means sipping craft beer brewed at the airport in a bar overlooking the airfield, or eating an artisan pizza,” said Richard Jackson, Retail Director at Manchester Airport. 

“We already have a great range of food and drink options in Terminal Two, with local brands which create a strong sense of place, but we’re looking to build on that with all-new offerings, including a Champagne Bar and a market hall style food court.

“We’re also seeking retail partners who will bring a high-class offering, tailored to the needs of the travelling public. 

“The first phase of the project saw some exciting brands come on board, but we’re now keen to build on that and provide a more varied and comprehensive retail experience to cater for the tastes of the millions of passengers who will pass through the terminal’s doors.”

In January 2023, MAG pledged ‘an exciting array of shops, bars, restaurants and airport lounges’ at Manchester Airport following the first phase of T2’s opening.

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