‘Mystery’ upgradings at SDA shops

By Doug Newhouse |

Paris CDG monthly mystery shoppers ‘rating every single store’ have raised approval ratings on SDA’s shops by nearly 50% according to the retailer.


The Sociéte de Distribution Aeroportuaire (SDA) company is an equal joint venture company between Aéroports de Paris and Lagardère Services/Aelia and SDA Directeur General and CEO Guy Bodescot says this is a major achievement over the low rates that Paris CDG’s shops used to be awarded.


Speaking at the launch of Grey Goose VX at Paris Charles de Gaulle 2 Terminal A last week, Bodescot said there is still a margin of improvement of around 20% to 25% for SDA to achieve and the company is working hard to do that.


He said this involves providing a lot of incentives for the staff ‘to be part of the game and to be the best’ and he said it is now his hope that he will be in a position in future to announce that SDA and its Paris shops have finally reached the top league amongst the best international airports.


He said that SDA was delighted to be part of the airport project where it began reconfiguring the airport’s retail some five years ago and emphasised the importance of this relationship as a subsidiary of Lagardère and ADP where ‘we sit at the same table and we share the same decisions’.



As an example, he said: “This store [in CDG 2 Terminal A-Ed] was opened almost two years ago and it has been a tremendous success with key profile passengers in the Middle East, British customers, Hong Kong passengers and Arabic passengers and the spend per passenger has increased by around 35% to 38% depending on the destination profiles.”


But he added that creating the store was just one step, while getting everyone in the store ‘to behave at the right level of service and welcoming attitudes for customers is the second key phase’, and he says SDA has now embarked upon a huge training and action programme to achieve this. [Bodescot added that SDA now employs almost 1900 staff and spends around 15 to 18,000 hours training them on an annual basis-Ed].


The retailer’s ‘ambition at Paris airports’ is now to create ‘the ultimate shopping moment experience for all of our passengers’ and he acknowledged that ‘considering the past ranking of Paris airport in public surveys we have a big job before us’.


But equally he says SDA has been tackling the issue for three or four years now and the aforementioned impressive mystery shopping ranking improvement is evidence of the massive progress.


(ABOVE): Sociéte de Distribution Aeroportuaire (SDA) Directeur General and CEO Guy Bodescot. (TOP IMAGE): Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A.

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