‘Traveller dwell time lifting’ says LHR as it prepares for key shopping season

By Luke Barras-hill |

New research from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has revealed that passengers are spending more on festive shopping this year and taking the time to indulge ahead of their travels.

The London hub has refreshed its its range of shops, restaurants and services in expectation of the more than two million passengers set to travel through its terminals during the Christmas period.

On average, passengers are arriving at the airport with an extra hour pre-departure in comparison with the pre-pandemic period.

The situation is markedly different from last year, when strict national lockdowns in the UK resulted in the closure of non-essential shops.

EXPANDED CLICK-AND-COLLECT SERVICE

Fraser Brown, Retail and Property Director, Heathrow Airport commented: “After social lives were placed on hold for 20 months, we are excited to welcome more passengers this festive season so they can feel joy in overdue reunions with their loved ones.

“Throughout this year, we’ve been working hard to give travellers a refreshed offering and experience at Heathrow and we hope they can relax and make use of some of the new brands and services we have to offer.”

JD Sports arrived at Terminal 2 last month, offering branded sports and casual wear, trainers and accessories.

World Duty Free stores at Terminal 2 (pictured) and Terminal 5 (above). New retailers such as JD Sports and Chanel No 5 have opened their doors at the terminals, affording passengers more options for last-minute Christmas presents.

At Terminal 5, a new Chanel No 5 Spaceship Pop-up celebrating the 100th anniversary of the iconic fragrance is located in the departure lounge, encouraging travellers to discover the brand through an immersive treasure hunt with opportunities to win prizes.

An augmented reality digital screen allows travellers to virtually try on products. The pop-up is also the only travel retail location to sell Chanel’s advent calendar.

Meanwhile, an experiential concept for Paco Rabanne’s latest fragrance, Phantom, has been activated at the high-footfall island location at Terminal 2 departures.

The travel exclusive activation gives passengers the option to dance with virtual robots and experience the magic of travel once again.

In addition, Heathrow has expanded its Reserve & Collect service in Terminal 5 enabling customers to purchase a variety of items on- and off-airport, including airport exclusive brands, ahead of travelling.

Purchases can be completed via Heathrow’s online shopping platform and collected post-security or bought at the Terminal 5 collection desk.

Aspinal of London is the first brand to participate in the service and will be offering reduced prices to all Heathrow passengers in the build up to Christmas. Heathrow confirms that more brands will follow soon.

Heathrow confirms that Winter sales are so far up on last year, as passengers purchase Christmas gifts for loved ones, from perfumes and Christmas gift sets to handbags and jewellery.

Various new foodservice outlets have also opened, including the EL&N London café – introduced via a partnership with retail advisory firm Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Heathrow has also recently launched Heathrow Highlights, an online guide to the best shopping and food and beverage options at the airport this Christmas, perfect for gift inspiration.

TRBusiness spoke to Heathrow Retail Director Fraser Brown in an exclusive video interview for the Top 10 Airports e-zine, which can be viewed by clicking here.

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