Frankfurt targets prime spenders

By Doug Newhouse |

Frankfurt Airport’s 2014 retail strategy will focus even more on prime spending passenger nationalities, according to Fraport Senior Executive Manager Christian Sültemeyer.

He told TRBusiness’ 2014 Global Industry Survey that this is because the major airport’s overall traffic growth expectations are relatively moderate this year: “More than ever our commercial success will be depending on a few destinations/nationalities with prime spenders.”

Sültemeyer said that Fraport is encouraged by the fact that retail sales turnover from Chinese passengers is still growing strongly at Frankfurt Airport at the same time ‘that everyone else around is putting all their effort in reaching the very same prime-target-group’.

In Europe, the race has just begun for the Chinese-spend and therefore ‘everyone will want to have a piece of the pie’, he says.

“There are, of course, a few recent changes in Chinese travelling regulations that will also affect the business. We will need to be quick and target our main customers with the right offer and the accompanying promotions in their language,” he said.

Frankfurt Airport Pier A. [Photo credit: Meinhardt].


Sültemeyer says 2014 will be especially challenging, as last year the airport benefited from the first full 12-month trading period of its new A-Plus Pier A in Terminal 1.

He said: “This massive commercial effect, plus a still comparably strong German economy gave us an edge in comparison to other European airports. Still, especially the second half of the year showed that the overall high expectations could not be reached completely. After all, transfer-hubs like FRA rely on traffic from other countries – many of whom within Europe are still stuck in the debt-crisis”.

Frankfurt owner Fraport will be increasingly looking at the ‘very fast-paced development in digitalization in travel retail, he said: “Mobile devices, digital signage/promotions, online-offers/orders and the Internet will continuously start changing our trading environment after they have changed downtown retail.”

As for changes this year, Sültemeyer said a return to passenger growth ‘back on track’ in Europe would be welcome, along with financially stable airline partners.

On his wish list, he included: “More exclusivity from the industry-partners/suppliers for the travel retail channel, such as pre-launches, special editions, TR-exclusives – in order to keep our channel special and make shopping at airports a privilege for passengers they cannot have anywhere else!”

[TOP IMAGE] Fraport/Frankfurt Airport Senior Executive Manager Christian Sültemeyer.


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