LHR re-opens main World Duty Free T2 store; further outlets resume trading

By Andrew Pentol and Luke Barras-hill |

Overhead-Heathrow-AirportLondon Heathrow Airport has reopened a number of stores today (22 June) as the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation gradually improves.

Shops at the airport had been closed since the end of March, when the government ordered all non-essential outlets to cease trading in order to contain the spread of the virus.

World Duty Free (one store in Terminal 2), WHSmith (six stores across Terminal 2 and Terminal 5), Boots (six stores across Terminal 2 and Terminal 5) and Excess Baggage (one store in Terminal 2) have all resumed operations.

A number of restaurants have also re-opened including Café Nero (three stores in Terminal 2 and Terminal 5), Pret A Manger (one outlet in Terminal 5) and Leon (one shop in Terminal 2).

Jamie Anderson, Terminal Manager, World Duty Free revealed an extensive amount of work had gone into setting up new ‘Covid-secure signage’ in the store said: “After a long week preparing for our main store at London Heathrow Terminal 2 to open, we pulled the shutters back at 5am this morning, after being shut for three months.

“The first sale was to a lady who spent £100/$125 on Shiseido at 5:10am.”

POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Terminal 2 was expected to handle 60 departing flights today to locations including Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Xi’an (charter), South Korea and India.

[Watch the below video from Heathrow Airport to learn what extra measures have been taken to protect staff and travellers].

Today’s re-openings represent some much-needed good news for the airport, which reported a -97% May passenger drop year-on-year.

Heathrow, which registered a -15% drop in Q1 retail revenue to £136m/$170m, has been forced to cut managerial positions, restructure frontline roles and shift passenger operations from Terminals 3 and 4 into Terminals 2 and 5.

World Duty Free Terminal 2 reopening

Source: World Duty Free LinkedIn.

The airport has also been forced to contend with the government’s quarantine policy. The policy has been strongly criticised as it is doing little to combat the spread of the virus and is further hindering the UK aviation industry and its recovery from the pandemic.

In the meantime, Heathrow is also trialling thermal screening technology in the Terminal 2 immigration hall and Terminal 5 check-in area.

 

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