WHSmith: ‘Experiential shopping’ at refurbished City Airport departures

By Luke Barras-hill |

WHSmith has unveiled a new store as part of London City Airport’s (LCY) departures lounge refurbishment.

According to WHSmith, travellers will discover ‘a comprehensive retail offer’, including news, books, food and drink and souvenirs.

Sense of place is brought to life with a store design inspired by East London’s locations and architecture.

A brighly lit LED digital fascia illuminates the store front, presenting customers with the latest products and promotions.

The new WHSmith unit joins the Group’s recently opened InMotion store as part of the airport’s £12 million investment in the departures area to upgrade the passenger experience.

As one of the latest InMotion shops to open in the UK, travellers can browse from market-leading technology and established international brands including Apple, Samsung, Bose and Sony, plus a range of own-brand InMotion merchandise.

WHSmith says the new store adds a real sense of place for passengers with a store design inspired by East London’s locations and architecture.

‘Great customer feedback’

Live product demonstrations, clear wayfinding and digital screens assists consumers to locate sought-after electronic items and travel essentials, supported by an InMotion team on hand to offer knowledge and advice on the products.

Spencer Sheen, Business Development Director, WHSmith Travel, said: “We are incredibly proud to have delivered these two new store openings for London City Airport as part of the airport’s refurbishment investment.

“Our brand new WHSmith store offers a tailored range of products and a truly experiential shopping space in London for customers travelling through the airport.

“The opening follows the launch of our new store from our world-leading technology retailer, InMotion, in the terminal earlier this year, which has received great feedback from customers. We look forward to welcoming more customers to these fantastic new stores over the coming months.”

Robert Sinclair, London City Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “As part of London City Airport’s £12 million departure lounge investment, we’re thrilled to see WHSmith’s new store open today.

“WHSmith’s delivery includes a new ‘Brand London’ and expanded product range, as the airport’s one-stop-shop with more food & drink options, books, magazines, health & beauty products and souvenirs, and is further bolstered by their InMotion store’s offer of technology travel essentials in the terminal.”

City Airport announced the £12 million investment in the departure lounge last month, which will result in 30% more seating, newly expanded duty free and retail space, new dining outlets and other facilities.

This is commencing in phases to maintain the operation of existing facilities, with the upgrade set to complete by next summer.

Duty free incumbent Lagardère Travel Retail will launch a tailored Aelia Duty Free store boasting an ‘It’s London’ boutique recognising the best of local producers and distilleries on a rotational basis, while Creed and Aesop will join an expanded commercial mix.

London City Airport announced a £12 million upgrade to its departures lounge in October. Source: LCY.

In a statement at the time of the announcement, Sinclair added: “While Covid has postponed our plans to build an entirely new terminal building, it has not diminished our ambition to invest in providing a London-centric experience we know passengers want and have been waiting for.

“Our recovery in 2022 has been strong, and we and our partners, want to be ready to deliver an even better service in 2023 for even more passengers. The airport, Lagardère Travel Retail, SSP and WHSmith are also committed to championing ‘Brand London’ and amazing products from across our capital. It’s especially pleasing that they also share many of the ambitions outlined in our Sustainability Roadmap.”

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