Elena Stenholm, Vice President Commercial Services, for Finavia Corporation’s Helsinki Airport has told TRBusiness that the company will tender retail space for Terminal 2’s new West Wing this year and will also directly approach retailers with particular appeal to Asian passengers.
As reported, construction on Helsinki Airport’s new €300m ($334m) West Wing in Terminal 2 began in the last quarter of 2016 as part of a wider €900m airport expansion programme launched in 2013.
“The West Wing will be finished in 2019 and allows for Asian traffic expansion,” Stenholm tells TRBusiness. “So there will be eight direct gates for A350s and also space for an A380.
“That enables us to build more commercial space so that we can also serve those Asian passengers.”
Stenholm tells TRBusiness that Max Mara and Salvatore Ferragamo, which opened recently have performed particularly well and the airport has witnessed that the Chinese spend per head has risen ‘a lot’.
WE NEED MORE BRANDS…
“We can also see, because we’ve been studying this passenger group this spring, that there are more brands that we need.
“There is a very good demand and we need to satisfy that customer even more. So we are going to have altogether 3,500sq m of new commercial space included in that project.”
As mentioned this development will be finalised 2018/2019 depending on the area. The West Wing will incorporate lounge space and well-being services, an exhibition hall, a children’s playground and additional F&B units.
However, Stenholm is clear that the focus will be on retail this time. “Lately we’ve opened 30 new or renewed F&B units so the focus there is strong and the offering is good already, but in retail we still have room to grow.”
Helsinki Airport is 100% government-owned so the various retail spaces will be offered up in an open tender. “However, when there is a brand or a concept that is especially appealing to the Asian passenger groups, then we may also negotiate directly,” adds Stenholm.
“We do have some timelines because we currently have four duty frees. Two of them are in the non-Schengen; the non-Schengen main walkthrough store and a satellite in the South Wing. There will be another satellite duty free store of about 300sq m near the West Wing in quite a central location and that one we will tender likely in 2017.”
The full-length interview with Elena Stenholm will appear in the January issue of TRBusiness magazine.