Hudson launches new automated retail concept at Myrtle Beach Intl Airport

By Andrew Pentol |

Hudson Group has revealed its first-of-a-kind, multi-brand automated retail concept.

Driven by the Dufry-owned company’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the traveller experience and leveraging digital innovation, the new automated retail concept aims to create a contactless, 24/7 retailing destination.

By partnering with globally recognised and emerging and local brands, travellers will have a selection of specialty retail products to shop for. This is reminiscent of a miniature shopping mall within the confines of the airport retail space, according to Hudson.

Brian Quinn, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Hudson said: “Automated retail provides us with an avenue to recreate the strong sense of place associated with our stores within the confines of a smaller, non-traditional footprint — all while capitalising on the dwell time, exposure, and convenience the airport environment affords.

“For the traveller, this translates to more variety and accessibility to the quality brands they are accustomed to seeing in an environment that enables them to shop on their own schedules.”

AUTOMATED RETAIL ROLL-OUT TO CONTINUE

After launching first at Myrtle Beach International Airport on 26 March, automated retail will continue to roll-out to other leading travel destinations in the coming months. These include Chicago Midway International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

As part of its digital transformation, Hudson Group officially opened its first Hudson Nonstop store using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at Dallas Love Field Airport on 22 February 2021.

Scott Van Moppes, Director of Myrtle Beach International Airport. “Passengers at MYR will benefit from a seamless shopping experience, thanks to the introduction of Hudson’s new automated retail program, Hudson continues to deliver excellence in its concessions program at MYR and we’re excited to be the first location to offer their newest retail experience.”

Fashioned with bright illuminating lights and wrapped to replicate the easily recognisable identity of the brands, travellers will find the ADA-compliant machines clustered together in groups of two or more in freestanding locations throughout the concourse. In some instances, machines will be built directly into the Hudson storefront.

Next to the machines, easy-to-use interactive touchscreens sealed with an anti-microbial shield will showcase merchandise images and product information.

In concepts that feature eyewear brands, personalised augmented reality technology installed directly into the machine’s interface will allow travellers a fully immersive, virtual try-on experience. This enables them to browse and find the perfect pair of frames for the occasion.

Hudson team members on-site at nearby stores are available to provide their Traveller’s Best Friend service, should travellers need assistance or have questions throughout their shopping journey. Hudson’s and Dufry’s brand portfolios will be the focal points of the concept, according to the company.

Personal protective equipment vending machines were unveiled last year.

Each concept will feature top-sellers and a selection of exclusive products not traditionally found in Hudson-operated speciality stores.

Travellers will find must-have items such as skincare brands Plexaderm and The Art Of Shaving; eyewear brands Maui Jim and Revo; electronic labels Sony, Belkin, Apple, Beats and Brookstone; toy brands Kikkerland Design and Lego; and lifestyle accessory brands Happy Socks and 47 Brand.

In addition to household name brands, local merchandise and seasonal products will be offered. Brands can be seamlessly interchanged and custom-tailored to each travel destination.

Hudson can test brands before deciding to develop them into standalone specialty stores and explore development opportunities with smaller airports where specialty retail offerings can be limited by space and enplanement levels.

The launch of this new automated retail concept is the latest element of the company’s digital transformation, which encompasses PPE vending machines and expanded contactless payment options with self-checkout. The transformation also includes check-out free at Hudson Nonstop which uses Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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