Marshall Retail Group reveals hyperlocal concepts at MCI’s new Single Terminal

By Kristiane Sherry |

Teams from across MCI, Vantage, MRG and other stakeholders cut the ribbon on 27 February and declare Single Terminal open

WH Smith Company-owned Marshall Retail Group (MRG) has unveiled ten concepts at the newly opened Single Terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI), which features a total of 50 shopping and dining experiences.

Airport investment and management firm Vantage Airport Group, which co-developed Single Terminal with Kansas City Aviation Department (KCAD), described the concession programme as “Kansas City-inspired”.

Marshall Retail Group is the prime concession operator alongside F+B specialist Outstanding Hospitality Management Concession Group, which is based in Missouri. 

The offering is said to set a new benchmark for local and minority participation, with the team behind the terminal bringing diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Of the 50 retail and food and beverage (F&B) concepts, 80% are local to Kansas City and the surrounding area. 

Participation of companies described as Airport Concessions Disadvantage Business Enterprises (ACDBEs) is 60%, exceeding Vantage’s stated aim of 16% by almost four times. 

Vantage partnered with minority equity partners Parson + Associates and RMD Holdings to develop the terminal.

The new KCI Single Terminal project will create over 1,000 jobs

The long 15-year concession term is expected to bring in $1.5 million in sales, $50m in sales tax for Kansas City, and create more than 1,000 jobs.

In addition to its $65m investment, Vantage provided a $20m opportunity fund and mentoring programme. The scheme was open to the small, local, minority- and women-owned companies now operating in the terminal. 

Kansas Small Terminal: ‘Unique’ concepts

The new concessions, spread throughout the new terminal and its two concourses, nearly doubles the former airport’s offering. 

Unique concepts and locations are named after neighbourhoods and cultural institutions – for example, food hall outposts from local restaurants Bloom Baking Company, Bo Lings and Parisi Coffee.

MRG’s Made in KC Marketplace features locally crafted goods, gifts and apparel from KC makers and retailers. Brands include Charlie Hustle, Christopher Elbow Chocolates, Brown & Loe, Meat Mitch, and Messenger Coffee. Meanwhile, the Jay ‘Hootie’ McShann’s Blues Bar pays homage to the celebrated musician. 

The KC Barbeque Experience brings dining, shopping and performance together along with authentic KC barbeque fayre. The menu is from Smoke & Magic, the first winner of the annual pitmaster contest, which had a one-year MCI licence as part of the prize. 

MRG’s InMotion concept provides 24/7 access to brands

Barber and salon experiences are available from Director’s Cut Take 2, while the local brewing scene is represented with Boulevard Brewing Co., Martin City Brewing Co, and Stockyards Brewing Co.. 

Performance and entertainment stages have been integrated within the dining areas, including a space by the Soiree Steak & Seafood House in partnership with the American Jazz Museum. 

MRG has also launched its first automated retail solutions at MCI, which offer 24-hour access to key brands. The InMotion Kiosk has been installed in Concourse B bringing a solution for electronics shopping, and taking the total global tally to over 162 stores.

Giving back to the city

WH Smith’s Turn the Page KC, a book and gift retailer, supports the local literary group that it is named after. 

The Leagues Sports Lounge and Eatery includes a Kansas City sports experience, which highlights the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with a historical Then & Now exhibit. 

Global brands present in the terminal include LEGO, &Go, Auntie Anne’s, Big Chicken, Cinnabon, Dunkin’, In Motion, Johnston & Murphy, Lego, and Smoothie King.

“On behalf of Vantage Airport Group, I am delighted to celebrate the opening of this spectacular new terminal, which is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to transform the guest experience at MCI,” said Sammy Patel, Vice President Commercial at Vantage Airport Group. 

80% of the Single Terminal concepts are local to the Kansas City area

Pat Klein, Director of Aviation at KCAD added: “I want to thank Vantage Airport Group and every stakeholder that had a piece of this project in the last ten years.

“Vantage’s concession programme will provide the highest level in customer service and amenities and convey a sense of place in the Kansas City region as we open the new front door to our community for Kansas Citians and our visitors.”

Toby Keir, MRG and InMotion CEO, continued: “We are so excited to welcome Kansas City travellers into these unique stores, and we are proud of the grand accomplishment this project has represented for the team.

“We want to express our gratitude to Kansas City Aviation Department, Vantage Airport Group, as well as all our partners and colleagues who had a hand in this project.”

Last month, MRG named Dan Parsons as its Divisional Vice President of Business Development to work across both MRG and InMotion.

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