Westfield hosts airports think tank global forum

By Doug Newhouse |

Westfield Innovation Forum smallThe US-based Westfield Corporation invited ‘airport thought leaders and innovators’ from all over the US last week to explore the role of technology in airport innovation under its mantra, ‘One Airport Journey. One Holistic Experience..’ 


Westfield partnered at the inaugural American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Innovation Forum held on November 12 at its laboratory offices in San Francisco, where attendees explored the role of technology in airport innovation.


At the event, Westfield showcased technologies and people that it believes have been transforming global retail and streamlining the traveller experience – a central theme that the airports and retail mall manager and developer promoting strongly.


Westfield Innovation Forum

The Westfield Forum airports initiative on November 12. Addresses given by Westfield management included the following: The Airport Experience Revolution – Dominic Lowe, EVP, Westfield Airports; The Future of Retailing – Antony Ritch, COO; and The Airport Customer Digital Journey – Lu Silverstein, Vice President Innovation & Technology (Airports).


Dominic Lowe, Executive Vice President at Westfield described it as ‘an engaging, thought-provoking discussion’ about the convergence of the physical and digital worlds at airports: “Integrating digital solutions is a key component for increasing customer satisfaction and growing non-aeronautical revenue that enables airports and airlines to invest more in operations and infrastructure,” he said.


AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli added: “By encouraging airports and innovators to collaborate and work together, we’ll find more effective solutions to enhance the customer experience. By applying a holistic approach like Westfield’s, we can provide more opportunities for airports, airlines and, ultimately, the travellers themselves.”


Kevin McKenzie Chief Digital Officer Westfield

Kevin McKenzie, Chief Digital Officer at Westfield.


The company also facilitated ‘hands-on demonstrations’ of technology that Westfield claims is ‘revolutionising’ customer experiences at its shopping centres and airports, where it has led to the creation of some of the following initiatives:


PRODUCT SEARCH: Eliminate the guesswork of shopping with one centralized online retailer inventory to help shoppers find what they want and buy their way – in store or online.


VIRTUAL CONCIERGE: Engaging, friendly, roaming digital platforms connect customers with remote, multilingual customer service representatives anytime, anywhere.


WAYFINDING DIGITAL DIRECTORY: Customers can make more informed plans with interactive wayfinding stations that guide customers through their physical journey with turn-by-turn mobile phone directions and detailed dining and shopping information.


DINE ON TIME: Never deal with lines or waits again. Dine on Time allows customers to order food for scheduled pick-up or delivery for convenient dining.


EXPRESS PARKING: Customers enjoy a seamless parking experience without the stress of looking for a spot or losing a ticket. Express parking allows pre-registered customers to check the availability of parking spaces, and to book and pay for one in advance.



One of Westfield’s major US ‘showcase contract airports’ is undoubtedly Los Angeles.©


The company says this is all about providing a vision and comprehensive development approach for consumers who want a seamless experience, guided by information from home to the airport entrance, the airline gate and beyond.


Westfield’s operational airport locations currently include Los Angeles, Houston George Bush, Miami, Orlando, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK, Boston Logan and Newark Liberty.


Westfield currently works with more than 700 retailers covering more than 640,000sq ft of retail and f&b services, with its managed airport locations generating more than $860m in annual sales.


The company’s present domestic retail destinations include Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City in the UK, the Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield Century City. ‘Upcoming world-class retail icons’ include Westfield World Trade Center (opening in 2016) and Westfield Milan in Italy.



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