Centerlines - December 2009 - (Page 14)

VER S COLUMNTORY TIME TO LOOK AHEAD B Y JODI R IC H A R DS As the economy starts its recovery, now is the time to make decisions about the future of airport concessions “THE opportunity here is for the individual concessionaires and the airports to insist on the cashiers and clerks being more than that and being educated people who can help the passenger be converted into a purchaser.” Christina Cassotis, vice he past year has been called the worst recession since the Great Depression, and airport concessions programs were not immune to its effects. By no means has it been doom and gloom for the industry, but retailers, airports and consultants all agree now is the perfect time to re-evaluate operations and look for new opportunities. Sales per enplaned passenger have held steady, but overall revenue at airports is dropping because passenger numbers are dropping, said Christina Cassotis, vice president and leader, Airport Services with SH&E. Bruce Boudreau, director at Jacobs Consultancy, said specialty retail has taken the hardest hit. Depending on the airport, he has seen drops anywhere from 1 to 8 percent in specialty retail spend rates. Food and beverage numbers, typically the least elastic of any of the concessions, have held up a little bit more, Boudreau said. There is a trend toward smaller, cheaper and more frequent meals, while breakfast has been the most affected meal for airports. Duty free, which affects fewer airports, is also seeing some strong declines in spending rate. Because of double-digit declines in international enplanements at some airpresident and leader, Airport ports, Boudreau said, “we have seen some Services with SH&E places that are off 30 to 40 percent in terms of gross sales.” T Business Terms At several airports seeking proposals for their retail space, Boudreau said business remains competitive among “the usual suspects,” or the major concessionaires. “We’re seeing the big concessionaires being very competitive in chasing deals,” Boudreau said. Companies like HMSHost Corp., acquired by Autogrill, and Hudson Group, acquired by Advent International, have put pressure on retaining and gaining market share on renewing contracts. CENTERLINES | DECEMBER 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - December 2009

Centerlines - December 2009
Table of Contents
President's Message
Canadian Airports
Associates' Corner
Policy Corner
Training Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Cover Story: Time to Look Ahead
Griesbach Concessions Award Winners
Passenger Focus: Enabling the Disabled
Environment: Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance
Now Underway
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - December 2009