Centerlines - December 2010 - (Page 14)

C O VU R N T O R Y LEM S EVOLVING AIRPORT CONCESSIONS Modernized concepts increase revenue BY JODI R ICHARDS B etter concessions mean more bucks for airports. And, as airport concession operators scan the horizons, better, more sophisticated retail choices translate into more satisfied customers. Passengers should see more variety in airport food offerings, said Alan Gluck, aviation business manager with the Broward County Aviation Department. “Our industry has gotten beyond the ‘these are captive people and we can just give them junk and they’ll pay for it.’ People aren’t doing that anymore,” he said. “They’ll bring their own; they’ll eat before they get to the airport; they’ll eat when they get out of the airport. “I think everyone is trying to be more responsive to demographics and making sure that they’re serving all of their passengers,” Gluck said. “And in the end, my job as a concession manager is to separate people from their money, but also to make sure that they get something for their money. And make it a very positive experience that reflects well on the airport.” The last several years, food service concessions have been modernizing concepts and improving food quality, and that is showing in the numbers, Kent Vanden Oever, associate director at AirProjects Inc., an Arlington, Va., retail consulting firm, said. “It was just five years ago maybe, getting over $5 per enplanement was really great,” he said. “Now we talk about programs doing $6.50 to $7 per enplanement, even possibly more. Well, 40 percent growth at the top in five years is not just inflationary. Something else good is happening.” Customers are becoming more discriminating about The Mosaic Fine Art & Craft Gallery in Phoenix brings what they expect to an artistic touch to retail offerings. see at airports. “I think they have very high expectations for something unique and high quality, both in food and retail offerings,” said Tamie Fisher, deputy aviation director at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. “There are still a lot of T-shirts and shot glasses being sold, but there is a whole other segment of the customer base that is looking for something artistic, unique or reflective of the local community.” Concessionaires are challenged to meet those needs in a confi ned space, Fisher said. In order to do that, they need flexibility. “We can’t change concessions only when contracts get rebid,” she said. Concessionaires need to refresh products regularly, throughout the term of their contract. Newsstands will be changing as well, Fisher said, following the main street community shift from periodicals to technology. “I’m interested to see how that translates into the airport environment,” she said. “I think many of our concessionaires are rethinking what the offerings are in the newsstands.” In 2010, Vanden Oever said passengers became more comfortable with security procedures — so much so that many no longer pad their time as much, reducing the dwell time and leading to a reduction in concessions sales. To address 14 CENTERLINES | DECEMBER 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - December 2010

Centerlines - December 2010
President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
On the Hill and On the Stump
Cover Story: Evolving Airport Concessions
Passenger Focus: Measuring Customer Satisfaction
Fees vs. PFCs
Grand Openings
Now Underway
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - December 2010