Luton Airport appoints LS Travel Retail

London Luton Airport (LLA) has announced that LS Travel Retail UK & Ireland has won the tender to operate a new 1,700 sq m flagship tax and duty free store at the airport.

The new walk-through Aelia Duty Free store will be the centrepiece of a transformation of LLA’s retail and dining offer when the first phase of the store opens in late 2015.

In total four stores are planned - a flagship walkthrough store, an express/last minute store, an island unit, and what LS Travel Retail describes as a “new breed of arrivals store”.

LSTR, the incumbent operator, says it will offer choice and value with leading and iconic brands including Chanel, Burberry, Jo Malone and Tom Ford.  Such brands reflect the passenger demographics claims LLA, with 79% of travellers at the airport are ABC1s, while a fifth are business passengers. The new retail space will also complement LLA’s new £1 million executive lounge which will open this summer.

Total retail space at LLA is set to more than double in size to more than 8,700 sq m as part of the airport’s £100 million redevelopment programme. LLA is running a major tender programme for the remaining stores, with 43 concessions available.

The stores will be split into four zones to deliver the best adjacencies for retailers and restaurant operators: Luxury, Affordable Luxury, High Street and Food & Beverage.

LA’s Commercial Director Rupert Lawrie said: “The new 1,700 sq m walk-through duty free store, together with a further 7,000sq m of exciting retail and dining options will create a unique experience within UK aviation. We are focused on ensuring the very best possible experience for passengers choosing to fly to over 100 destinations from one of London’s’ fastest growing airports.

LSTR UK & Ireland managing director, Fin Casey, said: “For LLA we have developed a unique retail vision highlighting: ‘It’s a London thing’, mixing the iconic features and latest trends of London.

“The Aelia Duty Free Next Generation retail concept will deliver the best of Duty Free with a highly localised look and feel.  In particular key features, such as our new Whisky Studio and tasting bar, the ‘London Luton Market’ and the ‘Best of London, England’ will become reference point features within this ground breaking store design. All LLA passengers will discover the Aelia Duty Free unique ‘Art of the Gift’: this will be the signature of the retail concept. Passengers will enjoy gift advice, gift wrapping, design features such as ‘Aelia Duty Free Gift Tower’. The experience in LLA will be easy and seamless thanks to new and innovative digital features: tablets for the staff, iBeacons, and the new website allowing pre-order,” said Casey.