World Duty Free Group has completed a major refurbishment of its main walk-through store at Manchester Airport Terminal 1, where the retailer trades under the Biza Tax and Duty Free fascia. The revamped store, at 20,000sq ft slightly smaller than the previous outlet, features clearer delineation of customer walkways and boasts a number of new features, including a World of Whiskies shop-in-shop and a new ‘Contentainment’ video wall. The retailer has also added a stand-alone beauty outlet offering two Estée Lauder-owned brands, Jo Malone and Bobbi Brown in one outlet – a first for airport retail.
Addressing guests and shop staff at the official unveiling earlier today, World Duty Free Group CEO José Maria Palencia paid tribute to the contribution of landlord Manchester Airports Group. “In our business we talk a lot about the passenger experience, but we talk about it so much that it can become an empty shell. Trust me: that is not the case here. Manchester Airport is really committed to the quality of life of passengers in the north-west of England and they really take the passenger experience seriously.
“We have worked in close partnership with Manchester Airport to create a store which brings a new level of interest and excitement to its customers. We have taken the best elements of our retail offer and combined them to create an exceptional store – a place where customers can be inspired, entertained and enjoy first-class service. We are confident that this latest look for our flagship Biza store will achieve great results for both ourselves and Manchester Airport.”
Manchester Airports Group Chief Executive Charlie Cornish added: “This retail facility is as good as any I've seen anywhere in the world. We hear a lot about the likes of Hong Kong and Singapore: this store is just as good as either.
“The values of our two companies are almost identical and that bodes well for our future. Well done to all at World Duty Free Group for making this one of the best retail facilities in the UK.”
One of the main objectives of the renovation was to improve navigability and sight lines in-store. The previous store layout featured two exits, thus diluting passenger flow, but the renovated store features a single main walkway and exit, encouraging shoppers to browse the entire offer.
Some key features of the T1 Biza store have been retained, such as the distinctive store branding and the Champagne tower located immediately after the main entrance. The tobacco category enjoys a prominent location close to the store entrance through which all travellers pass, with the World of Whiskies concept located immediately beyond it.
The World of Whiskies shop-in-shop was created in partnership with supplier William Grant & Sons, and features over 300 items, over 200 of them new to Manchester Airport. In the wider liquor area, the store now features dedicated customisations for key brands Bacardi, Jack Daniel's and Russian Standard vodka, one of the store’s fastest growing brands.
A new tasting area has also been added, and so far boasts a spend conversion rate of 96%, according to the retailer.
Beauty represents 53% of sales at the Biza store and the retailer has implemented a number of changes within the category. A corner dedicated to premium skincare brand Crème de la Mer was introduced last October, while the leading brands across fragrances, cosmetics and skincare boast revamped corners along the left side of the main walkway. Of these Chanel remains the highest grossing brand, representing £2.2 million in sales last year.
In skincare WDF Group has added a Cocoon shop-in-shop to the Biza store, featuring specialist brands such as Biotherm and Shiseido.
Prominently located within the heart of the store is the new Contentainment video wall, featuring 24 video screens showing content that can be adapted according to brand, promotion or special event. This week, premium tequila Patrón is among the brands featured, while an in-store DJ has also been deployed to build interest and excitement around special Valentine’s Day offers.
The store's confectionery offer is located close to the exit, and features personalised backwall areas for brands such as Cadbury's, Thorntons and Godiva. Within this area is a ‘Best of Manchester’ range featuring gifts associated with the city's Premier League football teams, City and United, while a selection of London 2012 Olympics goods is also available.
Sunglasses, among the retailer's best performing categories by sales per square metre, is well represented in the new store, and sales are reported to be up by +100% on an already large base. The revamped watches, jewellery and fashion accessories zone, located at the end of the customer walkway, offers brands such as Pandora, Swarovski, Radley, Guess, Furla and DKNY. Among new watch brands available are Hugo Boss, Tissot, TW Steel and Skagen. According to the retailer, sales of accessories are up by +20% since the renovation of the area was completed last year.
Beyond the Biza store, in space previously occupied by The Nuance Group's Attitude fashion store in T1, is the the dual Bobbi Brown/Jo Malone outlet, covering approximately 50sq m. This is understood to be the first store of its kind and was created by World Duty Free Group in partnership with brand-owner Estée Lauder Travel Retailing. WDF Group expects the store to generate around £1 million in annual sales.
Next to the Bobbi Brown/Jo Malone store Nuance continues to operate a large fashion store featuring brands such as Hugo Boss plus casual UK favourites Superdry and Bench.
Source: ©The Moodie Report
By John Rimmer in Manchester