Budapest Airport redefines retail experience, catering to evolving market trends and passenger needs

WHSmith opens its first unit at Budapest Airport, with further expansion seeing the retail occupy 432sqm of retail space at the airport. Cutting the ribbon are: Balázs Bogáts, CCO, Budapest Airport; WHSmith’s Dorottya Nagy, Buying Manager; Spencer Sheen, Chief Development Officer – International; and Andrea Anda; with Mirko Fechner, Retail & Property Director, Budapest Airport.

Budapest Airport took on a new retail strategy following the pandemic, aimed at enhancing retail revenue without significant expansion of retail spaces. This strategy, carefully balanced between quality and sustainability, redefines the retail experience at the Hungarian gateway, catering to evolving market trends and passenger needs.

In response to the changing market dynamics post-pandemic, Budapest Airport launched a strategic initiative to tackle the complex issue of optimising retail space by focusing on the most demanded categories, while addressing the current shortage of space until terminal capacity is expanded. This approach aims to maintain high quality standards and ensure a consistent, positive experience for passengers despite the limited retail variety due to space constraints. To uphold these quality levels, new Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have been developed, incorporating sustainability targets. Additionally, revised tender documentation has been introduced to facilitate the selection of partners capable of delivering the desired quality. This strategy underscores the airport’s commitment to enhancing the passenger experience while efficiently managing available resources.

Owing to this strategic reform and the airport’s close partnership with retail leaders, Budapest achieved full recovery of retail sales by the end of 2023, setting a robust foundation for future growth.

“Our innovative retail strategy demonstrates Budapest Airport’s commitment to enhancing passenger experience while facing limitations in retail space,” said Mirko Fechner, Retail & Property Director, Budapest Airport. “By integrating customer service aspects, operational issues and environmental responsibility through our new service level agreement, we are not only meeting but exceeding market expectations. Budapest Airport remains dedicated to delivering a world-class shopping experience, while ensuring passengers enjoy both convenience and quality during their travels.”

Key developments and new openings include:

  • WHSmith – opening its first unit in Budapest Airport’s Terminal 2B Airside Departures last December, the international retailer promptly expanded with further stores, opening a unit in the SkyCourt in April and a third store which is situated landside at Terminal 2A this month. The arrival of WHSmith at Budapest has seen the retailer immediately occupy 442sqm of retail space at the airport, introducing a new shop design that reflects the beauty of Hungary and Budapest in particular. The varied products and high-quality operation stand to enhance the shopping experience for the airport’s passengers.
  • Heinemann Duty Free (HDF) – late last year saw the opening of a new store in Terminal 2A with a fresh design showcasing Hungarian food and drinks in particular. The concessionaire continues to feature a wide range of retail offerings to satisfy diverse customer preferences.
  • Playersroom, operated by Hungarian retailer Szinga-Sport – having enjoyed a close partnership with Budapest Airport for more than 25 years, the retailer opened a new flagship store in the T2 Schengen area, providing a broader selection of Hungarian and international fashion and footwear.
  • Bottega’s Italian Prosecco Bar, introduced in partnership with SSP – as the premium concept gains a strong foothold in Central and Eastern Europe, the new bar format opened at the airport in April, with the expansive outlet offering Budapest’s departing passengers a taste of Italian elegance and luxury.
  • Obsentum – operated by HDF and opened Q3 2023, the store showcases a premium fragrance experience for those with a passion for elegance and exclusivity, adding new product lines which have not been accessible for passengers before.
  • Sunglasses Multibrand shop – operated by HDF, the new sunglasses store opened this spring and is the start of this year’s growth of international brands set to feature at the airport this summer.
  • Rituals – operated by HDF and joining Budapest’s retail offerings on 30 May, this in-demand brand now brings its extensive collection of luxurious home and body cosmetics to the airport, presenting passengers with its highly-desired products for personal wellbeing.
  • Food Trucks, operated by SSP – located on Pier 1, the new gastronomic experience offers a wide array of culinary delights, perfect for pre-flight or post-landing meals.
  • Expanded self-service – as part of the new strategy and in response to the passengers’ needs, Budapest set out to introduce increased self-service options throughout the airport, with extended kiosks now available at Burger King and KFC, as well as the central duty free and WHSmith stores.
  • ‘Collect on Arrival’ – the airport’s new service for passengers travelling to Schengen areas, allows them to purchase products at Heinemann Duty Free and leave their items at the airport during their trip. Upon their return, travellers can conveniently retrieve their purchases from a designated box in the T2A baggage hall. This service enhances the shopping experience by providing a hassle-free solution for managing duty free goods while away.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published.