The high street retail market has undergone significant change over the past decade, in large part driven by the explosion of online shopping and digital media. For example, the e-commerce share of U.S. retail sales has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.0% since 2005. Despite much rhetoric, airports appear to have been slow to capitalize on these changes, with many still offering products and layouts not too dissimilar to what would have been in place at the turn of the century.
At the same time, with downward pressure on aeronautical yields as a result of the low-cost carrier (LCC) revolution, profits from commercial revenue sources have become increasingly important to operators and investors.
In this article, we explore how customer expectations are changing and consider what more could be done—taking into account the unique operating constraints faced by airports—to further capitalize on the commercial potential of passengers.