Luxury brands opt for airport pop-ups

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If you were travelling through New York’s JFK Airport and thought you passed a giant blue Tiffany box, you were in fact correct.

The Tiffany installation was one of many examples of luxury brands popping up in airports as a way to draw in customers. Airports have long been synonymous with luxury retail outlets, but now a growing number of brands are choosing to showcase their wares in a more temporary, and eye-catching, way – via pop-ups.

These pop-ups are designed to draw in affluent leisure and business travelers who may not usually have the time or opportunity to experience a particular brand’s products first-hand.

“Airport retail today looks nothing like the souvenir shops and fast food stands that dotted terminals in the 1990’s, before tighter security measures required passengers to spend more time on the air side of security,” says Michael Hirschfeld, co-lead of JLL’s National Retail Tenant Services Group, who sits in our New York office. “Shopping has always been a big part of the travel experience, and now retailers and food and beverage companies alike are finding ways to capitalize on the captive audience waiting for their flights.”

“What matters is that consumers walk away with a positive impression of the brand, so they’ll be more likely to make a purchase in the future,” said Hirschfeld. “Employees bring the experience to life in these new formats. The people staffing airport pop-ups are very skilled at reading body language of passersby to determine who is likely to stop, and reaching out to engage them.”

For brands, airport pop-ups are increasingly been seen as an ideal venue to introduce new products and brand extensions. And they also come with another big advantage; as airports offer the unique option of duty-free shop, consumers are often swayed by the prospect of purchasing a product for less than the price they’d pay on the high street yet there’s no danger of the discounted price damaging the luxury brand image. If anything, the airport location adds kudos as it’s seen as a more exclusive environment, says Hirschfeld.

To explore more about what makes for a successful pop-up, read the entire article on JLL’s Real Views. 

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