“Travel retail is a very exciting growth industry within the retail sector and many stores are using travel hubs to showcase new ideas, using new technology to cross over retail and bricks and mortar shopping channels to provide convenience to commuters as they pass from home to work and back again,”says Doug Barber, managing director of Barber Design.

Following its first foray into travel retail at London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, John Lewis opened its first click and commute store at St Pancras in October. The 278 sq m store provides convenient service for commuters, enabling them to shop online and collect their items as they pass through the station. The store is its first ever to be located in a railway station, aimed at the commuting convenience market. Products ordered online from home before 8pm are delivered to the store the next day and can be collected after 2pm. The store is also a pull for tourists and international travellers going on the Eurostar. Longer opening hours is another bonus. 

John Lewis has today opened its first-ever railway station shop at St Pancras International. The shop offers an edited selection of electronics, gifts, beauty, home and fashion accessories and customers can also take advantage of the retailers Click and Collect service. St Pancras Station London, U.K. Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Photographer: Jason Alden  Photographer: Jason Alden www.jasonalden.com 0781 063 1642The first John Lewis click and collect store opened at St Pancras in October

Our customers show us that they want different ways to shop that are most convenient for them. John Lewis St Pancras is our latest shop format innovation to meet our customers’ evolving needs serving the station’s travellers,’ explains Maggie Porteous, director of selling at John Lewis.

New openings at St Pancras include Gant, Curious Pig and Barzetti, with Cath Kidston and Thomas Pink having recently refitted their stores. The station’s retail sales figures from April – May 2015 are up eight per cent on the same period last year. Speaking of expansion, Wendy Spinks, commercial director of HS1, says: ‘St Pancras Station has attracted some of the biggest names in retail, including John Lewis, Fortnum and Mason and Hatchards, with Gant our most recent store opening. We place great value on our partnerships with retailers at the station and are constantly looking at ways to both support our existing retailers and deliver new consumer services to offer the best possible experience to station users, many of whom are not even catching a train.

2The retail offering at Crossrail Place Canary Wharf is now open

Crossrail will deliver a high frequency, high capacity service to 40 stations, linking Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The retail offering at Crossrail Place Canary Wharf station is now open. The seven-storey station has been built in the North Dock of West India Quay with four of the six station levels forming the new retail destination. Arup led the design team for Crossrail Place, developing an engineering solution that allows future changes to Crossrail Place to be undertaken without any disruption to the operation of the station below. Arup has worked closely with architects Adamson Associates, Foster + Partners, and Tony Meadows Associates and the client, Canary Wharf Contractors, since the firm was appointed eight years ago.

The four levels of retail, roof garden, pavilions and station entrances are unified by a complex timber roof, which wraps around the building like a shell. The retail area covers 10,683 sq m of space, the upper three floors of which opened in May 2015, and include a mix of leisure operators such as Everyman Cinema, Sports Bar & Grill and Poncho 8.

‘The roof garden is designed to evoke a ship laden with unusual and exotic specimens from around the globe. The architectural language of the roof responds to the design of the garden – designed by landscape architects Gillespies – through the timber lattice roof that wraps around the building like a protective shell. The roof opens in the centre to draw in light and rain for natural irrigation and opens along the sides and at either end to allow views of the water and surrounding streets,’ explains Ben Scott, partner at Foster + Partners. As a result, the roof garden offers a comfortable environment for people to enjoy all year round, as well as providing a gentle microclimate for some of the plant species that first entered Britain through the docks.

‘The opening of Crossrail Place is a defining moment for Canary Wharf. The area is constantly evolving providing a diverse range of options, addressing the increasing demand for social and leisure facilities. With the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 and the recent launch of Canary Wharf Residential, residents and visitors to the area will be able to enjoy the estate as a place to live, work and relax,’ continues Scott.

Stuart Fyfem head of retail leasing at Canary Wharf agrees: ‘Crossrail Place represents a key milestone in the ongoing evolution of Canary Wharf into a truly mixed use destination that will soon be a place for people to live. It will boost the already high levels of footfall at Canary Wharf; currently over 800,000 people come to the area every week, including 55,000 on Saturdays and 45,000 on Sundays. Furthermore, it will add diversity and a further 10,683 sq m of leisure and retail outlets which will bring the total amount of retail at the Canary Wharf estate to around 92,903 sq m.’

Network Rail recorded strong retail growth in the last quarter of 2014. These results point towards the changing consumer buyer behaviours within both the retail and food and beverage sectors. Passengers and station users are increasingly seeking travel hub convenience and spending time in stations as they continue to become destinations in their own right. Samantha Turner, head of retail at Network Rail, says: ‘The results show Network Rail is giving passengers the brands and convenience they want at stations. Around 214 million people passed through Britain’s biggest stations between October and December 2014, almost 10 million more than in 2013, and our figures show people are spending, with more than one in three visiting a retail unit – that’s over 72 milion.’ 

3New food and beverage units will soon be opening at Euston


At Euston, new food and beverage units are opening. Construction is well underway on a £12.5m project to create more space and choice for passengers and the local community. More than 71 million travellers who pass through the station annually will soon be able to enjoy an increased and varied retail and dining offer along with a more user-friendly layout. The Euston Station Balcony Development Sceheme will include more than 1,021 sq m of food and beverage space with a new balcony level opening up the station and providing passengers with an area to relax and eat away from the busy concourse.


Grand Central Birmingham at New Street Station will open this September


Grand Central Birmingham at New Street Station is on schedule to open this September. The first half of the new station opened in 2013. The project has already won its first award, Excellence in Sustainability at the Chamber of Commerce Awards. When the project is completed later this year, the station will be enclosed by a giant atrium, allowing natural light throughout the station and the 12 platforms. The redeveloped Pallasades shopping centre, relaunched as Grand Central Birmingham, will boast the biggest John Lewis outside of London measuring 23,225 sq m. The centre will provide 18,580 sq m of retail space for over 40 new premium fashion and lifestyle shops and more than 20 new concept cafes and restaurants.

‘Grand Central Birmingham will offer a very different shopping experience to what people have previously been used to in the city. Being situated above the magnificent New Street train station, the busiest station outside of London, it will offer a unique shopping experience which has something for everyone,’ explains Richard Brown, Grand Central development director. ‘There will be 60+ premium shops, restaurants and cafes, and one of the largest John Lewis department stores in the country, all surrounding a stunning atrium. People can visit for a quick bite to eat while on the go or for a longer day of indulgence.’


Stansted Airport’s £80 terminal transformation


Phase two of Stansted’s £80m terminal transformation is now complete. The departure lounge development is home to a mix of cafes, bars and restaurants and designed to offer passengers a wide range of options depending upon budget, appetite and taste. The latest milestone follows on from the opening of a bigger security area, the new World Duty Free store and first phase of the new shopping areas in summer 2014. 

‘Over 70 tenders were received for the 12 cafe, bar and restaurant units available as part of phase two of this multi-million pound development. Narrowing down the strong competition to deliver a menu that provided a wide variety of choice based on taste, appetite and budget for our passengers is one of the best headaches I’ve ever dealt with, and a scenario that clearly demonstrates the exciting step change taking place at Stansted, with so many leading brands wanting to secure their involvement,’ explains Beth Brewster, director at airport operator MAG Retail. ‘With many airport firsts, brand new concepts and the first celebrity chef appearance for Stansted, this really has been an exciting development.’ These include the first ever James Martin Kitchen and first airport-based Harris + Hoole. 

The departure lounge has been extended by more than 60 per cent, with 70 per cent more seating and the installation of flight departure screens along all main thoroughfares and in all shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, so that passengers can relax in the knowledge they are never far away from the latest flight information. Harris + Hoole is located imediately after security by the entrance to World Duty Free, the flagship entrance to the new departure lounge experience, giving travellers the opportunity to stop and relax after security before continuing their journey. Once through World Duty Free, passengers are led on an intuitive path that guides them with ease to either browse and experience the retail offer at leisure or continue onwards with their journey. All the new beverage and food outlets and general seating are strategically located in one dedicated area, near the exit points to all departure gates. 



Gatwick’s new World Duty Free area will open in 2017

In December 2014, London Gatwick celebrated its fifth birthday under independent ownership, and to mark the occasion it announced a planned £1bn investment to transform the airport. Plans include a bigger departures area and revamped retail space. £21m will be invested to create a new departure lounge in North Terminal, comprising more space to make room for future growth while 2,787 sq m of new retail and restaurant space will provide passengers with greater choice. This includes a new World Duty Free opening in 2017 to match South Terminal, which was the world’s largest World Duty Free store when it opened in 2012. Gatwick rail station will also receive a makeover. The £120.5m redesign will transform the station and passenger experience, with work scheduled to start in 2017 and complete in 2020.

Passengers voted Heathrow Airport as the Best in Western Europe at this year’s World Airport Awards. As well as this new accolade, Heathrow was praised for the quality of its shops, restaurants and terminals and received the Best Airport for Shopping for a sixth time and World’s Best Airport Terminal for Terminal 5 for a fourth year in a row. 

Heathrow, Terminal 2A, airside departure lounge, the first Heathrow John Lewis retail store, March 2014.Heathrow was voted Best Airport for Shopping for a sixth time and World’s Best Airport Terminal for Terminal 5 for a fourth year in a row.

The last 12 months have been a big year for Heathrow. Since 2003, Heathrow has invested £11 billion across all of its terminals. When Terminal 2 opened last year, Heathrow became the first airport in the world to have its own personal shopping lounge, two restaurants created by Michelin starred chefs – including The Perfectionists’ Café by Heston Blumenthal – and a John Lewis shop.

Following an investment of more than £40 million and 18 months worth of work, January 2015 saw the reveal of Terminal 5’s latest luxury shopping re-development. Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex, Fortnum & Mason (designed by Universal Design Studio) and Bottega Veneta joined the line-up at Terminal 5, cementing the airport’s fashionable reputation amongst frequent flyers. The terminal now has a collection of 22 fashion and luxury brands, each of which has been beautifully redesigned to echo the store’s flagship location.

A worldwide first, Heathrow’s Terminal 2 features a dedicated Personal Shopping Lounge where passengers can browse, try and purchase a specially curated selection of products in a comfortable and private consultation suite. Heathrow’s exclusive personal shopping service gives customers access to more than 140 brands bringing together Chanel, Gucci, Dior and more, all in one place. The lounge also has free wi-fi and an information display screen so passengers are kept up to date with the latest flight details.


Proposed design for Beijing Airport’s new Terminal 1


Over in Beijing, airport developer ADPI has collaborated with architect Zaha Hadid to design the world’s largest terminal. Following the 2011 international competition bid, in October 2014 the Beijing New Airport Headquarters created a joint design team bringing together ADPI and Zaha Hadid Architects with competition consortium group members Buro Happold, Mott Macdonald and EC Harris to collaborate on the optimised concept design for the Beijing New Airport Terminal Building. Opening in 2018, the plans for Terminal 1 will see 696,772 sq m of space that will process 45 million passengers a year. The six-tier design features a central open communal space and is designed to minimalise walking distances for customers and increase connectivity. At this moment in time, plans for the retail offering haven’t been revealed, but going on the fact that the terminal will be almost double the size of the world’s current largest terminal – Heathrow’s Terminal 5 – there will no doubt be some great shopping experiences for travellers. 



The Prague Outlet at Václav Havel International Airport

This year, Prague has been listed as 14th in the Retailer Attractiveness Index, beating the likes of Vienna and Brussels. The Prague Outlet is set to open next to Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport and will include airport facilities such as on-line check in, luggage hold, departure and arrival boards and shuttles to and from the airport. The Prague Outlet is being positioned as a high-end outlet centre, something which is currently missing in the Czech market, and a tenant mix is being assembled accordingly, with premium European brands in the middle and upper segments being a large focus of leasing efforts.

More and more retailers are looking at the benefits of having sites at stations and airports.Increasing pressure on funding for public transport and the need to keep rail fare increases as low as possible mean that rail and transit authorities need to maximise their revenue from other sources. Realising the full potential of station retail and commercial development around stations provides vital additional funding to support the development of rail infrastructure.