Tuesday, May 15, 2012: 09:00:34 PM


BRIC Nations Aid Heathrow’s Retail Boom

Retailers at London’s Heathrow Airport recorded a strong 8.8 percent rise in gross turnover for FY 2011, signifying a boom in luxury spending by passengers using the hub to connect from several emerging markets. Official figures indicate that gross retail sales at Heathrow increased from £1.5 bn in 2010 to £1.7 bn in 2011; while Net Retail Income per passenger increased by 5.3 percent to £4.35 from £4.13 in 2010. This significant growth rate is credited to the airport’s exposure to passengers from the BRIC nations, who spent an average of £45.50 in 2011, compared to £37.22 in 2010. The total fashion and accessories sales across the airport registered a growth of 17.7 percent. World Duty Free also showed strong growth with a significant increase of 12.7 percent. Heathrow’s retail performance is bettering the trend of UK’s high street sales, where recent figures show a growth of merely 1.3 percent, according to the Office of National Statistics, and a 0.9 percent reduction in footfall according to the British Retail Consortium.

The airport has witnessed a large increase in demand for luxury goods from Chinese passengers, as well as the Middle East with British brands such as Mulberry, Burberry and Smythson, being especially popular.

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