Excess Baggage extends reach amid airport expansion drive

David Elliott: Seeking further international expansion

UK. Leading airport services provider Excess Baggage is seeking to expand its geographical base and its range of options for airports – as it celebrates the recent award of a key contract at London Heathrow T2, which opens in June 2014.

As reported, Excess Baggage will operate two stores in the new T2. One will offer a range of travel services such as bag wrap and bag shipping, plus there will be a retail element, with brands such as Rimowa, Eagle Creek, Delsey, Victorinox and Travelpro for sale.

The other store, in Arrivals, will offer a left luggage service, incorporating baggage shipping and parcel delivery. Crucially, this will feature the latest systems including QR-code technology, online pre-booking and online product selection. The use of new technology fits neatly into Heathrow T2’s plans for the digitalisation of retail. Equally importantly, it’s a platform of Excess Baggage’s planned expansion into the digital world.

“We see ourselves as a one-stop shop for airport services and can create a lot of benefits for airports, reducing their management costs on services that many have traditionally managed in-house,” Managing Director David Elliott told The Moodie Report in an interview recently. “We are much more than a luggage services company.”

Heathrow T5 (above and below): A key location in the Excess Baggage portfolio

Excess Baggage began life around 20 years ago with a focus on baggage services, from storage to wrapping, lost property, goods shipment as well as retail. Today, it still offers these services but now provides many others. These include its Airport Concierge service offering hotel reservations and associated services such as bus and train tickets, car hire, lounge access, tours, London bus tours, sports and event tickets, theatre tickets, as well as mobile phone and Wi-fi device rental and inbound and outbound sim card sales. It also includes duty free shop & collect and home delivery (such as at Gatwick Airport).

London Paddington Station: Part of an extensive rail network

Elliott said: “We began with a focus on baggage but since then have expanded into other services. At London Heathrow left luggage is a core service but from there we have broadened into retail and are now the biggest luggage retailer at the airport. We can tailor our services to any airport’s requirements, from bag wrapping to retail to lost and found, but also (as at Gatwick) to hotel reservations and concierge services.

“We also operate duty free fulfilment, for the past two years at London Gatwick with the Shop and Collect scheme, and here and elsewhere we see potential for home delivery and pre-order.”

Geographically UK and Ireland are the company’s core markets for airports, but it is now eyeing business in new markets in mainland Europe and beyond. Excess Baggage also has a significant rail business since 1997 with Network Rail. Within rail, noted Elliott, “our focus in this channel will be increasingly on retail”.

The focus on new markets will continue, he added. “We are working towards more international expansion; other opportunities lie in the Middle East, possibly the US and certainly in continental Europe,” he said. “There is demand for the one-stop shop that we can provide and we’re confident many more airports will recognise the opportunities.”

New retail concept: The Cube at Gatwick Airport
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