Hudson captures duty free contract and extends duty paid presence at Boston Logan Airport

USA. Dufry company Hudson has captured the 12-year duty free concession at Boston Logan International Airport, and gained a three-year extension to its duty paid operations at the same location.

The company said it plans to introduce “a locally-inspired, globally-relevant concessions portfolio consisting of eight new duty paid and eight duty free stores in 2023 and 2024”.

The new stores will be operated in partnership with Hudson’s longstanding Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partners: Branded Works Inc., KELLEE Communications Group, Inc., NIA Corporation, and Saxon Ventures LLC.

A ‘Glo-cal’ approach to duty free

The duty free offer – previously operated by International Shoppes – covers around 23,000sq ft and will feature a strong emphasis on Sense of Place, said Hudson.

Terminals A, B, and C will each feature a duty free store where both domestic and international travellers can shop. Domestic travellers can purchase any products other than alcohol and tobacco.

A selection of impressions from Hudson on how the new duty free environment will look

Terminal E, which is only for international travellers, will offer five shops including an immersive, 11,000sq ft walk-through store.

The Connoisseur Collection – the first of its kind in any US airport, said Hudson – will be an “intimate drinking lounge and shop, inspired by Boston’s rich heritage of whisky clubs and the vibrant history of the Rowes Wharf trading port”. The store will house “modern, elegant design and colour with the simplicity of fine craftsmanship of wood and leather”.

Inside, there will be a tasting bar and discovery table, a walk-in humidor for cigars and cigarillos, travel retail exclusives from The Balvenie, Chivas Regal, and Dewar’s, special bottles from The Macallan and Rémy Martin Louis XIII, and a World of Whiskies wall.

Three boutique-inspired shops, similar to those on Boston’s Newbury Street, will be spread out throughout the terminal, each with a different assortment of products. One store will be devoted exclusively to luxury skincare and cosmetics, featuring fragrances Les Exclusifs de Chanel and La Collection Privée Christian Dior. Another will feature fine wines, spirits and tobacco along with a stand-alone Johnnie Walker section.

The third store will bring makeup, haircare and skincare brands such as Clinique, Estée Lauder and Lancôme together with premium eyewear, confectionery and local souvenirs. Included in this will be a virtual try-on for sunglasses, a ‘Mind, Body & Soul’ wellness shop-in-shop, and an Haute Perfumery space dedicated to prestigious fragrance houses like Creed, Diptyque, and Parfums de Marly.

The new stores complement a Hudson retail presence that goes back almost 30 years at Boston Logan

Complementing the individual duty free stores will be the walk-through concept – a mixed-used space. The store carries a distinctive Boston look, from the entrance gateways mirroring the cable-stayed Zakim Memorial Bridge to the use of artistic renditions of tree canopies as a tribute to the Emerald Necklace of green spaces found throughout the city. An inlaid floor feature will serve as a wayfinder, guiding travellers through different shopping zones similar to Boston’s Freedom Trail.

Four shopping zones will make up the store’s interior, inspired by two of Boston’s best-known neighborhoods, Back Bay and Jamaica Plain.

For Back Bay, Hudson designed two zones that will bring to life the luxury of Newbury Street and the beauty of the secret Rose Garden. In these zones, travellers will find beauty, makeup, perfume, and fragrance brands like Chanel, Clarins, Drunk Elephant, Elemis, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Kérastase, Kylie Cosmetics, Lancôme, Shiseido, Sol de Janeiro, and Yves Saint Laurent as well as rotating pop-up shops.

The fragrance section will be anchored by a mixology bar, where guests can use their smartphones to create and take home their own scents. In makeup, a dynamic colour playground and interactive magic mirrors will help travellers discover their own style of shade and allow them to enjoy a virtual makeover.

Jamaica Plain, a diverse, tight-knit neighborhood with serene green spaces, will serve as the inspiration for the second half of the store, complete with two distinct zones – The Three Squares, representing the neighborhood’s Hyde, Jackson, and Egleston Squares, and The Arboretum, named after the arboretum of Harvard University.

Built like a local marketplace, travellers can browse watches, jewellery and sunglasses as well as an extensive selection of products made in or inspired by the city of Boston. This will include sweets and treats from local brands like Cabot’s Candy, Harbor Sweets, Q’s Nuts, Taza Chocolate, and other local vendors. In addition, Hudson’s exclusive ‘Exploring Boston’ brand line will offer travellers confectionery, souvenirs, apparel, and accessories with custom Boston designs from award-winning American artist Kirsten Ulve.

Hudson has also put together an expansive selection of local wines and liquor made in the US. This includes well-known American liquor companies to local wineries found throughout New England. Among the offer are spirits from Boston Harbor Distillery, High West Distillery, Mt. Pleasant Club Whiskey, and Uncle Nearest as well as pre-mixed cocktails to go from NIO.

Local know-how in duty paid

Hudson said that its new duty paid stores represent “a true love letter to the historic city of Boston”.

The airport will house two Hudson Nonstop stores. The first will be located in Terminal E while the second in Terminal C will be connected to Evolve, Hudson’s travel convenience and specialty retail concept. Both Hudson Nonstop stores will allow travellers a fast and frictionless way to pick up essentials, food & beverage products, and local favourites, and then exit without stopping to pay.

In addition to Hudson Nonstop and Evolve, Hudson will open two combination concepts. In the B/C Connector, Hudson will introduce a combination Hudson and Dunkin’ concept, and in Terminal E, a hybrid Hudson and F&B marketplace. There will also be a standalone Hudson store in the B/C Connector.

“The duty paid extension and new duty free contract reflect the shared commitment of Hudson, Massport, and MarketPlace Development to elevate the travel experience and create a concessions portfolio that is not only tailored to the diverse passenger profile of each Terminal but also reflects the rich culture and history of the city,” said Hudson Executive Vice President and Deputy CEO Brian Quinn. “Our new stores will showcase Hudson’s ability to offer unique shopping experiences while setting the standard for the future of travel retail.”

“Dufry and Hudson have been terrific partners to us at Logan Airport as we strive to constantly improve and enhance the passenger experience,” said Massport Aviation Director Ed Freni. “Every day, we welcome thousands of visitors to New England to enjoy everything the region has to offer. Concessions play an important role in a passenger’s journey and the customer service and vast offerings these companies provide enrich the overall travel experience for those arriving at and departing from Boston.”

“Offering passengers innovative and engaging experiences while shopping iconic and local favourites continues to be very important to us here at Boston Logan,” said MarketPlace Development President Michael DiCosola. “We are excited to see that Hudson has the ability to offer these unique retail options, making the airport experience even more enjoyable for the passenger throughout their travel journey.”

Hudson said that the updated group ‘Destination 2027’ strategy will touch each part of the new operations. “This means stores that represent the community, from local products to local partners; omnichannel digital innovation that engages travellers throughout their entire journey; world-class brands from Hudson’s and Dufry’s nationally and globally-recognised portfolios; and service and operational excellence that can’t be found anywhere else”.

Technology includes frictionless payment options, as noted above, pre-ordering for duty free through Reserve & Collect, alongside benefits and savings with the Red by Dufry loyalty programme, plus other innovations.

Hudson’s history at the airport dates back to 1995 when Boston became one of Hudson’s first markets outside of the tri-state area. Hudson has since built an expansive portfolio of travel convenience, specialty retail, and quick-serve food & beverage concepts in all four terminals. ✈

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