Travel retailers must seize the online opportunity, says Sydney Airport commercial chief – 24/01/08

Derek Larsen: “Our tenants should see themselves both as on- and off-airport retailers, with the off-airport element provided by the web”

AUSTRALIA. Travel retailers should embrace the web to drive awareness of the shopping offer, to widen their product base and to offer more pre-order services. That’s the view of Sydney Airport General Manager Retail & Commercial Derek Larsen, interviewed this month in The Moodie Report Digital Print Edition.

Larsen says that Sydney Airport intends to further embrace the web to enhance awareness of its own commercial offer, and expects its concessionaires to do the same.

“We’re looking closely at how to develop the web profile of the airport and its commercial activities,” he told The Moodie Report. “I think it’s absolutely key to any retailer in this business. In the aviation world we’re going to see more focus on pre-order. We’re seeing it with the airlines that allow you to book your meal onboard when you book your ticket. And it will have a big part to play in ground shopping too.

“We see a great future in providing a link from the web to Arrivals shopping, through pre-order services. Arrivals is a growing segment of our business but it can become even more significant. Across the board our retail tenants should see themselves both as on- and off-airport retailers, with the off-airport element provided by the web.

“Space is at such a premium at airports today that retailers should be able to deliver more products through an online arm. Too few of them have realised the potential of the web but it will happen. It will deliver to retailers the facility to carry a full range of merchandise. These days, customers expect world-class retail and services, and that includes a top-class online offer.”

The full interview with Derek Larsen appears in the January/February issue of The Moodie Report Digital Print Edition, out in coming days.

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