ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Hudson, which operates airport boutiques for high-end brands, such as Bally, Coach and others, is taking on beauty, personal care and wellness in its new shop-in-shop retail concept stores in airports, the Dufry unit company said in a news release.
Dubbed Evolve, the new store format blends specialty brands with travel necessities to drive higher basket spends, attracting fliers who seek convenience items but are also open to discovery. Hudson said each store will carry an assortment of products curated specifically for that location.
Health and beauty is one of seven product categories featured at Hudson’s Evolve stores, the first of which will open in the Nashville International Airport in late summer. The others are sunglasses; electronics and entertainment; luggage and writing instruments; accessories and apparel; local goods and souvenirs; and travel essentials and snacks. Among the brands are Apple, Bang & Olufsen, Briggs & Riley, Herschel, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Samsung, Sony and Tumi.
The average area of each Evolve store will be at least 2,000 square feet, with an open storefront, circular traffic flow and eye-catching digital signage. The largest store (6,700 square feet) is planned for Chicago’s Midway Airport. It is one of up to 20 expected to open by the end of 2022. After the Nashville debut, new locations at Dallas Love Field and Las Vegas McCarran International airports are scheduled.
The stores will include a variety of checkout options. In addition to a traditional checkout experience, each Evolve store will feature multiple self-checkout kiosks as well as Hudson’s newly-developed mobile point of sale (POS) capabilities, which will enable Hudson team members to complete transactions from anywhere on the sales floor and spend more time assisting travelers at the brand shop-in-shops.
The beauty component in the initial stores will include health and wellness devices from HoMedics, Hyperice and others; beauty and skincare products from Burt’s Bees and The Art Of Shaving; and cosmetics from L’Oréal, Sally Hansen and CoverGirl.
Hudson, based in East Rutherford, N.J., believes the way travelers shop has changed post-pandemic, and that one-stop, integrated shopping could be the future, especially at smaller airports.
“The strategy we’ve executed over the years has positioned the Hudson brand as an iconic and trusted anchor of the airport experience for travelers and landlords alike. Now, as we’re witnessing the dynamic transformation of the retail space, we’re taking the opportunity to further leverage what makes it successful: convenience and brand recognition,” said Brian Quinn, execute vice president and deputy chief executive officer of Hudson. “Our new Evolve store will transform larger retail footprints, with the existing Hudson convenience model in mind, to curate a multi-brand concept that will allow Hudson to continuously innovate for the modern travel retail environment now and into the future.”
Last year convenience retailers scrambled to add new items in categories that historically have not played a significant role in their product offer, as NACS magazine shared in “New Product Growth in 2020.” More than 50% of the new items introduced into the channel were from often-overlooked store categories, including health and beauty care (12.5%).
C-store sales of health and beauty care averaged $20,358 per store last year, up 5.1% over 2019, according to NACS State of the Industry data.
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