Monday, November 29, 1999

Lifestyle brands make a beeline for airports

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) With modernisation making various airports attractive destination for retailing, many lifestyle brands, including Swarovski, Hidesign and Satya Paul, are now rushing to set up outlets to tap the rising air traffic volume. "Airports are one of the most promising sectors for retail development in the country. Today every premium brand is keen on participating in the airport''s retail zone, primarily because there has been a transformation in major airports," Swarovski India country manager for consumer goods business Sukanya Dutta Roy told PTI. Swarovski currently has retail outlets at the Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi airports. It plans to add more outlets at the Capital''s airport apart from targeting others, including Bangalore. Among the top destinations for retailers are the international airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. Increased passenger spending is encouraging retailers to focus on airports. "In terms of sales also it is quite a boost, that is the reason why we would consider establishing outlets at airports for other brands as well," Genesis Colors marketing vice- president Rajiv Grover said. Genesis Colors owns the Satya Paul brand besides other designer labels. It has outlets at the New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore airports and is also planning enter other airports this fiscal. For ethnic brands like Fabindia, airports provide the right place to attract foreign buyers, besides wooing domestic customers. "The opportunity for visibility and re-call plays a large role in this for most brands, as does the fact that there is a large volume of walk-throughs in an airport," said the Fabindia overseas head for communications and public affairs. According to sources at Delhi International Airport, the upcoming terminal T3, which is likely to be opened in July, will spread over 30,000 square metres and can accommodate 247 retail units. Already global biggies like Versace, WH Smith and HagenDaz are understood to be setting shops at T3, after the completion of which the New Delhi airport would handle around 6 crore passengers annually. According to sources, around 9,900 retailers have applied for the 247 units, of which 2,133 were evaluated. Besides New Delhi, the ongoing modernisation of the Chennai and Kolkata airports are likely to be completed in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Post-modernisation, the Chennai airport is expected have an additional passenger handling capacity of 1.4 crore per annum, while that of Kolkata it is expected to be 40 lakh passengers annually.

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