All across America, the long stretches of strip malls that remain vacant or the abandoned commercial space in metropolitan areas is more prominent than in previous years. However, even as brick and mortar stores continue to fail throughout the U.S., they are thriving in our airports. As travelers wait for their connecting flights, there’s little to do other than to browse the stores that populate these travel hubs.
Now, as larger corporations try to compete with eCommerce, they’re also turning their attention towards the airports in America’s biggest cities. Estée Lauder, Moncler. Colgate, and Jack Daniels are just a few of the corporations hoping to capitalize on the impulsive buying that goes on in airports across the country. Some companies including Colgate, are even considering expanding internationally with stores in places like China and the U.K.
Thanks in part to duty-free stores, airport sales are rising faster than ever before and offering new opportunities for millennial consumers. Between 2002 and 2017, the market has tripled its revenue, rising to $69 billion. This rise in revenue can be largely attributed to the increased number of flyers, which the introduction of cheaper budget airlines has helped to generate.
On top of the larger consumer base visiting airports throughout the world, the time that each traveler spends in an airport has also increased. Today, a traveler is expected to spend on average 56 minutes waiting for a connecting flight. Of that time, it’s estimated that each individual spends at least 25 minutes browsing through the stores.
Most travelers are in the right mindset to buy. In most cases, they’re in a good mood and they’re either starting a vacation or returning home. In either situation, they’re in the mood to spend money on themselves, or to treat loved ones back home. Marketing campaigns, including storefront displays, are intended to take advantage of this mindset and it seems to be working for liquor producers, luxury fashion designers, and cosmetics chains. This creates the perfect scenario for impulse buying, as most companies are taking advantage to increase revenue.
As brick and mortar stores continue to fail elsewhere in the country, more and more businesses may be turning their attention to airports. They may find the success of past years in airports, where travelers have nothing to do and plenty of time to browse stores. With not much to do for an hour, these are the consumers who are more likely to give into the compulsion for shopping.