World Duty Free Group’s (WDFG) tax and duty free store in Heathrow’s Terminal 5, has been transformed with an extensive and impressive redesign. The store typically handles more than 35,000 transactions each week and when reviewing its design, a key consideration for WDFG was to improve navigation and product range within the store, for the 15 million passengers that currently depart from the terminal each year. Most significantly however, all WDFG’s future developments will be modelled on this terminal, which incorporates the very latest in terms of technology and retail design.
Eugenio Andrades, CEO of WDFG says, “It was 7 years ago that Heathrow Terminal 5 became operational, and WDFG’s store became a well-known benchmark across the industry. We have now focused on taking it to yet another level in terms of the world class airport shopping experience, the environment and the product range that we offer to our customers. This is a store that can justly own its flagship status.”
Brian Woodhead, Heathrow’s Commercial Director said: “Heathrow is incredibly proud of Terminal 5 having been awarded ‘best airport terminal in the world’ four years in a row and we are delighted to have a World Duty Free store that matches Heathrow’s ambition for our customers. We are excited about customers visiting this store for the first time and hope that they will be as delighted with this new shopping experience as we are.”
One of the most immediate and striking features of the new 2,850m. store is the vast chandelier suspended at its front entrance in beauty. Made up of more than 53,000 individual Austrian crystals, the chandelier was made by a British company based in Shropshire.
It is within the impressive beauty hall that customers will notice the most change in Terminal 5. WDFG has welcomed many new names in beauty to meet the demand for the latest and most desirable ‘on trend’ brands from Heathrow’s style conscious shoppers. Newly introduced make-up brands in Terminal 5 include Nars, Urban Decay, Burberry and Gucci Cosmetics, with the latter only being available directly from Gucci boutiques, outside of Heathrow Terminal 5.
In the World Duty Free beauty hall customers will also find brands that are only available in the domestic market in premium department stores. Examples include the niche fragrance houses Memo, Alaïa and Kilian. Other ‘firsts’ for the terminal, and indeed WDFG, include Hermès’ innovative Home Collection counter where customers can purchase candles and soaps from the iconic designer. The category showcases many other unusual and creative design features from brands, such as a vast perfume bottle made out of colourful spools of thread at the Givenchy counter and an oversized vintage travel case displaying fragrances by Memo. In October, premium hair care brand Aveda will also join the WDFG brand portfolio, with an exclusive UK travel retail counter in Terminal 5.
In keeping with the focus on customer experience and service, the beauty area offers a range of complimentary ‘express’ beauty treatments, including new make-up looks, skincare consultations, mini facials and massages. All are designed to be quick and informative, helping customers discover new products and techniques, whilst enjoying a relaxing pre-flight treatment. More than 40 till points, including 20 handheld tills, can be found in the beauty area, making the process of completing a transaction a speedy and smooth experience for customers.
WDFG’s Contentainment™ concept has two large ‘expo’ spaces in each of the leading category areas – beauty and liquor. Contentainment™ in Terminal 5 has evolved to feature a unique configuration of overlapping HD screens that create a feeling of depth, synchronised with an LED surround made of 200 high resolution LED tiles, floor and ceiling lighting and dedicated audio to create an immersive experience for passengers. Since the redevelopments, brand partners such as Belvedere, Burberry, Chanel and Dior have worked with
WDFG to stage innovative and experiential digital marketing and promotional activity within the store, creating excitement and customer engagement.
Located across the main walkway of the IDL is the second half of this flagship store, which showcases liquor, confectionery and foods. At the heart of the 506m. liquor area is a sleek tasting bar, with a digital fascia that can be updated quickly and frequently, to tailor messaging to different customer profiles at varying times throughout the day. Strong personalisations and feature walls are evident from brands such as Smirnoff, Baileys, Hendrick’s, Absolut, Finlandia, Belvedere, Cîroc and Remy Martin.
Following the length of the liquor area will lead customers into WDFG’s whisky concept store ‘World of Whiskies’. Beneath its barrel-vaulted ceiling, customers are completely transported into a world where famous distilleries and boutique brands are combined under one roof, to create an unforgettable whisky experience. Customers are invited to try complimentary tastings of whiskies and specialist store staff are on hand to share their expertise and knowledge with whisky novices and connoisseurs alike, helping them to find the perfect whisky for themselves or as a gift.
The food and confectionery area has been completely revamped, repositioning it as the luxury shopping destination for this product category in the airport. The Fortnum & Mason bar has a strong presence and is the only location on airport to offer fresh nougat, which is cut from large blocks to suit the customers’ requirements and individually wrapped and boxed to make the perfect gift. Branded units for Cadbury, Walkers and Twinings create strong focal points in this area of the store, highlighting a ‘sense of place’ with their focus on ‘Britishness’. Plasma screens within the personalised wall bays help capture the attention of customers and highlight what’s available in store.
Final touches of indulgence on the store exterior are its showcase windows. These are the first of their kind on this scale for WDFG and are similar in execution to those you would find at a premium department store. Exactly as their name would suggest, the vast windows ‘showcase’ stand out products from all categories and convey seasonal themes to striking effect. They give customers a real sense of what they can expect to discover within the store itself and thus help drive store penetration.
The last stage of the extensive refurbishment of World Duty Free in Terminal 5 will be the completion of the luxury area on the upper level of the IDL in January 2016. The increased floor area for this category will be fitted out to a high specification and will showcase extensive ranges of sunglasses, watches and jewellery.