- Airport mainstay Hudson plans to roll out a revamped store design next year that features digital displays geared toward local content and modular walls for quickly changing out retail offerings.
- Hudson also plans to bring self-checkout to its next-generation stores. The retailer is launching the new stores in key locations starting in 2020.
- Also next year, Hudson is launching a new consumer-facing mobile app. The "Hudson Blue" app is meant to connect customers to Hudson stores to learn about products and promotions. The company also said the app will "provide features to ease the stress of travel outside their stores."
If you consider an airport a shopping center, then travel hubs are a growing bright spot in brick-and-mortar retail.
Fliers in 2017 spent more than $1.7 billion at airports' newsstand and travel convenience stores, according to The Washington Post and the Airport Experience News Fact Book. And spending in airports could reach a global total of $49 billion by 2021, about a 27% increase over 2016 numbers, according to GlobalData.
Shifts in airport layouts and the declining retail space devoted to print periodicals have created opportunities for retailers. As Stacy Moore, an airport food and retail consultant, told Retail Dive earlier this year, there is an expanding portfolio of brands operating in airports today, including Victoria's Secret, Vineyard Vines, Kiehl's, Eddie Bauer and Life is Good.
Hudson has been in the venue for decades, with a presence at airports going back more than 30 years, when it started with a handful of newsstands at LaGuardia Airport. Today the retailer has more than 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks and other tourist spots in North America.
Hudson's turnover (a measure of its sales as well as advertising revenue) decreased slightly in the third quarter, to $523 million, but so did its costs. Organic net sales fell by 1% on a decline in the overall number of transactions, the company said in its most recent earnings report. Third quarter operating profit, meanwhile, increased nearly 28% to $56.7 million. Year to date, turnover and operating profit are both on the rise at Hudson.