Written by Barnaby Taylor. Published on .
So you’re packed and ready for your trip abroad; an exciting prospect no doubt. However, before you start jet-setting off on your holidays, you’ll need to go through the somewhat tedious, yet necessary process of getting through the airport. Although it can be irritating waiting to finally catch your flight, at some of these airports, there is a multitude of ways to alleviate the boredom. These days, airports have grown to become some of the best shopping destinations around the globe, offering a huge range of retail opportunities at a cut-down price.
From shops offering travel essentials to high-end boutiques and luxury brands providing you with some much needed retail therapy, airport shopping really is in a league of its own. However, not all airport shopping experiences are created equal, with some going above and beyond to offer flyers a bespoke shopping experience. With this in mind, we decided to take a closer look at this sometimes overlooked shopping opportunity and give you the lowdown on the best airport shopping experiences around the world.
It’s safe to say that, in most cases, brick and mortar shop fronts are in a bit of a crisis. With an increasing number of people looking to the internet for their shopping fix, many shops are closing their doors in favour of an online experience. However, airport shopping centres are bucking this downward trend, with their shopfronts remaining an important part of business. Across the globe, airport shopping sales rose by four percent back in 2016 and continue to offer customers new retail experiences.
The other main benefit is the significant savings you can expect to gain from shopping at the airport. As most airports are duty-free, they needn’t worry about the extra cost of duty levy’s on their products. This translates to a cut in cost at the till, so why not make the most of the opportunity!
We couldn’t write a list of the best airport shopping experiences around the world without starting with our own; London’s Heathrow Airport. As the winner of the Skytrax ‘World’s Best Airport Terminal’ for Terminal 2, and the whole airport featuring in the top ten in the world, it’s pretty obvious as to why Heathrow is such a great place to loosen the purse strings.
Terminal five is the main hub of shopping at Heathrow, with a range of high-end retail stores such as Burberry, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Because of this, the fashion-forward consumer can find deals on some of the most celebrated clothing brands in the world. The immensely popular Harry Potter shop is also a significant draw for the magically inclined looking for a wizarding deal.
This behemoth of an airport is the largest in the whole of South East Asia which, in turn, makes it one of the best places to conduct some retail therapy in the region. Aside from the usual shops, you would come to expect in an airport, level 4 of Concourse D is where the top end exclusive brands have decided to set up shop.
Names such as Dior, Hugo Boss and Swarovski occupy many of the units throughout the concourse. You can also find the premium vodka brand Royal Dragon at the various King Power departure stores situated throughout the airport.
With awards for the ‘Best Transit Airport’ and coming fourth in the Best Airline list last year, it’s quite obvious as to why Hong Kong International airport is such a wonder whilst you wait for your flight. Spread over two separate shopping malls, Hong Kong has close to 300 retail options for travellers to peruse, with 47 shops found in Terminal 1 alone.
If you do somehow run out of shopping opportunities, however, you can indulge in the huge range of other services on offer. Whether you’re in the mood to catch a breathtaking film at the IMAX theatre or in need of a well-deserved pamper session at Wellness, Hong Kong Airport’s one and only spa, you’ll be forgiven for not wanting to jump on the plane!
One of the largest airports in the U.S, the huge JFK airport truly is one of the best shopping experiences in the land of the free, and you haven’t even stepped foot outside the building.
Terminal 4 is where you can find the majority of upscale brands such as Cartier and Bvlgari, however, with a total of eight terminals all occupying a variety of retail and dining opportunities, you’ll be spoilt for choice so get exploring.
Known for never committing to half measures, Dubai does not disappoint with its gigantic international airport. Acting as a duty-free mall, it can be easy to get lost in this huge shopping complex, especially as it consistently comes in at number one as the busiest airport in the world.
For those flying via Emirates, you’ll be able to experience the truly ginormous Terminal 3, the second biggest building in the world by floor space. Finished in 2008, the terminal plays host to a stunning array of shops with some of the biggest names in fashion and dining.
However, Dubai airport’s services don’t stop there, offering frequent flyers the chance to relax in the zen garden or get their pump on in the gym in between flights. Also, don’t let Terminals 3’s gargantuan size put you off exploring, as there is a dedicated train line between levels, making travel throughout the airport a cinch. Whatever you need, Dubai will ensure that, no matter how long your connection is, you’ll be well looked after.
Of course, how can a country famed for its boutique shopping experience not have great shopping at its airport? As one of the largest airports in Europe, Charles De Gaulle has comprehensive retail opportunities with designer brands to match the shops dotted around the Champs-Élysée.
Although the building itself isn’t the prettiest on our list, don’t let its plain design fool you. Terminal 2, for example, is chock full of some of the most fashionable brands on the market today, from Hermes and Longchamp to Cartier and Hour Passion. At CDG, you won’t need to lug your new finds across the French capital when everything is waiting for you as soon as you jump off the plane.
Just a few hours up the road from our Parisian friends is the light and airy Amsterdam Schiphol, known as one of the nicest airports in Europe – and for good reason. For many of the shops and restaurants dotted throughout the building, customers can benefit from a lowest price guarantee, meaning you won’t find a better deal anywhere else in the Netherland.
For those looking to make their money go further, Schiphol Plaza has plenty on offer, housing more than 75 tax and duty-free stores for you to explore. Alongside Dutch products, you can expect to find a host of international brands which are, on average, 10% cheaper than any other major European city, so get spending!
As the largest airport in South Korea, it’s no wonder why this behemoth ranks as one of the best shopping experiences on the peninsula. It’s also one of the nicest airports in the world to stay in, rated as one of the cleanest and best international transit airport by Skytrax.
Housing many of the high-end brands seen in other airports, from Cartier to Burberry, you won’t be stuck without a healthy dose of retail therapy. Yet, the services on offer don’t stop there; whether you’re looking to double down at the in-house casino, catch a blockbuster movie at one of the two cinemas or get a hole in one at the whopping 72 hole golf course, your wait times will simply disappear.
The world’s airports aren’t just for flyers to get from A to B, with some of the best ports offering customers some truly amazing shopping deals, all with a nice little discount to help loosen the purse strings. However, there are a variety of other ways to save on travel including tailor-made holiday packages and planning in advance.
To start planning your next trip, contact us today on 020 8417 1366 or enquire online for an amazing business class deals.
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