Luxury on the runway: Upscale airport shopping

The new duty-free shopping area at Chicago’s O’Hare airport is just one name-brand airport retail option.

Looking for a last-minute gift to take home to your significant other, or perhaps an emergency wardrobe upgrade for an urgent business meeting? Look no further than the airport where you’ve just landed. Well-known upscale brands are more visible than ever on the concourse — making it easier than ever to be prepared for whatever awaits at your destination.


Part of the reason for recent expansion of luxury brands in airports, according to Reuters, is that airport sales are outpacing those of “regular” retail establishments.

Tiffany & Co. is one of the brands in growth mode, as it debuts a second store at Singapore’s Changi airport this year and plans a shop for Berlin’s new airport next year. Changi is already a hot spot for luxury shopping, with big names including Prada, Alfred Dunhill, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Gucci and Harrods among the top finds.

Also planning for a greater airport presence is cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, which already sells its products at more than a thousand airport retail establishments. Plans call for the company to expand especially quickly in emerging markets, including airports in Brazil and China, where the fast-growing middle class is providing increased sales opportunities.

Stateside, travelers can pick up name-brand gifts and items worthy of a business trip at a variety of airports, including Chicago O’Hare International Airport, where Terminal 5 (the international terminal) debuted a new 3,400-square-foot duty-free store in August, with a larger selection of luxury goods than previously available at the facility.

Beyond duty-free, frequent flyers can stock up at places like New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (Clinique, Estee Lauder, Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo), Orlando International Airport (Johnston & Murphy), Atlanta Hartsfield (Brooks Brothers, Ermenegildo Zegna) and San Francisco International Airport (Burberry, PGA Tour Shop).

Luxury on the runway: Upscale airport shopping ,


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