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Global airport retailing market bouncing back

Industry Sector



11 September 2012


Matt Bodimeade

Type of News


Having suffered a drop in sales in 2009, the global airport retailing market has bounced back. However, growth is being driven predominantly by passenger volumes, which are increasing rapidly in emerging markets, rather than an increase in spend per passenger.

The average expenditure of European travellers per visit to duty-free and duty paid airport retail outlets is US$76 and US$51 respectively. Overall, 24% of respondents from Asia-Pacific spent US$11-US$15 per visit on food and beverages, while 23% spent US$5-US$10.

In total, according to the European respondents, 56% of their overall purchases made at duty paid airport retail outlets turned out to be 'impulsive', whereas the remaining 44% constituted 'pre-planned' purchases in 2012. Overall, Asia-Pacific travellers declared that 46% of their purchases at duty-free airport retail stores were pre-planned, while 54% of purchases were impulsive in the last six months.

In 2011, Europe was the largest airport retailing market, however it has been forecast that this region will be overtaken in size in 2012 by Asia Pacific.

The global airport retailing market is forecast to expand by 44.5% from 2010 to 2015 with most of this growth coming from emerging economies especially in Asia Pacific, which is forecast to grow by 76.2%, and the Middle East and Africa which is forecast to grow by 40%.

Low cost airlines such as Malaysia's Air Asia and India's Spice Jet and IndiGo have made air travel more affordable to the expanding young urban population in the Asia Pacific region. This combined with ambitious investment in new infrastructure has helped increase footfall in the region and therefore boost retail sales.

For more information on the global airport retailing market, see the latest research: Global Airport Retailing Market Report

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