Outllok: Dwell times
Friday 05 March 1999
HEATHROW CEASED be an airport a long time ago. Instead it became a giant shopping mall with a runway attached. Gatwick has gone the same way, and a similar fate surely awaits the vast open spaces of Stansted, once the overspill of passengers and airlines from its sister airports lends it critical mass.
Now BAA, which calls itself an airport operator but has a retail business the size of Dixons, plans to do the same with Eurotunnel. Undaunted by the prospect of duty-free dying out this summer, it has taken on the retail operations of the two Channel tunnel terminals at Folkestone and Calais for the next 15 years.
BAA has been attracted by what the retail wizards know as "dwell time". The vagaries of air traffic control and the check-in requirements of airlines mean that the average passenger at Terminal One has 50 minutes to kill before a flight. BAA would naturally prefer them to be eating at Harry Ramsden's, or even better shopping in the Harrods store, than reading a newspaper. So retailing and catering space is maximised at the expense of somewhere peaceful to sit down.
Holidaymakers on Le Shuttle are about to enjoy the same selling experience. BAA has discovered that their dwell time can be anything up to 60 minutes. At Calais the scope for emptying passengers' pockets is endless. The terminal itself is vast and even if duty-free is axed, duty-paid prices of beer and baccy on the French side of La Manche will remain 35 per cent below high street prices over here.
Folkestone is a slightly more tricky proposition, since it is a much smaller terminal. But BAA plans to enrich the retail mix to begin with and then creep outwards if the Kent county planners allow it. The result will be a useful boost to revenues - pounds 100m minimum even without duty-free, reckons BAA. This may even help to keep down Le Shuttle ticket prices.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...