Letter: Airport shops are a banquet, not a snack

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The Independent Online
Sir: Jonathan Glancey (Architecture, 28 September) deplores the increased retailing taking place at airports. At Stansted, he says, this 'means being enticed into an air- side burger bar by the image of a colossal quarter-pounder . . .'

Setting aside the contradiction between 'colossal' and 'a quarter-pounder', he should consider that the travelling public want the shops they have at airports. Sophisticated companies usually do not invest in facilities their customers don't want or have no intention of using.

BAA engages in the most comprehensive research, and is not only reassured of the demand, but continually advised by the public of what additional shops they would like.

Mr Glancey should be pleased that this is so, because BAA is investing pounds 1m a day in developmental activity designed to provide 21st-century airports for Britain; revenues from retailing make a substantial contribution towards this.

In surveys of customer satisfaction, these revenues have led to Britain's airports outstripping their international rivals.

Yours faithfully,

J. M. BARRY GIBSON

Group Retail Director

British Airports Authority

London, SW1

29 September

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