Design Solution unveils Athens airport shops

The Design Solution is creating two retail concessions at Athens International Airport for Hellenic Duty Free Shops, and will also be involved in a third space, to be built in line with a terminal expansion. The delicatessen Hellenic Gourmet (pictured right) and the duty free shop (pictured below) will replace existing outlets owned by the client when they open in April.

Appointed to both projects in September, The Design Solution came through a three-way credentials pitch to land the contract.

The client wanted the Hellenic Gourmet deli – which The Design Solution rebranded from Tastes of Greece – to reflect ‘a modern upmarket interior with clean lines’, says Nick Taylor, associate director at the consultancy.

Taylor describes the old design as ‘oldie worldy’ and looking like a ‘dog’s breakfast’.

The new 62m2 space will offer an open frontage, allowing products to be displayed at the entrance of the store, where a permanent tasting table has been installed.

Touch screens will encourage customer interaction and the shopfront will feature olive-green back-painted glass and a rosewood frame.

Taylor says the LCD touch screens will be installed ‘to describe product categories where there is not enough shelf-edge space’.

He adds, ‘Customers will be able to interact with, for example, a wine, and find out about the region it’s from.’

Taylor says that there will be a continuity between the deli and the duty free shop – they will both ‘create a customer flow around the space’ – but insists that stock will now be different. ‘There used to be a duplication and we thought that was wrong,’ he says.

Asked to increase footfall and retain customers, Taylor saw that the old duty free store was split into two spaces, making customer flow ‘knotted’, particularly around tills.

In the new shop, says Taylor, ‘The configuration will be a single space, and it maximises what people might buy into. Currently, you just get spat out at the first point.’

The new 210m2 space will feature illuminated pillars for advertising and a counter for product promotions. An LED advertising ‘drum’, 3m in diameter, will sit above a dedicated promotions area.

It will be ‘solely for advertising and create an additional advertising stream’, says Taylor.

According to Christos Pavlidis, retail network development director at Hellenic Duty Free Shops, The Design Solution will be creating the interior of several more shops covering a space of 2000m2 in about two years, when the Schengen terminal is expanded. Pavlidis says the new stores will be ‘classic duty free, plus speciality fashion stores’.

Hellenic Duty Free Shops:

• The Design Solution is designing a 210m2 interior for a mixed-category duty free store for Hellenic Duty Free Shops at Athens International Airport

• It is also creating the interior of the Hellenic Gourmet deli at the same airport

• Both shops will open in April, ahead of further interior work for the client covering 2000m2, when the airport’s Schengen terminal is expanded

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