Design: Fitch Design
London Luton is one of the benefactors of the no-frills fiesta; it has seen passenger numbers rise from 1.9m in 1996 to a projected 6.2m this year. A new terminal opened last year, but expansion of the departure lounge was also necessary. Fitch was brought on board for its airport retail expertise to create an environment tailored to the needs and aspirations of a wide range of leisure and business travellers.
Luton’s location, along with its smaller size, means that it is perceived as small and friendly. Another advantage is the close proximity of the car park to check-in. ‘In developing the design for the new terminal, we wanted to reinforce the positive aspects of the journey and make it as stress-free as possible,’ says Fitch chief executive officer John Harrison. Clear signage and a ‘warm and relaxed atmosphere’ were priorities.
The layout of the retail offer was also important, because during research, ‘We found that unless people could see all the facilities laid out in front of them, they wouldn’t search them out,’ says Harrison. At Luton, the departure lounge is laid out in a doughnut shape to enable consumers in transit to view all retail outlets around the perimeter as soon as they walk in. The seating – the Zenky range by Zoeftig – is then focused in the centre, so passengers aren’t faced with an either/ or decision to shop or sit down. Eating and shopping areas are also integrated for the same reason.
Different needs are also catered for in the retail offer and design. Window communication is important to attract fast-track shoppers, as is layout. Instead of putting checkouts near the store entrance/ exit, merchandise is prioritised and pay queues are out of the line of sight. Leisure browsers are more susceptible to impulse buying, and attractive presentation with lots of open circulation space encourages them.
see also “DW200012010053”