Travel Retail and Duty Free Business Intelligence    Thursday 05 May 2016

Chicago O'Hare & Westfield reveal transformed T5 retail and F&B offer

Published: 04/04/14

Source: ©The Moodie Report

By Dermot Davitt

All passengers are now channelled through Dufry's walk-through store
USA. Chicago O’Hare Airport’s ambitious new-look Terminal 5 was inaugurated on Friday by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and master developer Westfield. [The Moodie Report attended the event and will bring further comment and images soon].

The US$26 million project delivered 24 new retail and dining locations, a strong mix of local and international brands plus a new 10,000sq ft duty free shop from Dufry, said to be the first full walk-through store at a US airport. In a new move due to reconfigured security, all departing passengers pass through the store after clearing the TSA checkpoint.

Through the reconfigured layout most of the commercial offer is now airside – previously 95% of the retail and food options were located pre‐security.

Of the 24 new dining and retail outlets, nine are airport firsts and 17 are Chicago airport debuts, said the airport and Westfield in a statement.

“The new International Terminal 5 revolutionises the traveller experience and will provide vital economic opportunity for years to come,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With world‐class shopping, dining and design, Terminal 5 reflects our city’s distinct style and spirit, placing Chicago at the centre of the global tourism conversation as we work together to reach 55 million visitors annually by 2020.”

He added: "The idea that in the past you couldn’t get a cup of coffee before you got on a plane and now you can get off and get a massage tells you the difference. From now on, when you land in the world-class city, you’re going to get a world-class welcome in the city of Chicago."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: "World class welcome in a world class city"
Greg Miles: "Just the beginning" of Chicago's redevelopment
"As the gateway for international travellers entering Chicago, the new Terminal 5 will deliver a first class experience that showcases the city's vibrant, modern identity," said US Senator Dick Durbin.

The Dufry store is split into beauty and accesssories on one side of the walkway post-security, and liquor, confectionery and tobacco on the other
In 2013, with half the programme complete, Westfield achieved the terminal’s highest ever sales per enplanement, reaching US$18.99 with US$32 million in annual sales. The developer said it was on target to double 2011 sales to over US50 million in the first full year after redevelopment is completed.

"The new International Terminal 5 passenger experience will help fulfil Mayor Emanuel's vision to provide a world‐class experience for millions of visitors from around the globe who travel through O'Hare International Airport as their first and last impression of Chicago," said Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino. "This is an absolute win for O'Hare travellers, for Chicago's hospitality, travel and tourism industry, for our airline partners, and for many others who benefit from the incredible job creation and economic activity our airports provide."

“Westfield has tapped into its global resources to create an iconic experience at the new International Terminal 5,” said Greg Miles, Chief Operating Officer of Westfield Group. “Terminal 5 is only the beginning as Westfield is committed to continuing to work with Mayor Emanuel to drive tourism, create jobs and spur economic development in this great city.”

He added: "Together we’ve raised the bar on the traveller experience. At Westfield we believe it’s about the journey, not just the destination. And Westfield is humbled to be a part of that journey."

Beauty is the key category in terms of space, with personalisation for selected brands alongside a generic approach to the display of others
Tumi and Longchamp occupy wall bays in the fashion & accessories area of the main store
Broad retail mix
A central element of the new retail collection is the new 10,000sq ft flagship duty‐free store operated by Dufry. This is said to be the first full walk-through store in a US airport.

“We are thrilled to introduce this first walk‐through duty free shop in the US,” said Joe DiDomizio, President & CEO of Hudson Group (and COO of Dufry Region 4). “The new Dufry duty free store is a significant development in partnership with the City of Chicago and Westfield, in which we have created a unique opportunity to expose all passengers clearing security to our world‐class brands and offerings as they walk through the store on the way to their gates. We love being at the forefront, creating groundbreaking innovations such as this one, and environments that entice passengers to browse, shop and spend.”

Luxury watches by Dufry devote significant space to a key category
Salvatore Ferragamo occupies its own boutique in a new 'Luxury Row' with Michael Kors and Emporio Armani to open their boutiques later
Also new is the Luxury Boutique Row – featuring four stand‐alone boutiques for Salvatore Ferragamo and luxury watches, already opened, with Michael Kors and Emporio Armani opening this year.

The retail collection also includes:
• Locally owned and operated Vosges Haut‐Chocolat, housing chocolate bars, truffles, toffees and more;
• XpresSpa, Chicago’s first airport spa, providing massage, nail and facial services and a retail
selection of beauty and travel products;
• Swiss watchmaker Swatch, offering timepieces and jewellery;
• I Love Chicago, featuring original artwork and accessories produced by local artisans;
• Hudson, the flagship travel essentials concept operated by Hudson Group.

Westfield’s concession partnerships include: Areas RHHG ORD, LLC, Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partner: Robinson Hill; Brookstone; Dufry, ACDBE partners: Blue Daring; RGMA; Hudson Group, ACDBE partners: BTII, Inc., CMC Enterprises LLC; I Love, Inc.; Midway Restaurant Development Ltd.; Swatch; Vosges Haut‐Chocolat; and XpresSpa.

A taste of Chicago
With a line-up of local chefs and restaurateurs, Westfield’s new dining collection features nine new locations. Among five concepts operated by Areas RHHG ORD, LLC, the new zone marks Chicago‐based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ (LEYE) first entry into an airport.

Other highlights include: bar and lounge Hub 51; Italian outlet Tocco; Top Chef Master Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera; Asian concepts Wow Bao and Big Bowl; R.J. Grunts Burger & Fries; Mediterranean cuisine from Urban Olive; award‐winning Chicago‐based coffee roaster and retailer Kofe and gourmet deli The Goddess and Grocer.

The renovated terminal interior offers a redesigned, more efficient TSA checkpoint and features new amenities such as: luxury restrooms; dynamic lounge style seating with outlets and USB ports to charge devices; and new lighting, signage and fixtures that incorporate sustainable and recycled materials. Westfield’s design and construction partners at Terminal 5 are McHugh/Ornelas JV, Epstein and Thirst.

Tocco (above) and Tortas Frontera are among the names that bring variety and quality to airside F&B, which was almost non-existent previously
Areas USA Vice President of Business Development Eduardo Uribe said: “Areas USA pays attention to local brands and selects the finest for America’s airport. Restaurants such as R.J. Grunts, Big Bowl and Wow Bao, and chef Rick Bayless are as unique to Chicago as its sports teams.

“We’ve partnered with local non-profits to hire some 200 employees and are the largest employer in Terminal 5. With Robinson Hill, Areas has invested US$10 million and succeeded at transforming the dining experience in T5.”

I Love Chicago: A premium approach to destination goods
“As a Chicago business, it is an honour to be part of the experience that international travellers and visitors have in our city,” said Melissa Ballate, President of Blue Daring. “I have always said that Chicago is one of the most impressive and diverse cities in the world‐‐finally we have an International Terminal that reflects that.”

“Vosges Haut‐Chocolat is honoured to be a part of the new Terminal 5 at O'Hare, allowing us to engage with tourists and Chicagoans departing for or arriving from their travels in a meaningful way through the medium of chocolate,” said Katrina Markoff, CEO and Chocolatier of Vosges Haut‐Chocolat.

Speaking to The Moodie Report at the inauguration, Westfield Executive Vice President Airports Dominic Lowe said gross sales could hit US$50 million at the terminal in the first full year of operations after the investment.

Sales per enplanement hit US$18.99 last year at T5, and the developer said it can go much higher. “We expect to hit the mid-20s or even US$30 over time,” said Lowe. “That would be up there with the very best US terminals. Not many have sales per enplanement above US$20 and very few hit US$30 or over.”

The space for concessions in T5 has expanded dramatically, from around 14,000sq ft (almost all pre-security, as noted above) to around 34,000sq ft.

“For a terminal of 1.8 million departing passenges, some would say the space is too much now, but the fact is that all of the concessions are doing good business," said Lowe. "We intend to improve wayfinding, invest in more marketing and use technology to guide and inform people, so this will continue.”

On the choice of concessionaires for duty free and specialiry retail, Lowe said: “This is a relatively small terminal in terms of enplanements. We needed to have operators prepared to take a leap of faith with us in this space, so we chose not only Dufry and Hudson but also Areas because of their international knowledge and experience of terminals large and small, plus their willingness and ability to invest. And we have great minority partners that really sold the vision to the many local brands we wanted to encourage to come here.”

Having a walk-through duty free store was a “priority,” noted Lowe. “It is intuitive and familiar to travellers in many parts of the world, but not in the USA.” Also key, he said, was to cluster duty free and F&B close together in a central square – which also houses the Hub 51 bar/restaurant, Hudson and XpresSpa close by.

The Moodie Report will bring you more news and comment on this story in coming days.