started with a new and improved newsstand, more
like a supermarket, where customers could linger
as long as they liked, leafing through magazines to
their hearts’ content before purchasing. This newsstand held everything that travelers needed — and
an abundance of things they didn’t even know they
wanted: candy, snacks, beverages and reading materials, not to mention headache remedies, replacement
toothbrush, shaving cream and a birthday card for
little Jimmy. All were brand names, and all were
fresh and organized so that customers could walk in
and find what they wanted quickly and race right out
to catch their plane.
True aficionados of Hudson News quickly learned
the layout, so they could find their peanut M&Ms on
the “cash wrap,” retail terminology for the triangular
counter where customers can pay for their purchases,
and see additional items for purchase in nothing flat,
no matter what airport they found themselves in.
They were all laid out (“plan-o-grammed” in retail-ese) in very similar fashion.
After Hudson News became the standard of
newsstands, other concessionaires followed and
soon were competing with one another to create
the most luxurious looking surroundings possible.
It was the era of the imported tile floor, the deep
wood veneer counter, pendulum lighting, plasma
screens, and a cash wrap so loaded with impulse
snacks and sugary treats that industry insiders
referred to it as the Big Candy Mountain. The
plush (but not overly ostentatious) newsstand was
intended to create a small island of luxury and
comfort in the otherwise pretty woebegone land-
scape of the airport terminal.