community in the greater sense, so
there is a convergence of convenience-driven offerings and services, which
ultimately drive experience and
revenues. For instance, the worker
community at airports has historically
been overlooked, and we believe that
our partnership with 7-Eleven (we
will be opening stores in DFW and
LAX) will greatly help better serve the
thousands of workers in those airports.
CUGASI: Yes, particularly in
CAPPETTA: We are seeing more
diverse tender requests such as
drugstores, dry cleaners, medical
facilities, lottery — even animal
valet; we can’t comment on the
commercial viability of these outlets
because we at SSP focus only on
great food and beverage. I did
purchase aspirin at the Geneva Airport several
weeks ago, and I was glad the airport had a
Do you see any positive or negative impact on your
airport business from more crowded flights today?
Any changes in passenger buying behavior?
BANDUCCI: We have seen a long-term trend of
travelers seeking quality and convenience from
their airport dining, prior to boarding the plane
since food being offered or sold on planes has
become more limited.
SAMUELS: Our newsstands have greatly profited
from the airlines’ reduction in services, from free
magazines, pillows and blankets to free meals.
Experienced travelers now make a practice of
stopping into Hudson News before their flight to
purchase their reading materials, beverages, snacks
and even sandwiches, salads and other healthy
food alternatives produced locally and carefully
wrapped to take aboard. On the other hand,
crowded flights really mean fewer flights, which
often results in more on-time flights. When flights
leave on time, travelers typically have less time to
spend in our stores as they did when flights were
routinely delayed. This lack of wait time does at
times reduce our sales in some stores.
SAVARIA: Flights are more crowded primarily
because airlines have taken so much capacity out
of the system. This was necessary to help airlines’
profitability, but there needs to be a balance…
higher load factors often lead to higher airfares,
which is of course a deterrent to having more
people fly. So, the biggest impact is probably
that passenger traffic is not growing as much as
it should. Airline consolidation is also having an
impact, sometimes felt more in certain terminal
environments than others due to the presence
of airlines involved in consolidation. For
concessionaires in those terminals, it’s a big deal.
Luckily, many airports recognize that.