While Airlines Suffer, Airport Retail Set to Soar

Last Updated Aug 18, 2008 12:48 PM EDT

This is a guest post submitted by BNET member Jason Breslow. To submit your own post, go to submit.bnet.com.
Retail sales may be down out on the streets, but in airport terminals times couldn't be be more promising, says a new report from the British firm Verdict Research. According to the study, global airport retail sales are set to rise 11 percent in 2008 to $30 billion, making the airport terminal the fastest growing channel for retail sales after the Internet.

Worldwide retail sales have been rising steadily over the past several years, from $14.3 billion in 2002 to $27.1 billion in 2007. The Verdict report not only sees this growth expanding in 2008, but through 2012 as well, driven largely by growth in emerging markets.

"The key factors stimulating this growth are increased affluence, growing tourism, rapidly expanding airline networks and new routes (especially those of low cost carriers," said Nick Gladding, author of the report, in a written statement.

The Middle East has seen the fastest growth in airport retail sales, to $1.2 billion in 2007 from $461 million in 2002. By 2012, the report forecasts, sales in the Middle East will more than double, to $2.5 billion.

Photo courtesy Daquella manera, Creative Commons.
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Jason Breslow is a graduate journalism student at Northwestern University, where he covers the transportation industry for the business section of the Medill News Service. Jason's work can also be found on the student-run business blog MedillMoneyMavens.