Airport concessionaire Hudson this week formally announced the launch of its first-of-its-kind, multi-brand automated retail concept at Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), adding that other airports such as Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) will be added in the coming months.
The contactless, 24/7 retailing concept will have a diverse selection of specialty retail products featuring well-known global, as well as emerging and local, brands, Hudson said.
“Automated retail provides us with an avenue to recreate the strong sense of place associated with our stores within the confines of a smaller, non-traditional footprint – all while capitalizing on the dwell time, exposure and convenience the airport environment affords,” said Brian Quinn, Hudson executive vice president and chief operating officer. “For the traveler, this translates to more variety and accessibility to the quality brands they are accustomed to seeing in an environment that enables them to shop on their own schedules.”
The automated retail outlets will feature ADA-compliant machines clustered together in groups of two or more in freestanding locations throughout the concourse or in some instances, built directly into the Hudson storefront for ultimate convenience.
Next to the machines, easy-to-use interactive touchscreens sealed with an anti-microbial shield will showcase merchandise images and extensive product information. In concepts that feature eyewear brands, personalized augmented reality (AR) technology installed directly into the machine’s interface will allow travelers an immersive, virtual try-on experience that enables them to browse and find the perfect pair of frames for the occasion.
Each concept will be distinctively unique and include a selection of exclusive products not traditionally found in Hudson-operated specialty stores. Among the participating brands are skincare brands Plexaderm and The Art of Shaving; eyewear brands Maui Jim and Revo; electronic brands Sony, Belkin, Apple, Beats and Brookstone; toy brands Kikkerland Design and LEGO; and accessory brands Happy Socks and 47 Brand.
This unique brand versatility, doubling as a brand incubator, will enable Hudson to test brands before deciding to develop them into a standalone specialty store, as well as explore developmental opportunities with smaller airports where specialty retail offerings can be limited by space and enplanement levels.