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Stockholm Arlanda: Retail therapy


Charlotte Ljunggren, director for marketing and commercial business development, tells us more about the opening of Stockholm Arlanda Airport’s new Marketplace development.

Are you excited about the first phase opening of Stockholm Arlanda’s new Marketplace development?

Absolutely, as it will transform the commercial space in Terminal 5 and is the second big development at the airport this year after the successful summer opening of our new state-of-the-art security checkpoint. To put things in perspective, together with the faster and larger security checkpoint, the 11,000 square metre Marketplace is the biggest commercial investment in history at Stockholm Arlanda. These big investments will offer our passengers an improved, smoother and more inspiring passenger experience at Sweden’s largest airport.

What can passengers expect to find in the Marketplace?

When the Marketplace is fully open it will have around 40 new outlets that will form the commercial heart of Terminal 5. Around 10 new shopping and dining concepts have opened to date. These include our new flagship duty free store – which is in considerably bigger than its predecessor – and three food and beverage concepts with a special focus on needs of families. Two of the new F&B additions are approximately 700 square metres in size and one of them is open 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, to cater to the around-the-clock needs of both passengers and staff.

But this is only just beginning, as more F&B and retail concepts will open in the coming months and be followed by dozens of commercial openings throughout 2024 and the beginning of 2025. The new facilities will offer a great commercial mix of both Nordic and international influences. There will be a conceptualised destination for retail pop-ups in the heart of the Marketplace and the new food hall will also contain two food and beverage pop-ups that will be replaced every six months. The purpose of this is to create a sense of anticipation that there will always be something new to experience when visiting the airport.

Why is Swedavia investing in upgrading the commercial offerings at Arlanda?

We continue to enhance the retail and F&B outlets at Sweden’s airports as part of our commitment to meeting the needs of our passengers. We’ve invested around 1.5 to 2 billion Swedish Krona [€130-€170 million] at our airports on facilities that will demand now and in the future, the majority of which has been invested in Stockholm Arlanda.

In total, we have spent around SEK 3 billion [€250 million] on our big Arlanda projects, when you include the new Marketplace and security checkpoint at Arlanda. The latest projects mean that will have invested a total of SEK20 billion [€1.7 billion] between 2016 and 2023.

We even continued to invest in the airports of the future during the global pandemic to ensure that we would be capable of meeting passenger growth and the long-term needs of travellers.

Arlanda’s status as Sweden’s biggest airport means that the desire to transform its commercial facilities has been particularly strong. Looking forward, our ambitions include providing the best connectivity at our Arlanda hub and striving to ensure that the airport offers inspirational meeting places, such as the new Marketplace established in Terminal 5.

In addition to the Marketplace, Arlanda’s SkyCity in Terminal 5 will also get a number of new, updated commercial offerings as will our nine other airports across Sweden.

Elsewhere, at Göteborg Landvetter and Malmö airports, for example, we will see a host of openings over the autumn/winter period. Luleå Airport saw its commercial offerings updated last spring this year and many more openings will follow across our airports.

Can you tell us about Swedavia’s new commercial strategy for your ten Swedish airports?

The new commercial strategy is based on the results of extensive retail studies and important feedback, both from our passengers and our airport partners. We’ve also looked at how current trends are influencing the wider market in Sweden and internationally and have conducted research into the potential future retail trends, and the possible impact they may have on our airports, so that we are already thinking about what comes next.

In essence, our new strategy is focused on offering something for everyone at our airports, different price ranges, global/local brands, etc.

We strive to offer a high price value, and our tool to achieve that is our focus on competitiveness. In the Marketplace, for example, our goal was to partly achieve this by having at least two actors competing against each other in the same segment.

The Marketplace will offer a width and variation rather than ‘luxury shopping’ for all the passengers. Our strategy dictates that the offering must include a Nordic and local touch mixed with international influences for both restaurants and shopping, according to what our passengers think are important. To ensure value for money.

I should add that we now comply with the law on concession procurement, which means that we do not have any rental contracts, and thus no longer set any rent. As a result, all the actors in the new Marketplace are there on exactly the terms they set themselves in the bidding process.

What makes the Marketplace at Arlanda so different to what has come before in terms of Swedavia’s retail/F&B offerings?

We’ve listened to what our passengers think are important for a better airport in terms of trends and experience and, as a result, the Marketplace will offer the largest and widest range of retail and food and beverage ever provided at a Swedish airport. We placed a big focus on F&B development, meaning that restaurants and other food options will account for around 50% of the total floor area in the Marketplace. We’re building the airport for today and the future.

Are sense of place offerings important?

Sense of place offerings are naturally important at all ten of our airports as we want our passengers to know that they are in Sweden and ideally whether they are in Stockholm, Göteborg, Luleå, Malmö or Visby, for example. I would say that sense of place in terms of retail and F&B is probably more important at our larger airports where we can have a bigger and more varied commercial offering.

What percentage of Swedavia’s revenue does retail/F&B account for?

What I can tell you is Swedavia has two revenue streams, aviation and commercial, and our commercial activities accounted for around 40% of our total revenue in 2022. All revenue sources are, of course, important as they boost our income made from airport charges and other non-aeronautical sources such as car parking and real estate. Without doubt the new Marketplace development at Stockholm Arlanda gives us the opportunity to grow our retail and F&B revenue.

What are you doing to meet the needs of travellers who might want food and goods brought to them at the airport or even have them delivered to their homes, if they live in Sweden?

Together with Dufry, our tax free partner, we have introduced ‘pre-order & collect in store’ at Arlanda. We think that finding ways to accommodate the evolving needs of passengers is very important and continue to follow developments within the industry and society as a whole.

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