A mix of 29 local and national retail, news and gift stores will pack the rebuilt Salt Lake City International Airport when its first phase opens in late 2020 — and by contract they will keep prices there as low as in stores elsewhere in the city.
“It is known as ‘street pricing,’” said John Buckner, director of commercial properties for the airport. “So if something is $3 in our neighborhood, it will be $3 here."
He added that other airports that use street pricing have found “people who feel like they are being treated fairly really do spend more at airports than they might otherwise,” and that pricing is a key part of creating an environment where “people feel welcome and valued.”
The airport announced its new retail lineup Tuesday — with officials wearing hard hats and orange vests in the ongoing construction. They plan to unveil the restaurants and fast food coming to the airport sometime after the first of the year.
Among local merchants and services to be featured are Hip & Humble, Liberty Park Market, Maverik, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, the King’s English, Visit Salt Lake, The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News and KSL-TV.
Among the national and international brands are XpressSpa, iStore, Coach, CNBC, Frye and Tumi.
The first phase of the $3.6 billion airport rebuild will include 30,781 square feet of retail space — 23 percent more than the existing airport. Another 14,554 square feet are expected in the second phase of the airport rebuild.
Airport Director Bill Wyatt notes the current airport was built to serve 10 million people, but about 27 million will pass through it this year — so it has long been “undersized for retail, food and beverage.” But that will soon change.
Wyatt said officials and designers spent years studying “how great airports do retail,” including what mix of stores is needed and where to put them. He said the result is “a world-class retail program.”
“Our goals were to make sure we have the right spaces in the right places, and recognize all the things that are important to us as travelers,” Buckner said. “It hopefully will make Salt Lake City International Airport the airport of choice for travelers.”
Hudson Group, Paradies Lagardère, Sweet Ventures and XpressSpa — representing 29 stores — were selected as the main concessionaires, and they often teamed up with local merchants.
Sheridan Mordue, owner of Hip & Humble, which has been at Ninth and Ninth in Salt Lake City for 20 years targeting the “strong, quirky, ambitious woman,” said she sees her two new stores at the airport as a way to perhaps build her brand internationally through travelers.
“We see how busy the airport is,” she said. “I’m excited to expose my brand to so many new faces. It’s an opportunity to me and my business that is unbelievable.”
She also likes the street pricing — even though airport stores may face extra expenses by being open 365 days a year, and from extra security.
“The prices that are in my store at Ninth and Ninth or in my store in Bountiful will be the same prices in the airport. That’s great for my clients,” she said.
Buckner said the teaming of main concessionaires with local merchants and brands helps them maneuver the complexities of airports.
“Airports are a very challenging operating environment for a merchant. That’s what we bring to the table,” said Pam Brown, vice president of Paradies Lagardère.
“A local provider of candies or gift items may not have enough product selection to fill a store in an airport. So it’s our job to bring some of the essentials a traveler needs, and then feature those important and exciting local brands. That’s what people love.”
The new Terminal A will feature CNBS, Central Pointe Market, Coach, Deseret News, Dufry Duty Free, Hip & Humble, iStore, Johnston & Murphy, KSL-TV/King’s English, Land Speed Depot, MAC, No Boundaries, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Something Silver, Tech on the Go/Wicked, Trip Advisor/King’s English, Tumi, Visit Salt Lake and XpressSpa.
Concourse B will feature Liberty Park Market/Hip & Humble, InMotion, Maverik, The Salt Lake Tribune, Tumi, Utah! and XpressSpa.
In areas before security lines, Maverik and Hudson News will have stores.