FRANCE. Groupe ADP has revealed fresh details of its commercial development plans at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports between now and late 2020. As reported, the company plans to open 40,000sq m of new or refurbished space across its two main Paris airports.

On Friday in Paris Groupe ADP Customer Division Director Mathieu Daubert hosted a media tour, presentation and lunch to outline the retail strategy. He showcased the latest openings in Hall K, termed the “laboratory” terminal for the latest concepts and brand executions. Hall K features the striking new Louis Vuitton store, the brand’s first at a Paris airport, which opened in September.

Class and colour: The first Louis Vuitton store at a French airport, which opened in September in Terminal 2E, Hall K. (Photos: Stéphane Muratet)

Daubert also revealed details of the major current and future projects that encapsulate the ADP strategy for retail, F&B and other services. He reiterated the group’s target to hit retail sales per passenger of €23 by 2021, from €18.20 in 2017 (and just €9.80 in 2006).

He noted that the overarching vision was to develop the airport as “the 21st district (arrondissement) of Paris”. This means that departing visitors and transit travellers (around one-third of the total) should experience Paris by evoking its market squares, department stores and avenues at the airport, through retail and gastronomy, but also through cultural “focal points” such as the Espace Musée, a partnership between Groupe ADP and Paris’ museums, with major exhibitions of renowned artists’ work every six months (see below).

In all, commercial investment between 2016 and 2020 will reach €676 million, with much of this ploughed into recent expansion and upgrades. The final €135 million will be allocated to six major projects across Orly and CDG.

Culture club: Groupe ADP Customer Division Director Mathieu Daubert introduces media guests to the Espace Musée, an ambitious partnership between Groupe ADP and Paris’ great museums and art houses.

At Orly, the biggest of two projects is the creation of an 80,000sq m connector building linking West and South terminals, slated to open next April.

An impression of the planned new retail zone at CDG T1 and below, T1 today.

At its heart will lie a 3,700sq m central plaza for shopping and dining, laid out in department store style. Key concepts will include a Buy Paris Duty Free store managed by ADP’s Société de Distribution Aéroportuaire (SDA) joint venture with Lagardère Travel Retail, an updated Relay concept, a Solaris sunglasses outlet, a range of mid-priced fashion laid out in a multi-brand environment and lifestyle zones covering gastronomy, wines and other categories.

Anne-Sophie Pic: Michelin-star Chef to open at Orly in 2019.

Groupe ADP (with Lagardère Travel Retail) is also partnering with Michelin-star chef Anne-Sophie Pic, while there will also be a selection of international food brands that are popular among French travellers (who account for 90% of the consumer base at Orly).

Groupe ADP has allocated its commercial developments into two classes, ‘Premium’ (aimed at an international clientele keen on luxury and the best of French goods, mainly at CDG) and ‘Superior’, aimed at a largely French customer base, mainly focused on Orly. The Orly West-South connector is the first of these projects.

An upgrade of Orly South, scheduled for completion in 2020, will house 5,750sq m of retail and dining. The design of the space will resemble a Parisian square, with windows that are typical of a French street, said Daubert.

The brand positioning will mirror the Orly connector building in parts, but will include more luxury, including the Rolex watch brand, as there is a higher proportion of long-haul traffic, including the recent addition of a flight to Beijing.

At Paris CDG, a new junction building will link T2B and D, adding capacity for an extra 1.5 million travellers a year from 2020. “The Junction will look like a Parisian market, with specially designed ceilings and other features,” said Daubert.

Mathieu Daubert: Retail sales per passenger have hit €50 in retail at T2E, Hall K, driven by luxury goods.

The new-look CDG T1, like the junction building, will be completed by 2020, adding capacity for 1.2 million more passengers. It will include 5,750sq m of commercial (4,650sq m of retail and 1,100sq m of dining) space, while the fragmentation of the existing terminal will give way to a more coherent terminal.

The commercial heart will also bring the theme of the Parisian department store to life, in a premium way. It will feature ceiling heights up to 12m with shop facades of 5m in height, with many leading French names to be represented across luxury and gastronomy.

The SDA-managed Buy Paris Duty Free Beauty store at Hall K, and the JCDecaux Digital Square; Groupe ADP accounts for close to 11% of French beauty sales, from 5% just over a decade ago.

At CDG 2E, Hall K, the flagship terminal and “laboratory” for new retail at CDG, an extension that will open by H2 2019 will house a new gastronomy concept under the ‘art de vivre’ theme. This will include a zone called ‘Le Passage Gourmand’ featuring a mix of small corners representing popular French names in food and drink, along with a new Moët Hennessy flagship concept.

Daubert noted the strong performance to date of the upgraded Hall K in recent months. As reported, the SDA joint venture revealed a striking 600sq m Buy Paris Duty Free Beauty concept created especially for the Paris airport environment in March. The ‘New Age Beauty’ concept blends strong personalisation with what the company calls ‘Parisianisation’, with many brands having developed bespoke concepts or line extensions just for this environment.

In a related move, with JCDecaux Airport, Paris Aéroport also deployed ‘La Place Digitale’ (The Digital Square), a digital platform of nearly 80sq m comprising two vast LED screens, and centred in the shopping environment.

Daubert said: “Although P&C is the number one category at the Paris airports – we now account for around 11% of the total French beauty market – at Hall K alone over 50% of sales come from luxury and fashion, which is very rare at an airport. That has driven sales per passenger in this terminal beyond €50 in retail.

Luxury goods are a remarkable 50%-plus of sales at Hall K, helping to drive average spend to new heights.

“The performance is beyond what we expected but then we have a better portfolio of brands, now including Louis Vuitton, than we could have imagined when we began planning in 2015. This gives us confidence that we can exceed the airport-wide figure of €23 by 2021, but of course we have yet to roll out new pilot retail projects to other terminals. That is the next challenge.”

He added that, based on the successful commercial start for the new Louis Vuitton store, further openings from the brand are likely at other terminals.

Buy Paris Duty Free at CDG 2E, Hall M: Commercial investment continues at pace across terminals.

Among other projects, at CDG 2E, Hall L, a new Parisian-style shopping gallery will open by 2020. This will house two distinct spaces. One is a long avenue of luxury stores with names such as Chanel, Hermès, Fendi, Bottega and others, plus an updated Galeries Lafayette watches concept. The other space in 2,000sq m will resemble a department store and aims to appeal to a broader customer base with confectionery, food, snacks and other categories.

These projects will build on recent key openings. These include the first Louis Vuitton airport store in France, which opened in September as noted above; the latest Victoria’s Secret store at T2F (the first opened previously at Orly), a Moncler store at T2E, Hall M, with a new Lacoste outlet to come this month. Other new openings will include a Céline luxury store in T2E, Hall M, in 2019.

Elaborating on the thinking behind the planning and design, Daubert said: “We want the terminals to be different in character. They are architecturally different, some large and some small, with diverse layouts. We are planning the retail around these layouts. Hall K is not a walk-through unlike Hall M for example, and that affects passenger flow and retail layout. But that also gives us the opportunity to plan different experiences in each terminal, accessible experiences that speak of Paris.

“Around half of all passengers go to the bars, restaurants and shops, but we want to offer experiences to even those who do not. That means cultural attractions or sporting events shown on TV.”

“A space that makes us different”

One project that the Customer Division team takes great pride in at Paris CDG, as noted above, is the Espace Musées, a museum dedicated to French art located airside in Terminal 2E, Hall M. A partnership with many of the city’s great museums, it displays original art works from many famous artists, with exhibitions every six months. The space was designed by the architects of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Access is free for travellers.

Works have already appeared from Picasso, Rodin and many others. The current exhibition is hosted with the Dina Vierny Foundation, dedicated to the model of sculptor Aristide Mailliol, who was a witness to many of the great art developments of the 29th century. It features 21 paintings and sculptures.

Daubert said: “This is a space that has helped make our airport different since it opened in 2013. Our aim was to ensure that passengers could have meaningful Paris experiences, not only in retail and food, but in cultural terms too. Paris has a powerful cultural life that we can share here. It is unusual to see a museum at the airport but with 150,000 visitors a year, this is among the top 20 most visited museums in Paris.”

Source of pride: Espace Musées in T2E, Hall M, helps set CDG apart, says commercial management. (Photo: Zoo Studio)