The main outlet is the first in the UK to carry the new-look Aelia Duty Free B2C brand; Main pictures by David Morgan

UK. London City Airport has a new-look retail offer after LS Travel Retail and Aelia celebrated the opening of a revamped tax and duty free multi-store and luxury multi-brand fashion boutique.

Travel Retail needs airports that deliver great experiences
Vincent Romet

The French travel retailer won the seven-year contract to run the stores from long-time incumbent The Nuance Group last year, commencing operations on 1 May.

Both stores have been refurbished to better meet the needs of London City’s unique passenger profile. This includes an affluent consumer base drawn from an exceptionally high proportion of frequent business travellers.
Vincent Romet, Chief Operating Officer for Lagardère Services with responsibility for EMEA; Ambroise Fondeur, CEO Aelia; and Fin Casey, Managing Director LS Travel Retail UK, celebrated the opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with London City Airport Chief Executive Richard Gooding.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, Romet commented: “Travel retail needs airports that deliver great experiences; London City certainly does that and we’re determined to ensure that our stores make that experience better.” [We’ll bring you more from that press conference, plus analysis of the stores in The Moodie Report e-Zine, out later today. Look out too for a special Picture Gallery of images featuring the new offer].

In a statement he said: “Over the past year, LS Travel Retail has developed a much more cohesive approach globally and London City is a great example of how we are better exploiting our global strengths at a local level.”

Casey commented: “We are delighted to be celebrating the opening of our two new stores at London City Airport and to be working with Richard Gooding and his team. We traded continuously through a lengthy and arduous refurbishment programme, and it is to the credit of Phil Manning [LS Travel Retail UK & Ireland Operations Director] and the Aelia team, and to Sam Hicks’ [London City Commercial Services Manager] team at London City, that the business ran so well and service levels were maintained during this period.”

Although the liquor selection mainly features single pricing, there is a small, dedicated non-EU duty free offer

Casey added: “We set out to create a retail experience to complement the quality of one of Europe’s best business hubs and an airport that has a unique personality in global aviation. We have plans for further expansion in the UK and our refurbished operations at London City Airport demonstrate that we can set new standards not only in the shopping experience but also in delivering genuine commercial gains for ourselves and for our partners.”

Richard Gooding added: “We are delighted to have LS Travel Retail at the airport. Their investment in refurbishing the Aelia Duty Free and luxury fashion stores reflects our shared commitment to providing our
sophisticated travellers with a unique and enjoyable shopping experience.”

London City’s male-dominated passenger profile prompted a focus on Montblanc, Hugo Boss and Alfred Dunhill


The London City Airport Aelia Duty Free multi-store is the first to carry the new-look Aelia Duty Free B2C brand. The new logo retains the original use of the full name as well as the colour blocks – used to denote and signpost the differing categories – and is refreshed by the use of italicised lettering to soften the look and appeal more to consumers.

The offer at the refurbished 283sq m Aelia Duty Free branded multi-store includes an extended range of product categories, including high-end perfumes & cosmetics, premium whiskies, Champagnes and wines, cigars (in a small humidor) and cigarettes, as well as confectionery and electronics.

The segregated category areas are differentiated by lighting and use of colour in the ceiling, walls and merchandising units. For all categories, the back walls carry strong product branding imagery to further enhance the quality of the store environment, as well as to provide simple and easily recognisable signposting for customers.

The 30sq m multi-brand fashion store features Alfred Dunhill, Hugo Boss and Montblanc.

Customers are drawn into the beauty department by strong brands on the back walls. Picture: Martin Moodie

Fortnum & Mason biscuits are proving a smash hit at the store. Picture: Martin Moodie


Serving over 3 million passengers each year, London City is the UK’s leading business airport [in proportionate terms], serving 38 destinations across the UK, Europe and the US, with connections to the rest of the world through major European hubs.

The airport recently carried out a multi-million pound redevelopment of its terminal and passenger search facility to further enhance the traveller experience.