Birmingham Airport • Britain's rising global gateway ....
Handling more than 8.5 million passengers every year, Birmingham is the UK's second-largest airport beyond London. Offering an increased range of international flights, Birmingham airport is proving more and more popular as a take-off point for both business and holiday travellers.
The latest £100 million development the “One Terminal” merged the airport's previous two terminals into one highly polished single facility. This is very good news for shoppers looking to pick up a bargain or treat themselves to a high-end purchase or three, because the pearl in this new oyster is a very large World Duty Free walk-through store, which you virtually fall into as soon as you pass through security.
With close to 2000 square metres of retail space, it is 50 per cent bigger than the previous WDF unit, and has given over a bigger proportion of its floor space to fragrances and cosmetics • 800 square metres to be precise. And top beauty brands are present in force, many making use of the shop-within-shop format. These include YSL, MAC, Dior and Guerlain, to mention a very few.
Chanel has also introduced its Espace concept into the airport. It's a boutique format within WDF and Birmingham's airport is the first in the UK to host such a store. It features fragrance profile bar at which customers can experiment with Chanel's Les Exclusifs fragrances. Clinique also has a shop-within-shop in the airport's WDF store. It had only previously done this at Selfridges in London. Also available in this flagship WDF are luxury skincare brands Molton Brown, Sisley, La Prairie and REN, and fragrances from Gucci, D&G, Hermès and Givenchy.
No duty free experience is complete without a look at the liquor on offer, and the WDF store's huge range of champagne and spirits does not disappoint. Among the top ten best-selling items in the WDF are Moët & Chandon, Smirnoff Red Label and Jack Daniel's Black Label.
Slip out of the main WDF and into its sister store right next door, called Collection. Here, the focus is on mid- to high-end sunglasses, watches and jewellery.
While the WDF stores are key aspects in the rejuvenated, unified One Terminal, a host of top high-street brands also took up residence in the sparkling new departure lounge in 2011. Accessorize has opened an 800-square-foot store, which showcases comprehensive range of products including beach wear, bags and jewellery. Pop next door and you're in the increasingly popular premium clothing store, Superdry, with a wide range of men's and women's fashions.
The more energetic among us might prefer to pop next door yet again, this time into world of sports fashions, also known as JD Sports, which includes footwear from leading brands such as Nike, Lacoste and Timberland.
When you're all shopped out, you can regain your strength in of one of the airport's many cafes and restaurants. If you truly want to start your holiday in fine style, or simply to toast your pending business trip, pay a visit to Blanc et Noir champagne and wine bar.
This little bit of luxury and fine food will put you in the perfect state of mind for a superb travel experience.