Detroit Metro Airport Shopping • Drive a hard bargain ....
The six runways of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, better known as Detroit Metro Airport, cater for over 32 million passengers each year. That puts it in the top 20 busiest airport in the US. Of those passengers 2.6 million are international travellers. The airport is also the one of the biggest hubs for Delta Airlines: Detroit Metro Airport is Delta's main gateway to Asia (which is why you will notice so much of the signage is also in Japanese) and its third-biggest gateway to Europe.
The airport has two terminals: the North Terminal, and the simply enormous McNamara Terminal, which is home to Delta among others and deals with the lion's share of flights. Enormous is not understating things. The main section of McNamara Terminal houses Concourse A, and it is the second-longest building of its kind in the world, a slightly mind-boggling mile-long rectangle with a food court at each end. Happily, that means plenty of retail space. And you don't even need to fear for your legs, as Concourse A also boasts over 1.5 miles of moving walkways.
Other good news is that most of the top-end retail stores are conveniently located right in the centre of Concourse A • an area known as the link. This is where you will find one of the airport's four Duty Free Americas stores (Central Link Area, Gate A35) • another can be found in the much smaller North Terminal (Gate D6 & 8). For those looking for tax-free prices on prestige brands • and who isn't? • this is the place to start. Fragrances on offer include classics and new scents from Lancôme, Estée Lauder, YSL and Chanel. For something more avant-garde, Jean Paul Gaultier is also at your disposal. If you are looking to be particularly kind to yourself or a loved one, browse the exciting range of skincare and beauty products from luxury brands such as Clinique, L'Oréal and Dior.
Women’s fashion gets a strong showing from She-Chic•Women's Fashion, while there are great casual shoes from Crocs-Footwear both at gate A18; and if you’re in the market for some really good jewellery, head along to Erwin Pearl, gate A21.
For liquor and alcohol, don’t expect anything out of the ordinary • all the Duty Free Americas stores here stock the usual range of spirits, but hopefully given the growing passenger traffic to Asian destinations, particularly Korea, Japan and China it will expand its range of premium malts.
But there's a lot more to the airport's retail offer, so step out of Duty Free Americas’ store and look around the link. The offer is wide and varied, designed to meet just about all your likely needs and wants, so make sure you explore in all directions! Choices include the PGA Tour Shop, where you can pick up golf items and accessories from top brands such as Adams, Callaway, Titleist and Nike. Meanwhile, opposite you is a choice between two: the very American classics: Brooks Brothers, offering classic and contemporary American apparel; and while just on its right is Motown Music Review, with a fabulous array of classic Motown tunes, T-shirts and other Motor City merchandise.
If you’re not running late for your flight and feel the need to experience a new concept in airport shopping you need to head for gate A47 • home to only the second Harley Davidson store opened in an airport. Motown Harley-Davidson stocks a wide variety of absolutely brilliant HD apparel • and buying the the T-shirt is considerably cheaper (although perhaps less fun) than buying the bike!
Turn again and across from the link's eye-catching granite water feature, is something that any cultured person will enjoy. You don't have to be an oenophile to enjoy a lovely glass of wine, accompanied by a selection of cheese and cured meats. And you don't have to be lazy to enjoy drinking that wine and eating that food in a comfortable leather chair. In short you do have to pop into Vino Volo (Gates A45) if you have the time.
If you would rather use your time to stretch your legs, or use those handy moving walkways, you should explore a little further afield. If you're flying on a smaller aircraft, chances are you will be flying from gates off concourse B or C, which are laid end to end and run parallel to Concourse A. To get to where Concourses B & C meet, walk through the unique "Light Tunnel" from Concourse A. The tunnel's multi-coloured light show, shining through sculpted glass panels and set to music, turns what could be a dull schlep into a unique artistic experience.
There are fewer stores in Concourses B & C compared with Concourse A, but if you're into electronics and/or cell phones, take a moment to visit Gadgets to Go, which offers decent discounted accessories from brands including Sennheiser, Panasonic and Sony. A perfect time to get some new headphones that will do your new Motown tunes justice as you fly out or head home.