Where to shop at Frankfurt airport Terminal 1 ….
Frankfurt Terminal 1 is entering its fourth decade in 2012 and while this enormous sprawl of a building is certainly showing its age, there are far worse places to fly from. It is true the terminal’s 1970s décor with its puzzling love of shiny, stainless steel is certainly dated in places, but recent renovations have certainly improved the overall feel of the place and the now extremely wide range of shops and restaurants on offer. The imminent expansion of one of the concourses later this year should also help ease congestion.Like many fortysomethings T1, also known as Terminal Mitte (Central Terminal) has fallen victim to middle-aged spread. Finding your way round such a gargantuan facility, which is easily the bigger of Frankfurt airport’s two terminals, is a challenge. There are over 100 gates spread out over three multi-level concourses labelled A/Z, B and C. If you like escalators, stairs and lifts, you will be in heaven: there are no fewer than five levels. Level O houses the underground regional rail station and the Airport City Mall; Level 1 is for arrivals and baggage reclaim; Levels 2 and 3 are for departures, while Level 4 is for the Sky Line train station, which whizzes passengers between the airport’s two terminals.Confused? Well, the good news is that as long as you know where you are and how long you’ve got before your flight leaves, T1 certainly scores highly in the shopping stakes. There are all manner of shops and boutiques to suit almost every taste and in December there is even an annual Christmas market. The outlets are grouped into three main shopping areas, which are all located landside: the Shopping Avenue and Shopping Boulevard, and the subterranean Level 0 Airport Mall, which is adjacent to the train station and car parking.
Now it is worth remembering that post-security there are far fewer shops and restaurants. The main draw here are the excellent Travel Value and duty-free shops operated by Gebr. Heinemann. We recommend that travellers check out the retailer’s new website, http://www.heinemann-dutyfree.com/frankfurt_en/?___from_store=frankfurt_de, before they set off for their airport as the site highlights a changing monthly selection of deals, which see up to 30% off German high street prices. You can also check out the latest fragrance releases and pre-order any items that take your fancy.
Gebr. Heinemann should also get a round of applause for being one of the few travel retailers to embrace the smartphone age. iPhone and Android smartphone users can now download a new Heinemann & Me app, which enrols them into the retailer’s customer loyalty programme. They will then get regular news updates as well as being able to enjoy special deals and promotions. We hear a similar app for Blackberry users is also in the pipeline.
Fashion and accessories are without doubt the most strongly represented product categories in the pre-security Shopping Avenue and Shopping Boulevard. There are some internationally known brands present such as Timberland, Fossil, Marc o’Polo and Burberry, but the real focus is unmistakeably on the German fashion scene. Hugo Boss is one instantly recognisable name, but also look out for the smart business shoes of Bremen-based Lloyd, functional but stylish handbags from Bree, and the Bavaria-based ladies fashion label More&More.
Germany&More is the place to head for Teutonic gifts and souvenirs. Along with the predictable cuckoo clocks and beer glasses, you will also find woodcarvings, Steiff teddies, post-cards, sauerkraut and Bavarian sausages. A few more gift concept stores like this would be welcome at a terminal of this size, but perhaps the high level of business travellers passing through T1 makes them too risky a financial proposition.
Every modern airport should boast a decent electronics shop and at T1 Capi Photo Electronics fits the bill nicely. Stocking a wide range of cameras, laptops, tablets, MP3 players, travel accessories and games, Capi has recently stocked a range of protective laptop and mobile phone cases branded to Hugo Boss. For more details of this news development and to see what else Capi stocks, check out their website: http://www.capi.com/home.htm.
We also like the airport’s Porsche Design store, which sells a wide range of branded style-conscious accessories such as pens, jewellery, sunglasses, trainers, wallets, luggage and a rather nifty looking line of Blackberry smartphones. Take a look at this retailers’ cool line up of gifts for the man in your life at http://www.porsche-design.com/international/en/.
Let’s get onto the airport’s last main shopping area, the giant Airport City Mall, which stretches out across some 4,000 square metres below Concourses A, B and C. Mass-market fashion brands such as the colourful Italian knitwear brand Benetton and iconic jeans wear label Levi’s catch the eye, but we also like the look Tegut, a supermarket selling a tempting range of fresh and often organic produce, as well as a line of body care products and cosmetics.
If none of the above takes your fancy, there are plenty of other activities to while away the time before your flight at T1. Sink a stein of lager in the popular outdoor Beer Garden, for instance, or why not try your luck in the terminal’s very own casino? If you are travelling with kids, they will enjoy the many free play areas, while plane spotters will like to learn more about the airport’s fascinating history at the Airport Forum.