Miami Airport South Terminal Shopping

Where to shop at MIA’s South Terminal ….

Miami South Duty Free ShoppingMiami International’s South Terminal is the shiny new face of this huge US hub. It boasts a solid line up of shops and restaurants, which are housed in an architecturally pleasing setting thanks to a $1billion makeover in 2007. Vaulted ceilings, towering windows, natural lighting, Florida-inspired artwork and over 60 shops, cafés and restaurants now make using this two-concourse terminal a positive experience for millions of travellers.The 28-gate South Terminal comprises two concourses: H and J. The superjumbo-friendly Concourse J (Copa, Aerolineas Argentinas, Lufthansa, Alitalia and many others) is the airport’s newest concourse and features over 40 shops and stores. Meanwhile Concourse H, which is used primarily by Delta, was built originally built back in 1961, but was given a two-phase $46m facelift in 2008.Duty Free Americas (DFA’s) boasts no fewer than three shops at the South Terminal: in Concourse H at Gate H5, in Concourse J and in the so-called H-J Connector area. In truth, DFA’s recently opened shops in the North Terminal are more impressive than in the South Terminal, but they do still stock a decent range of liquor, fragrances and fashion accessories, which are naturally skewed towards the predominantly Latin American customer base.

Airport fashion stores have an increasing tendency to be upmarket, aspirational and out of the reach of many travellers these days so it is refreshing to see that one of the more recent fashion stores to open in the South Terminal sells nothing over $50. AdiXon sells a wide range of fashion jewellery, handbags and accessories at bargain prices. The everything-for ten-bucks Bijoux Terner chain, which has now spread to over 60 countries worldwide, is the company behind the new retail concept.

Fashion snobs may sneer at the lowly likes of AdiXion. Its colourful and cheap range of youthful accessories, which includes sunglasses, body jewellery and leathergoods, won’t be to everyone’s taste of course, but if the success of Bijoux Terner is anything to go by, expect to see plenty more AdiXion shops at airports all over the States some time soon.

For fashion with a more Latin flavour head to the Cubavera store (H-J Connector), where the main staple is the classic Latin American guayabera: a four-pocket, pleated men’s shirt of disputed origin (every Latin American country claims to have invented it), but an undoubted fashion classic. Traditionally white or pastel in colour, guayabera shirts now come in all colours and make a great gift for the man in your life.Designer fashion brands are a little thin on the ground in the South Terminal although it does boast a large Hugo Boss store, which sells everything from the brand’s famously well-tailored suits to shoes, branded watches and even Boss fragrances. If you are looking for designer clothes for women, however, you are likely to be disappointed.Desigual, a Barcelona-based casual clothing brand associated with riotous colours, graffiti art and patchwork designs, might be worth a look for the young at heart, however. Only founded back in the mid-1980s Desigual now has shops all over the world. The brand has collaborated on a clothing range with French fashion legend Christian Lacroix and even produces a clothing line for the Cirque du Soleil. To see what all the fuss is about, log on to www.desigual.com.

Gifting is an area Miami International could do better in. Take Miami Gifts to Go, for instance. The store bills itself as the “ultimate regional gift and souvenir store” on the airport’s website, but we think that might be overdoing it a bit. But if you left it to the last minute to buy a souvenir or a present, this store located on the Concourse H-J Connector could be for you. It stocks regional handicrafts, Latin music CDs, t-shirts and even cigars.

What of the rest of the retail offer? Well, consumer electronics, travel gadgets and digital gizmos can be bought at stores such as Airport Wireless, Sound-Balance (H-J Connector) and Brookstone (also located in the H-J Connector). Candies and chocolates for kids can be found at the eye-catching Plane Sweet store, and news junkies are well served with a bunch of newsstands (Coconut Grove news, Hudson News, Miami News Connection and Stellar News).

To get a fix on where all the shops and restaurants are located in the South Terminal log on to the airport’s handy online shopping directory at www.shopmiamiairport.com. From a shopping point of view there is nothing much wrong with the steady if unspectacular commercial offer at the South Terminal. Although still not completed the revamped North Terminal’s shopping offer arguably already eclipses its southerly neighbour, but the dilapidated 1950s era Central Terminal still lags some way behind. Not a bad place to be stuck waiting for a flight then, but it is the airport’s North Terminal that is making all the headlines at present.

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