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How Airport Retailers Target Passengers

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Airport retailers know a lot more about their potential customers than you might expect, and they're using that information to target specific shopping demographics, as an article in the Economist details.

Aware when flights arrive and depart, shops behind security alter their selection based on who will be walking by during that "golden hour" before takeoff. At Heathrow, for example, cognac displayed in the morning is geared to passengers on that 9:45 am Barbados flight—who apparently prefer Hennesy and Courvoisier—while afternoon flights to Norway and the US call for cheaper brandies. Likewise, shopkeepers schedule their multilingual staffs based on flight timetables.

As the Economist writes, "Most [passengers] are relatively prosperous; all are briefly at loose ends," and retailers have found that these slightly-crazed, moderately wealthy individuals make great customers.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo by Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy.

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