Living la vida luxury

Boodles, Heathrow Airport

There have been quite a few pieces of editorial written recently about the continued health of the luxury market, driven by both homegrown purchasing and luxury tourists travelling not just to UK shores, but to UK stores.  Airport retail, which tends to focus on luxury brand shopping, with covetable shops like Burberry, Mulberry, Hugo Boss, Harrods and Tiffany & Co present and correct in the Departure Lounge, is a beneficiary of this trend.

It’s probably not surprising then that BAA have posted a very strong set of year-end results for 2011.  Retail income is up almost 10% year-on-year in airside and landside shops.  BAA go on to say that spending in airside ‘specialist’ shops in the luxury segment remained ‘robust’.

Business Traveller, JCDecaux Airport’s research investigating the high-end business audience, helps us understand more about the spending habits of the influential – business flyers.

It’s clear that they are prime candidates to continue to lap up luxury.  While they have the investments you’d expect – stocks and shares, ISAs, the standard options if you will, they also have the cash and the know-how to widen the net.  We interviewed people who have invested in football clubs, yachts / boats, private jets and even helicopters.

Their investment choices – while arguably braver and more eclectic than most people’s will ever be! – are providing them with financial confidence throughout these challenging times.  Well over half the Business Traveller respondents have spent the same or more over the last twelve months on the finer things in life such as cars, holidays and jewellery.

More evidence that luxury spend is an area that continues to buck the economic trend, and that the airport is a good place to open a dialogue with people likely to spend on luxury goods.