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Heathrow Airport is UK haven for duty-free shopping

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Travellers say their trip starts at the airport Credits: Coach Airways retail concept store

A recent survey indicates that for many Brits, the holiday experience begins before reaching the final destination, with 40 percent of travelers considering their trip to start at the airport. Recognising this trend, PayingTooMuch conducted an analysis of the UK's busiest airports to determine their suitability for entertaining passengers both pre-flight and during layovers or delays, based on the availability of shops and food facilities.

The findings reveal Edinburgh Airport as the top choice for passenger entertainment, with 23 shops and 11 food and drink facilities post-security. Stansted Airport follows closely behind, offering 20 shops and 12 dining options, providing ample opportunities for travelers to explore and indulge while awaiting their flights. Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport stands out as a haven for duty-free shopping enthusiasts, with a total of 54 shops and 13.5 per terminal, ensuring plenty of browsing opportunities.

Heathrow Airport's revenue from retail concessions rose to 257 million pounds in 2023, up 24.8 percent on 2022, according to the latest financial results for the year ended 31 December. TR Businesses said it provided the lion's share of the hub's total retail revenue for the year, which stood at 698 million pounds (up 23.8 percent on the 564 million pounds achieved in 2022).

“2023 was a good year for Heathrow from a challenging start to a great finish We delivered much improved service for our customers, and managed to turn a small profit after three consecutive years of losses,” commented Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye.

Duty Free