Airport retailers show little growth in tough economy

Airport retailers show little growth in tough economy (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With shops and restaurants a plenty, there are more than enough opportunities to spend money at airports across the country, only for many travelers, less disposable income means less shopping and when you add pricier plane tickets and extra baggage fees, many say they won't be spending any extra money at the airport.

In 2008, airport travelers spent $14 million in retail shops and nearly $20 million on food and beverages.

While sales at the airport for the fiscal year 2009 did increase, gains were significantly lower than in years past.

For the fiscal year 2008, food and beverage sales increased 8%, with retail sales jumping 11%.

Food and beverage sales were up just 3% last fiscal year and retail sales only increased 2%.

News 2 caught up with Marisol Galindo at Nashville International Airport Wednesday while she looked for a present for her mom.

Galindo told News 2 she's paying much closer attention to prices now.

“We used to just go and spend money.  Now, we're actually caring about what we spend,” she said.

“I think a couple years ago when we traveled, we would spend more,” traveler Christina Smith told News 2.  “Now, we're getting more money conscious and saving, being a little more frugal.”

Roland Shelton said he travels at least a few times a month for business and told News 2 he's noticed fewer shoppers in airport shops across the country.

That, he said, could be due, in part, to fewer bargains.

“I notice the retail markets in the airport they don't emulate themselves in comparison to Macy's or Dillard's and some of the other retail markets, where they have 50% or 75% off,” Shelton said.

Most of the travelers who spoke with News 2 Wednesday had similar opinions.

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