August 6 2015  |  Airlines & Airports

Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport debates new concessions

By Wendy Morley

The move toward craft beers is one of the retail trends Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport would like to address with its new concessions

During a long meeting this week, a subcommittee of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) debated which new shops, F&B and other entertainment options would be the best choices for the airport when renovations begin later this year in its nearly 16,000 square meters of commercial space. Among the 50 recommendations were a restaurant-bar that also serves as a live music venue, a full-service craft beer bar and restaurant, and a food truck-style food court.

“Minneapolis-St. Paul International is well known in the airport industry for its robust mix of food, retail and service amenities,” said Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which owns and operates MSP. “As we modernize our concessions program, we want to build on those strengths and provide even more reasons for travelers to favor MSP over other transportation options.”

Since MAC staff began its research in 2014, it has collectively come to the conclusion that local brands need to be better represented at the airport. After assessing retail trends and studying other airports, the airport staff decided its priorities were to:

  • Enhance participation by regional businesses, operators and suppliers as well as disadvantaged business enterprises
  • Expand the variety of products and price points available to consumers, including a broader selection of ethnic foods
  • Attract high-impact national brands
  • Increase duty-free shopping opportunities
  • Reflect national trends toward craft beer and cocktails, unique merchandise, and blended food and entertainment experiences

Among the recommended retailers were: Dufry, Hudson Group, WDFG, Pacific Gateway Concessions, MSP Innovations and Delaware North.

During the reportedly five-hour-long meeting, some proposals were shot down and others recommended. A full commission will take up the proposals on August 17.  

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