Hudson Ushers In Future Of Automated Retail, Launching New Vending Destinations Across North American Airports
New Automated Retail Concept Thinks Outside The Box, Redefining The Traditional Vending Model Through Unparalleled Brand Selection And Accessibility
East Rutherford, N.J., March 31, 2021 – Hudson, a travel experience leader with more than 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks and tourist destinations across North America, today revealed its first-of-a-kind, multi-brand automated retail concept.
Driven by Hudson’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the traveler experience and leveraging digital innovation, the new automated retail concept aims to create a contactless, 24/7 retailing destination that’s all about putting the right products in the right places. By partnering with globally-recognized brands as well as emerging and local brands, travelers will have a diverse selection of specialty retail products to shop for, reminiscent of a miniature shopping mall within the confines of the airport retail space.
“Automated retail provides us with an avenue to recreate the strong sense of place associated with our stores within the confines of a smaller, non-traditional footprint – all while capitalizing on the dwell time, exposure, and convenience the airport environment affords,” said Brian Quinn, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Hudson. “For the traveler, this translates to more variety and accessibility to the quality brands they are accustomed to seeing in an environment that enables them to shop on their own schedules.”
After launching first at Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) on March 26, automated retail will continue to roll-out to other leading travel destinations such as Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) in the coming months.
“Passengers at MYR will benefit from a seamless shopping experience, thanks to the introduction of Hudson’s new automated retail program,” said Scott Van Moppes, Director of Myrtle Beach International Airport. “Hudson continues to deliver excellence in its concessions program at MYR and we’re excited to be the first location to offer their newest retail experience.”
Not Your Average Airport Vending Machine
Fashioned with bright illuminating lights and wrapped to replicate the easily-recognizable identity of the brands, the automated retail concept will capture travelers’ attention and excitement instantaneously.
Travelers will find the ADA-compliant machines clustered together in groups of two or more in freestanding locations throughout the concourse or in some instances, built directly into the Hudson storefront for ultimate convenience. Next to the machines, easy-to-use interactive touchscreens sealed with an anti-microbial shield will showcase merchandise images and extensive product information.
In concepts that feature eyewear brands, personalized augmented reality (AR) technology installed directly into the machine’s interface will allow travelers a fully-immersive, virtual try-on experience that enables them to browse and find the perfect pair of frames for the occasion.
In the event travelers should need assistance or have questions throughout their shopping journey, Hudson team members on-site at nearby stores will be eager and available to provide their Traveler’s Best Friend service.
Creating A Brand Oasis For Travelers
Encompassing a sophisticated brand experience that celebrates the best-in-class products, Hudson’s and Dufry’s brand portfolios will shine as the focal points of the concept – and will be what keeps travelers coming back.
Each concept will be distinctively unique, from the merchandising selection to the brands represented. Featuring the hottest top-sellers and a selection of exclusive products not traditionally found in Hudson-operated specialty stores, travelers will find must-have items from leading brands which can include:
- Classic skincare brands Plexaderm and The Art Of Shaving, essential for keeping travelers feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from departure to arrival
- Fan-favorite eyewear brands Maui Jim and Revo, perfect for turning any jet way into a runway
- Iconic electronic brands Sony, Belkin, Apple, Beats, and Brookstone, necessary for helping travelers enjoy the latest in-flight movie or catch up on some uninterrupted zzz’s
- Imaginative toy brands Kikkerland Design and LEGO, important for stimulating travelers’ creativity and educating their minds
- Trendy lifestyle accessory brands Happy Socks and 47 Brand, key for curating a travel look that celebrates personal expression and embraces individuality
In addition to household name brands, local merchandise and seasonal products will indulge travelers’ every need. Whether curating regional merchandise offerings, introducing the holiday’s most popular toys, or debuting the latest sporting goods for the big game, brands can be seamlessly interchanged and custom-tailored to each travel destination.
This unique brand versatility, doubling as a brand incubator, will enable Hudson to test brands before deciding to develop them into a standalone specialty store, as well as explore developmental opportunities with smaller airports where specialty retail offerings can be limited by space and enplanement levels.
Redefining Personalized and Digital Convenience
The launch of automated retail only further exemplifies Hudson’s accelerated digital innovation in-store and overall digital transformation across the business. From PPE vending machines – to expanded contactless payment options with self-checkout – to check-out free shopping at Hudson Nonstop using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, Hudson continues to solidify its position as a leading travel retailer in the digital era.