PITTSBURGH, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AIRMALL® USA, the developer of the leading airport concessions model in North America, has finalized its analysis of 2012 sales performance at its airport projects in Pittsburgh, Boston, Baltimore and Cleveland, and the numbers demonstrate enduring growth for all four programs. At the same time, the company is challenging the most recent assertions of UNITE HERE, the national hospitality concessions union, and is calling those assertions an ongoing misrepresentation of AIRMALL's model.
"Over the past several years, UNITE HERE's public statements about AIRMALL USA and our model have amounted to a misinformation campaign that is not representative of the entire story," said Mark Knight, president of AIRMALL USA. "Time and time again, they question the success of our model, and time and time again, the numbers demonstrate definitively that they're simply wrong. As we've said in the past, we will defend our model any time it is misrepresented."
AIRMALL develops and manages the concessions programs at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in Terminals B and E, and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE).
Knight first pointed to 2012 sales figures, calling them even further validation of the strength of AIRMALL's model for airport concessions – high-quality brands, competition among operators, "Regular Mall Pricing… Guaranteed," and an absolute dedication to customer service.
"Since we launched the AIRMALL at Pittsburgh International Airport in 1992, we've maintained an enviable position as an industry innovator. We were the first to introduce brands to the airport concourse. We have also demonstrated time and time again that when you put the passenger first by focusing on quality, service, and fair pricing, you will drive higher sales. That translates into additional dollars for the airport authority and the region as a whole," Knight said.
Based on 2012 year-end sales figures:
- The AIRMALL at PIT posted a per-passenger spend of $13.60 in 2012, an increase of more than 400 percent since AIRMALL launched its concept at Pittsburgh International more than 20 years ago. During that same period, passenger traffic has dropped by more than 50 percent.
- The AIRMALL at BOS recorded a per-passenger spend of $12.18 in 2012, a 150-percent jump since AIRMALL began developing and managing concessions in terminals B and E more than a decade ago.
- At the AIRMALL at BWI, per-passenger spend was $9.68 at the end of last year, a 77-percent increase since AIRMALL began managing BWI Marshall's concession program in 2004.
- Passengers who shopped or dined at the AIRMALL at CLE enabled the program to achieve a per-passenger spend of $8.58 in 2012, a 54-percent increase since AIRMALL began managing the concessions program in 2008. During that same period, passenger traffic has decreased by nearly 20 percent at CLE.
"Per-passenger spend is the true benchmark of a successful airport concessions program, and by all accounts, AIRMALL has achieved enviable results at all four of our airports. In several instances, we've done so during times of change and challenge for our airport partners," Knight added.
Next, Knight set the record straight on the AIRMALL model as a catalyst for job growth and economic opportunity.
"If we are talking about jobs and employment, let's talk about jobs and employment," Knight remarked. "At BWI, we've tripled the number of concessions jobs since we took over in 2004. The airport employs nearly 1,500 people in its concessions program now, because our model is focused on bringing in a variety of operators to give passengers plenty of choice. Today, the average full-time concessions wage at BWI is more than $18 an hour. Plus, our program has created nearly seven times more supervisory-level jobs compared to what was available when we took over."
Because of the need for more managers, Knight said the AIRMALL model ultimately provides workers with the ability to advance within the program to a better, higher-paying job. He also noted that high-quality, motivated employees are a critical component to the success of the AIRMALL model because of its commitment to customer service.
Knight added that the vast array of operators at AIRMALL USA's projects in Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh and Cleveland offer a variety of employee benefits, including health, dental, optical, 401(k), vacation, and parking.
"As always, the numbers tell the true story. We're proud of our record as a job creator and a change agent at airports. Our programs create more jobs and better jobs, and that's good for both the airport and the region as a whole," Knight said. "As we move further into 2013, we're excited about new developments on the horizon that will further enhance the passenger experience."
Last month, the AIRMALL at PIT launched the first phase of a $10-million upgrade to the concessions program, the largest of its kind since the airport opened in 1992. The renovations will transform the Center Core of the airport, which receives all departing and arriving passengers. AIRMALL plans to add nine new units, including some of the finest luxury brands in the world.
At BWI Marshall, AIRMALL will join with its tenants to execute a $15-million upgrade to the concessions program over the next two years. The project will result in creating more than 18,000 square feet of additional retail space at BWI Marshall and is part of an overall airport construction program that includes the creation of a new connector between concourses B and C.
For more information on AIRMALL USA, visit www.airmallusa.com.
About AIRMALL® USA
AIRMALL® USA is the developer and manager of the retail, food and beverage operations at Pittsburgh International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport (terminals B and E), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The leading airport concessions model in North America, AIRMALL USA continues to boast among the highest per-passenger spends on the continent and consistently receives accolades for innovation and customer service. AIRMALL USA is owned by Prospect Capital Corporation, a leading New York investment company founded in 1988. For more information on AIRMALL USA, visit www.airmallusa.com.
SOURCE AIRMALL USA