Pandora, WH Smith open outlets as Mactan airport retail picks up

Published: Monday 19 September, 2016
TWO new foreign retail brands recently opened stores in the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, according to airport operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC). Last May 20, UK-based convenience store operator WH Smith launched their first Travel Store concept in the Philippines located inside the domestic departures area in MCIA, occupying 36 square meters of leasable space. WH Smith is a British retailer listed in the London Stock Exchange that sells books, stationery, magazines, and newspapers and entertainment products. Its Cebu outlet features confectionery, softdrinks, books, digital accessories, tobacco, stationaries, e-pay, souvenirs and “journey solutions”. “Since we opened the store, we have been getting increasing number of buyers, especially the foreigners. Today, we also have more of the locals coming in not just to browse but also purchase our items,” said Noel Gingoyon, WH Smith-MCIA store supervisor, in a press statement. According to Gingoyon, their bestsellers are neck pillows, chips, water and dried mangoes. WH Smith currently operates over 1,300 stores, primarily in the UK, including 725 travel outlets in airports, train stations, hospitals, workplaces and motorway service areas. Meanwhile, a Danish accessories brand, Pandora, which is known for its customizable charm bracelets, designer rings, necklaces and (now discontinued) watches, opened in the international pre-departure area at MCIA last May 9. Pandora jewelry is sold in more than 100 countries on six continents through approximately 9,000 points of sale, including more than 1,800 concept stores. Since January this year, GMCAC said it has introduced 13 new brands into the airport’s retail environment: Ray Ban, Emporio Armani, Prada, Brics, Coccinelle, Sisley, Benetton, Mac, Pandora, L’oreal and The Body Shop, Victoria’s Secret, Bench Apparel and WH Smith.