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En route to New Delhi on Sunday, via Abu Dhabi International Airport, I flew – as usual – out of London Heathrow Airport.
I spend a lot of time at Heathrow and just about know every centimetre by heart. Generally the retailing is of a good standard but Terminal 3’s once stand-out liquor section is looking tired and cluttered. It’s also increasingly difficult to see around the shop due to the multiplicity of high fixtures, and all that clean, classy look I remember from a few years back seems to have been lost.
The picture below underlines the problem. There, in the neighbouring confectionery section, alongside the dump-stacked water bottles was a unit stocked with a range of remaindered items, all marked down in price, some because of damaged packaging or labels.
Labels don’t come much more damaged than that on the Bushmills bottle pictured (only the back label remains), while the Pimm’s has seen better days too.
The Bushmills is marked down to £15.99 from £17.99 – all of £2 off for a bottle that has no front label and looks like something Eliot Ness may have uncovered in a smashed crate during the prohibition era. And you’d have to be badly affected by the credit crunch to want to buy that tatty old Pimm’s for just £1 off.
The whole unit, which also featured discounted teas, biscuits, Heather Cream Liqueur and what looked like a bottle of Port, was a pretty sorry exercise that wouldn’t have been out of place near the tills at UK discount store Tk Max.
The effect was all the more graphic for the unit being positioned so close to the consistently excellent fragrances & cosmetics department, which has managed to retain much of its orginal lustre, and which bases its appeal as much on environment as on range. World Duty Free does most things very well but this sort of display does neither them nor the brands any favours.