Looking to a new experience at LAX

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I’m in Los Angeles this week for the highly anticipated unveiling of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal (seen in renderings above and below) – which promises to be a landmark moment in more ways than one.

For LAX and master developer Westfield, it’s the largest public works project ever to take place in the city of Los Angeles. For concessionaires including DFS, LS travel retail, HMSHost, Areas USA, Vino Volo and many others, it marks an opportunity to put their stamp on one of the great US West Coast gateways. Westfield has challenged its partners to “impress and delight travellers” with the new South Concourse and the 150,000sq ft Great Hall, which features more than 60 retail and F&B brands, including 22 from L.A.

On Thursday, at a media open day to unveil the terminal, we’ll find out just how those concessionaires have risen to the challenge.

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It will be especially intriguing to see DFS’s new LAX identity take shape. The company says it is “now launching a strategy of localization and developing a unique identity, with expanded luxury offerings, for its concessions and boutiques at LAX”.

More than that, says DFS, it will be “making a definitive statement on luxury airport retail never before seen in Los Angeles”.

All will be revealed over the next 48 hours to media guests including The Moodie Report, other industry titles plus a heavyweight line-up of Chinese and Hong Kong consumer and business media organisations – underlining once more the key role that the Chinese play in the luxury travel retailer’s business.

We’ll hear more from DFS Chairman & CEO Philippe Schaus and Chief Operating Officer Michael Schriver over a cocktail and dinner later tonight (Wednesday) in LA. Then the action moves to the new TBIT itself, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Westfield senior management plus concessionaires unveiling the project on Thursday, to be followed by a Gala event hosted by the Mayor the same night.

It promises to be an exciting few days ahead in the City of Angels, and it will be fascinating to see what heights the new-look commercial offer reaches amid this major investment at LAX.

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