Luxury has landed at Melbourne Airport, with the T2 International Terminal now boasting a bevy of top-shelf international retailers plus some local heroes for preflight dining.
The airport believes the new luxury retail and dining outlets will not only reflect Melbourne’s self-proclaimed position as “Australia’s food and fashion capital” but reinforce the capital city experience by leaving a positive and lasting impression on international travellers.
The T2 redevelopment “captures the essence of Melbourne, from sipping on a cup of locally brewed coffee to indulging in the latest designs from international luxury fashion and accessories brands,” suggests Andrew Gardiner, Chief of Retail at Melbourne Airport.
A dingy and depressing corridor between the main duty-free shopping zone and the dining area has been transformed into a spacious and well-lit ‘luxury lane’ lined with almost a dozen premium retailers: among them Burberry, Tiffany & Co, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emporio Armani, Bally, Tumi and Watches of Switzerland.
Gardiner says that outbound Australians are the airport’s most prolific duty-free shoppers, although travellers returning to Asia – and especially China – “are right behind them”, and together those groups make up almost two-thirds of Melbourne Airport’s duty-free market.
The main duty-free zone operated by Dufry has also been redesigned and expanded, although it’s still very much a walk-through store rather than adopting the more open ‘streetscape’ duty-free design seen at Sydney Airport’s international terminal.
“The design of duty-free stores is often predicated by the shape of the airport and unfortunately the shape of the airport currently does not allow us to open this up, so we still have a bit of a chicane going through the centre of the store,” Gardiner tells Australian Business Traveller.
“But we have opened it up quite considerably – it’s wider, with a better passenger experience – and it’s very well lit.”
If you’re up for more existing food and drink than is offered b y your airline’s lounge, the main body of the terminal now includes Spanish tapas Bar Pulpo by Movida...
... the Two Johns pub, Urban Provedore (which showcases healthy meals centred on typically-Australian flavours) and artisan coffee outlet Brunetti...
... with the new Baxa noodle bar joining them in late December 2017.
It's worth noting that travellers with a Priority Pass card can receive a $36 dining credit at& Bar Pulpo by MoVida, specialising in Spanish tapas, and Urban Provodore, which showcases healthy meals centred on typically-Australian flavours – both of which are located past security and passport control in the T2 international terminal.