If you’ve been in Terminal 5 recently, you will have seen the construction work underway at the South end of the terminal where Paul Smith, Smythson and the Galleries First lounge are based.
Itsu has gone as, I understand, is / will be Caviar House. WH Smith has moved. And this is what is coming – what the architects call ‘the luxury retail project’.
Heathrow has pulled off something of a coup here. The ‘luxury retail project’ will include a Louis Vuitton duty free store, something very rarely seen outside Asia. I get a feeling that this in itself may be enough to persuade some tourists to choose British Airways and Terminal 5 over competing carriers.
Fortnum & Mason is also moving in and will run the ‘island champagne bar’ alongside a store. Along with a bit of shuffling of existing retailers, the luxury brands will be concentrated at the south of the terminal with the more mainstream retailers at the north end.
The escalators inside Harrods are being removed as part of this work with passengers funnelled into the other sets of escalators.
On a more practical / useful level, new escalators are being put into the Flight Connections centre and the flow of connecting passengers will be changed to split them more equally between both security zones. Additional lifts are also being added – Terminal 5 was originally built with a number of lift shafts which did not actually have lifts put in them.
The shops will be open by Christmas, apparently.