Coming soon – the Terminal 5 ‘luxury retail project’

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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’.

(It is well worth looking at the site linked above.  You will be pleased to know that the building work will include “the introduction of luxury seating products” or what you and I would call “seats”‘.)

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.

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  1. I guess I shall be hanging out in the North of the terminal then 🙂

    Would some really choose BA over competitors based solely on their desire to access a Louis Vuitton store in an airport terminal? Sometimes I think I live on a different planet to others!

    • Erico1875 says:

      Indeed. There are enough super rich people who make decisions based on a logic that the average Joe finds baffling.
      There was a tv program last month showing the goings on inside one of the luxury stores on Bond Street. I cant remember the name, Hand bag collection starting at £40K each., salt and pepper dishes at £5K

      • Lady London says:

        Asprey. Has now been owned by Qatar interest for some years after it nearly went bust, I understand.

        I used to walk past it regularly and press my nose against the window.

      • I agree. The thing that baffles me the most is that a lot of these luxary goods range from the mildly vulgar to the absolutely hideous. More money than taste some people.

  2. And surely, if one was of a mind to spend the expected level of money in these sorts of places, one would have spent enough money to travel in a premium cabin* and just prefer to hang around in the lounges drinking complimentary champagne, rather than buying it?

    (* Or spent enough Avios, obviously!)

    • That’s not generally how it works. I personally tend to see things in shops and then make a mental note to see if they have them in Heathrow if I have a flight planned. If that fails, I then buy them ‘landside’.

      • Erico1875 says:

        To get the reward points too, provided the price is right, I assume 🙂
        Since I started this hobby, everything I buy needs to have a “reward” tangent.
        I cant remember the last time we or my family bought anything from b&q, argos or mothercsre without Amexing it via Tgift cards from Tesco.
        They all know its a criminal offence to go to Nandos and pay cash too.

  3. FIRSTclstraveller says:

    The super rich trying to save money shopping in a LV duty free shop – I’ve heard it all now 🙂

    • LV customers are generally not super rich. We all know how many secretaries in the City walk around with LV bags.

      • Indeed and they look down right bloody awful.

      • Lady London says:

        miaaaow… but couldn’t agree more about the actual value of the LV brand these days.

        Their stuff a while back was worth having… and some limited editions which you might find only in Paris are also occasionally worth a look.

        But I’d me more embarrassed than proud to carry anything obviously LV, these days.

    • Jonathan says:

      The Classic LV bags start at £600 (nearer £500 in dutyfree) for a Classic well made bag, that will never go out of fashion and lasts decades. You hardly have to be super rich

  4. there is a 10 quid for a fiver on pcworld gift ecard on mightydeals, for those interested

  5. Lady London says:

    Wondering if this means we will have to go an even more roundabout route than now to get to Galleries First out of security if escalators are disappearing.

  6. Erico1875 says:

    I heard there is a similar project going on at Stansted, Ryanairs main hub.
    Poundland, Cash Convertors, Lidl and Ladbrokes are already signed up

  7. Never has there been a greater need to introduce a super tax.

    • Erico1875 says:

      No point.
      The rich don’t pay tax. Neither do the poor. Tax is for middle income working families

  8. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    Which UK airport or terminal has the least “in your face” retail offering, or are we now all forced to traipse through duty free shops before we can reach our gate (or lounge)?

    I’ve only seen LGW (S) and T5 in the last year. T5 was better than T3, but Gatport Airwick South is terrible. No Ikea-style shortcuts either.

    • squills says:

      The truth is: they’re not duty free at all for any of us travelling to EU destinations. There’s no Duty free in Europe.

    • squills says:

      I used to deal with DF requirements. Very desirable captive ABC1 market explains a lot of what you see happening. High-end brand owners find it expensive to target the right people cost-effectively and DF provides one straightforward route.

      • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

        I appreciate that, but I’m one of those people who gets insanely flustered and angry to be forced through the duty free shop with “assistants” from the various concessions jumping out at me like jacks-in-the-boxes. I’m normally a calm person, but this makes my blood boil…especially if I’m carrying my 2 year old. I guess I need to pay lots of money or points to bypass this bonanza and get whisked straight to the gate or clubhouse.

  9. I hope Itsu returns, I’m a regular! Nothing like some light food before flying.

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