Airports are amazing places to enter. It is as if you step into a little city bustling with people scurrying in every direction or just leisurely strolling from store to store. A diversified selection of store types line the halls from end to end, intermittently punctuated by seating areas and departure gates. Browsing the shops is an activity for people engage in to pass the time during unexpected delays, and for those who either arrive with ample time to spare before departure, in between flights, or on long layovers. Passengers are seen browsing brand-named stores, souvenir shops, gift shops, magazine/book stores and, if so inclined, may even receive services like shoe-shines, massages, spa treatments, etc. It is also the place where diners may enjoy cuisines of their choice at the many restaurants and familiar fast-food eateries nearby.
I love to wander in and out the stores too, admiring the goods, but with no real intention to purchase anything. Hardly would my travel budget allow for the extravagance of airport spending. Some stores carry high-end products with a price tag the cost of a round-trip ticket to a different destination 😀. Seriously, the costs of the items even with the duty-free conditions still can be outrageously pricey, and then there’s the tchotchkes.
The displays are succinctly arranged to catch the eye of the late shopper, and travelers who wander up and down the hallways. The offerings at the wide range of stores appeal to shoppers for various reasons. Some may be last-minute decisions, or the “I had no time to shop” reason. So then, whom do you think would be more likely to shop at the airport? I pose the well-to-do, the business traveler, or the wanna-be big spender who buys irrespective of price tag.
Honestly, I don’t think the majority of those who make purchases at the airport go there with the intention to do so. Granted, duty free discounts on items may sweeten the deal, which the retailer hopes will help to draw prospective consumers in. The price markup of most goods is usually two to three times higher than those in regular stores. The reasons for the high prices may be debatable, but one can only guess a factor may be because of the prime real estate. Whatever the reasons, I am often amazed at the offerings, and the brisk sales that occur in the stores.
Though I am not a big spender, don’t have deep pockets, or a last minute shopper, (I purchase my souvenirs/gifts before coming to the airport) I do confess to airport spending a few times. Not because I saw an irresistible item and couldn’t live without it, but mostly to get rid of spare change, especially if most of the leftover currency is coin and maybe a few bills. The balance of cash usually affords nothing more than a few ‘sweet’ treats from the confectioner’s aisles.
Community Peeps, are you an impulsive airport shopper? Is purchasing airport tchotchkes before boarding your flight a favorite pastime? Share your experiences on airport shopping in the comment box below. If you’ve bought something on vacation you simply could not resist, but which you regret now, talk of it too in the comment section.
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