UNITED STATES. The Dufry Hudson Company has extended its contract at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport for another seven years, continuing an association that began in 2003. The travel retailer has unveiled its revamped retail portfolio for the airport, which features strong influences from Alabama.

As part of the contract extension, Hudson transformed four of its existing retail spaces in Concourses A and C into locally themed stores and introduced a new specialty brand, Automated Retail (see previous concept coverage on The Moodie Davitt Report here). This represents a footprint of over 5,000 square feet.

Travelers will find an assortment of Alabama-made products in the new stores, which Hudson says speaks to its in-depth knowledge and close connection to the local market. This also includes a long-standing partnership with Irmatean Watson, local partner of the Disadvantaged Airport Concessions Business Enterprise (ACDBE).

New distribution concepts

Civil Rights Trail Market by Hudson is a one-of-a-kind travel convenience store. It honors the historic civil rights movement and the US Civil Rights Trail. Through a partnership with Lee Sentell, author of America’s Official Civil Rights Trail: What Happened Here Changed the Worldthe showcase features an official timeline and powerful imagery of national and local civil rights movements.

Copies of the book are available for purchase along with Civil Rights Trail branded merchandise honoring Birmingham’s leading role in movement and presence along the trail.

Sentell, who is also Alabama’s director of tourism, said, “The civil rights movement was one of the most significant parts of American history that happened in the 1950s and 1960s. So As travelers prepare to take off for their flight from Birmingham, they have the opportunity to experience the timeline and captivating images on the wall of Terminal C and learn how what happened here in Birmingham has changed the world.

He added, “Thanks to the incredible efforts of Team Hudson, we can now share our rich civil rights history with travelers near and far. If we don’t tell our own story, then someone else will.

Magical Town Market by Hudson takes its name from Birmingham’s nickname, “The Magic City”, which serves as inspiration for the travel convenience store. The exterior of the store displays a colorful music and dance mural found in the city’s theater district.

The product selection in the store ranges from The Magic City branded clothing to Birmingham-made food products such as Dreamland Bar-BQ Sauce and Pilleteri’s Seasonings. Also available are travel essentials and electronics from Apple, Bose, Brookstone and other top brands.

Sweet Home Alabama by Hudson named after the famous song and film, the store celebrating the best of the state of Alabama. The local-themed travel convenience store offers offerings in the Media, Essentials, and Marketplace categories in addition to Destinations, which offers a distinct Birmingham shopping experience with Sweet Home Alabama products.

Shoppers can also find locally made produce and cookbooks from well-known Birmingham chefs, including James Beard Award winners Chris Hastings and Frank Stitt.

The first Hudson retail vending machine to go into service was at Myrtle Beach International Airport. The same concept is now available at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Alabama Athletic Connection is a nod to Alabama’s powerful college sports movement. The store offers memorabilia and sportswear, with a wide selection of brand name products from nearby universities including Miles College, Samford University and UAB: The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Redefining the traditional retail experience, Automated Retail is a 24/7 specialty retail brand destination specifically tailored to the local market. The sale offering includes accessories from Happy Socks and animal toys wearing clothes from the University of Alabama in an automated teddy bear machine from Build-A-Bear Workshop.

The automated retail unit is affixed to Hudson’s other travel convenience store at the airport, Hudson Vulcan.

Hudson officially unveiled the new stores at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 24 (see image below) attended by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Lee Sentell, photographer for The Official US Civil Rights Trail Book Art Meripol, and other prominent community leaders.

Brian Quinn, Hudson’s Executive Vice President and Deputy Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to extend our long-term relationship with Birmingham Airport Authority with the opening of the Civil Rights Trail market and… other new local stores that truly celebrate the culture of this legendary city, while promoting excellence in the traveler experience.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International President and CEO Ron Mathieu said: “We are committed to giving visitors more of what they want and need when they pass through this airport. Our partnership with Hudson has helped us achieve our goal of creating an airport experience that feels and feels like Birmingham.


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