Coronavirus impact hits airport retailers

Shopowners at JFK’s Terminal 1 reported losing 50 percent in sales

Coronavirus causes drop in sales at airport retailers (Credit: iStock)
Coronavirus causes drop in sales at airport retailers (Credit: iStock)

Airport retailers are the latest sector to be hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Amid a decline in travel — particularly to and from China, where the outbreak started — foot traffic at airports has similarly dropped off, leading to a slump in sales at major airports, the Wall Street Journal reported.

At John F. Kennedy airport’s Terminal 1, from where China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Korean Air and Japan Airlines fly out, sales at retailers reportedly have dropped by as much as 50 percent.

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Foot traffic at other airports has noticeably declined. At Los Angeles International Airport Francisco, foot traffic dropped 20 percent in February, compared with a year earlier, while it dropped 15 percent at San Francisco’s airport during the same time period, the Journal reported, citing geolocation data platform Advan Research.

In Asia, the drop in retail sales at airports and foot traffic is even more significant. At some major airports, retail has dropped as much as 70 percent, the Journal reported, citing a study. To offset losses, authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand are reportedly offering rent relief to retailers at airports for several months. [WSJ]David Jeans