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Up until very recently, London Heathrow was the busiest international airport in the world. Owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings, it covers an impressively expansive 12.14 square kilometers and manages over 74 million passengers annually. In the world of air travel, London Heathrow is quite simply a juggernaut. Its massive size, scope, and customer engagement potential to reach literally millions of global consumers also means that it contains one of the world’s most valuable retail space.
London Heathrow currently supports more than 400 outlets from 150 commercial retail partnerships with numerous luxury and iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton, CHANEL, and Gucci as well as an extensive range of dining and entertainment-based establishments. With such a diverse array of independently-operated businesses comes the challenge of designing a customer engagement and customer loyalty strategy that increases both basket size and participation across such an expansive and dynamic marketing space.
London Heathrow, however, rose to the challenge. With the creation of Heathrow Rewards, the airport implemented a loyalty program that was designed specifically to encompass multiple vendors while targeting a global and transient customer base. An airport is certainly a very specialized environment. Heathrow’s success with Heathrow Rewards demonstrates what is possible for operators of other centralized consumer centers such as sporting and entertainment venues, transportation hubs, and shopping malls.