NASHVILLE – Officials from Fraport USA and Nashville International Airport (BNA) marked the construction start for the airport’s new retail concessions program today and announced the first shops and restaurants set to open by spring 2020. Fraport USA’s innovative program reimagines airport retailing – with the emphasis on local flavor and flair at more than 90 new locations when it is completed in 2023. Fraport USA took over management of the BNA retail concession in February 2019, after winning the Nashville International Airport contract in summer 2018 against strong competition.
Speaking at the launch event, Fraport USA President and CEO, Ben Zandi, said: “Today, we are launching a visible transformation to the retail concessions program at Nashville International Airport. Our goal is to bring a big, bold taste of Nashville directly to the airport and its millions of visitors. We are thrilled to deliver this iconic program featuring diverse local operators and showcasing the best of Nashville and its region – alongside popular national brands.”
Fraport USA has already executed leases for more than 60 locations, representing more than 66 percent of our future concessions space. Under Fraport USA’s innovative concession program, more than 133,000 square feet of concession space will be created for shops, restaurants and service outlets, as well as common-use areas for seating and entertainment – so that passengers can experience the sounds and feeling of Music City.
Held at the food court in BNA’s Concourse C, Fraport USA and officials at the event revealed that by spring 2020 visitors will be able to enjoy Nashville originals such as Bajo Sexto, Pyramids Cafe, Swett’s Restaurant, and The Urban Juicer. In addition, a total of some 50 stores will be opened in 2020, including NaSah’s Nail Salon, The Arts District Market, Greetings from Nashville and Tennessee Brew Works.
“As passenger traffic continues to increase dramatically at BNA, we have sought to improve the overall airport experience with a new and improved concessions program,” said BNA President and CEO Doug Kreulen. “In particular, we welcome Fraport’s commitment to a concessions environment that embraces the authentic Nashville culinary scene and draws upon local ownership and participation. We look forward to the full implementation of the new program as we move forward with our expansion plan at BNA.”
With the first new leases completed, BNA will soon be welcoming the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum store, Kijiji Coffee House, Peg Leg Porker, Prince’s Hot Chicken, and the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, as well as many other exciting local brands. From the national stage, BNA will gain new arrivals such as MAC Cosmetics, Shake Shack, and Starbucks Reserve.
When fully developed, Fraport USA’s concessions program will have significant participation by locally renowned restaurateurs and retailers, including a range of small, minority, and woman-owned businesses. Zandi stressed: “From day one, Fraport USA has focused on reaching out to the local business community, and we are on track to exceed an average of 45 percent tenant participation by Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE). These independent operators will provide travelers with an authentic Nashville experience.”
Since taking over management of the concessions program earlier this year, the Fraport Tennessee team has already implemented several key operational enhancements, including:
- Instituting a street-pricing policy to assure customers pay no more for goods at the airport’s concessions than they would at comparable locations outside the airport
- Rolling out Fraport USA’s customer service recognition program called WINGS
- Delivering a dedicated Central Receiving Distribution Center to optimize logistics
- Deploying business development, networking and mentoring initiatives with local partners to assist small and local business owners, including hosting first-of-a kind workshops, such as Loan Day.
Future developments at BNA also include new food courts, more live performance space, and other amenities designed to enhance the passenger experience.