Auckland International Airport offering international terminal shopping brands to domestic travellers

The airport operates its own shopping app, The Mall.
The airport operates its own shopping app, The Mall. Photo credit: Auckland International Airport

Kiwis are getting used to holidays in the COVID-19 era, heading to Queenstown, Nelson or the Hawke's Bay instead of Sydney, Bali or Fiji.

But there's one part of international travel that the domestic terminal hasn't been able to replicate.

Shopping was an essential part of  the international departure routine for many travellers pre-COVID-19, but since the border closures, the retail area of Auckland Airport's newly renovated international terminal has remained essentially empty.

However, the airport has announced a new system that will bring an element of that retail experience to its domestic terminal via an app.

From Tuesday, people flying out of Auckland Airport's domestic terminal will be able to access premium brands and products from international terminal retailers via the airport's new click-and-collect marketplace, The Mall.

The airport's general manager of technology and marketing Jonathan Good says whether purchasing new perfume or bottles of liquor, shopping is strongly associated with the excitement of travel.

"The impact of COVID-19 on Auckland Airport and our retail partners has been significant, but we are moving fast to support new ways for our retailers to do business and connect with their customers," Good said.

However, both tax and duty will be applied to all purchases - The Mall is not offering duty-free shopping to domestic travellers.

"We work in close partnership with our terminal retailers and this investment in The Mall was about providing the digital infrastructure to support their success," Good said.

"Even though this was a move into a different market the response from our retailers has been great. They straight away understood this was an opportunity to stay connected with their customers while there is limited international travel."

The Mall shopping app launched in 2018, allowing travellers to browse the more than 5000 products available through retailers within the international terminal and purchase them online before departure, picking their shopping up at a click-and-collect station in the airport as they were departing.

Orders made have grown by 55 percent year-on-year, the airport says, calling the app "a success story". 

Orders made via 'The Mall' have grown by 55 percent year-on-year - Auckland Airport.
Orders made via 'The Mall' have grown by 55 percent year-on-year - Auckland Airport. Photo credit: Newshub.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Auckland Airport's head of omnichannel Jayne Wear says she's focused on reimagining The Mall under a new travel environment - one in which full international travel may take some time to recover.

"There's no doubt the pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for the airport retail industry but in the wider retail space COVID-related lockdowns have turbo-charged the shift to online shopping. We needed to harness that trend to enhance our Airport experience for domestic travellers and benefit our airport retailers," Wear said.

At launch The Mall will feature product ranges from beauty and fashion brands including Saben, NZH Health & Beauty, Walker & Hall and Emirates Team New Zealand. In the coming weeks more retailers will be added, including luxury brands Michael Kors and Tumi.