Hudson, a Dufry company and travel experience leader with more than 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks, and tourist destinations across North America, today revealed its reimagined retail portfolio at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM).
As part of a 7-year contract extension, Hudson transformed four of its existing retail spaces in BHM into locally-themed stores and introduced a new specialty brand Automated Retail unit.
With a footprint of more than 5,000 square feet, these new concepts honor Alabama’s culture and important place in American history while creating a brand experience uniquely positioned for the airport and its more than 2.5 million annual travelers.
Travelers will find an “extension of home” atmosphere, service delivered with southern hospitality, and an assortment of products made in Alabama throughout Hudson’s retail offerings – a testament to Hudson’s deep knowledge and strong connection to the local market after more than 19 years of operation at BHM.
This also includes a long-standing partnership with local Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Partner Irmatean Watson, Inc.
“We are thrilled to expand our long-term relationship with the Birmingham Airport Authority with the opening of The Civil Rights Trail Market and other new locally curated stores that truly celebrate the culture of this legendary city, while driving excellence in the traveler experience,” said Brian Quinn, EVP and Deputy CEO of Hudson.
“We are committed to giving visitors more of what they want and need while passing through this airport,” said airport President and CEO, Ron Mathieu.
“Our partnership with Hudson has helped accomplish our goal of creating an airport experience that looks and feels like Birmingham,” said Mathieu.
“The civil rights movement was one of the most meaningful parts of American history that took place in the 1950s and 1960s,” said Lee Sentell, Alabama Tourism Director and author of The Official U.S. Civil Rights Trail Book.
“As travelers prepare to take off on their flight out of Birmingham, they have an opportunity to experience the timeline and captivating images on the wall in Terminal C and learn how what happened here in Birmingham changed the world.
“Because of the incredible efforts by the Hudson team, we can now share our rich civil rights history to travelers near and far.
“If we don’t tell our own story, then someone else will.”
Hudson officially unveiled the new stores during a ribbon-cutting celebration on Wednesday, August 24, with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin; Lee Sentell; Photographer for The Official U.S. Civil Rights Trail Book Art Meripol; and other prominent community leaders in attendance.
The new stores are located throughout Concourses A and C, and the Automated Retail unit is affixed to Hudson’s other travel convenience store, Hudson Vulcan. Several stores offer self-checkout registers.
Civil Rights Trail Market by Hudson: In a first-of-its-kind concept, this travel convenience store pays homage to the historic civil rights movement and the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.
Through a partnership with Lee Sentell, Author of The Official U.S. Civil Rights Trail: What Happened Here Changed The World, the storefront dons an official timeline and powerful imagery of the national and local civil rights movements.
Copies of the book are available for purchase as well as Civil Rights Trail branded merchandise honoring Birmingham’s leading role in the movement and presence along the Trail.
Magic City Market by Hudson: Birmingham’s nickname, “The Magic City,” serves as inspiration for this locally named travel convenience store.
The store’s exterior displays a colorful music and dance mural found in the city’s Theater District while the product selection boasts local offerings ranging from “The Magic City” branded apparel to food products produced in Birmingham like Dreamland Bar-B-Q sauce and Pilleteri’s Seasonings, in addition to travel essentials and electronics from Apple, Bose, Brookstone, and other leading brands.
Sweet Home Alabama by Hudson: Named after the famous song and movie, Sweet Home Alabama by Hudson celebrates the best of the state of Alabama.
As a locally-themed travel convenience store, Sweet Home Alabama by Hudson has offerings across the categories of Media, Essentials, and Marketplace in addition to Destinations, which provides a distinctly Birmingham shopping experience with Sweet Home Alabama products.
Renowned for its food, with seven Birmingham restaurants recognized with James Beard Awards, travelers can also find locally made goods and cookbooks from celebrated chefs Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt, and more.
Alabama Sports Connection: With a nod to the state’s strong college sports spirit, Alabama Sports Connection is the ultimate sports fan experience.
This specialty retail concept offers sports memorabilia and apparel, with a large selection of branded merchandise from universities in the surrounding area, including Miles College, Samford University, and UAB: The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Automated Retail: Redefining the traditional vending experience, Automated Retail is a 24/7 specialty retail brand destination specifically tailored to the local market.
Automated Retail at BHM features accessories from Happy Socks, and furry friends wearing University of Alabama apparel in an Automated Teddy Machine from Build-A-Bear Workshop.