New Beauty Concept Store at JFK Int’l Caters to Style-Conscious Passengers

New Beauty Concept Store at JFK Int’l Caters to Style-Conscious Passengers
Nicole Nelson
Published in: 

In addition to yellow taxicabs and world-class arts, New York City is known for cutting-edge fashion and beauty—and they all can be found at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). A new retail concession in Terminal 4 showcases the city’s focus on beauty, in particular.

The DFS Beauty Concept Store features more than 20 brands of cosmetics and beauty products ranging from iconic classics such as Dior, MAC and NARS, to trendy niche-oriented lines including Drunk Elephant, Kylie and Malin & Goetz. Some of the store’s brands—Kylie, Drunk Elephant, and Mario Badescu, for instance—have never before been sold in an airport.

Luxury travel retailer DFS Group chose JFK’s Terminal 4 as the venue for its new concept because the concourses are filled with stylish and chic passengers. In contrast to most U.S. terminals, the facility is privately operated—by JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT). JFKIAT’s managing member is Schiphol USA Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Royal Schiphol Group, the Dutch company that operates and owns various-sized stakes in a handful of overseas airports. 


Project: Beauty-Oriented Retail Concession

Location: John F. Kennedy Int’l Airport

Terminal: 4

Name: DFS Beauty Concept Store

Retailer: DFS Group

Store Size: 1,030 sq. ft.

Grand Opening: Ribbon-cutting party May 10; product demonstrations by professional makeup artists, promotional offers & live entertainment for next 5 weekends

Products: More than 20 lines, including MAC, Anastasia Beauty, Benefit, Dior Backstage, Farmacy, IT Cosmetics, Malin & Goetz, Moroccan Oil, NARS

Points of Difference: Wide product selection, including brands otherwise not available in airports; product demonstrations; in-store DJ

Jose Cuevas, senior manager, Commercial for JFKIAT, notes that the unique concession was developed to serve the 24 million passengers that traverse Terminal 4 annually—especially those who want to buy some of the most popular cosmetic brands in the business. Keenly aware that beauty products across all categories are on the uptick, Cuevas is optimistic about how the new store will perform.

“Due to changing passenger needs and how the world of retail continues to evolve, JFKIAT and DFS partnered to create a one-stop shop with unique brand options,” he remarks.

The store itself represents a new concept for DFS Group, which specializes in luxury travel retail. Timothy Bidmead, the company’s general manager at both JFK and San Francisco International Airport, notes that the new Terminal 4 store is specifically designed to appeal to domestic travelers and local New Yorkers alike.

“Our main beauty store, which is centrally located in the T4 retail lounge, features legacy brands that have strong followings among international shoppers,” Bidmead explains. “This new space, closer to the domestic gates, gives us the opportunity to trial, test and incubate brands that are new to travel retail.”

The concept is also designed to be more experimental, so it features actively trending brands. For instance, the store added Fresh in June and Sol de Janeiro in August. “The team will constantly be on a lookout for new brands to bring in with the aim to delight and excite our discerning customers,” says Sandra Dulac, U.S. Division senior assistant manager of Beauty Merchandising Operations for DFS.

Cuevas appreciates the company’s broad range of product lines, both duty-free for international passengers and duty-paid for domestic travelers. He is especially enthusiastic about targeted products that DFS features in its new store to support domestic-based collaborations and partnerships JFKIAT has with Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines.

“We have millions of passengers here that are traveling domestically, so that was a group that we wanted to cater towards, which we have certainly been able to accomplish with this concept,” he relates.

Grand Entrance

Much to the delight of passengers, DFS featured a variety of in-store activations, including brand demonstrations and product specials during the grand opening of its new Beauty Concept Store.

In addition to hosting a ribbon-cutting party on May 10, the store featured a different brand each weekend from May 12 through June 11, complete with refreshments, special promotions and performances by DJs.

“The activations were a huge hit,” Bidmead reports. Customers especially enjoyed the Drunk Elephant and Mario Badescu demonstrations, which highlighted travel-friendly skincare routines. Spin-the-wheel games by Kylie Cosmetics and Benefit were also popular because customers could win prizes such as cosmetic pouches and product samples. Gift-with-purchase promotions also garnered enthusiastic interest—and generated sales.

“It was a lovely engagement effort party, where folks came together from DFS, JFKIAT, our community to celebrate this opening with customers,” Cuevas says. “And it didn’t stop there. The DJ continues to come on a scheduled basis to show the vibrancy of the brand to travelers passing by. And the store will do more demos ad hoc to provide excitement for our customers.”

The store will also participate in DFS’ annual flagship beauty campaign in August, which offers another wide spectrum of in-store activities and promotions.

“With so much excitement surrounding these events, we definitely plan to use this format for future in-store activities,” Bidmead comments.

Dulac also intends to keep the store’s initial momentum going strong. “We will reach out to travelers via DFS’ official channels, keeping them up to date with our latest offerings and news,” she says.


2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement

Giving back to the community is central to what Charlotte Douglas International Airport and its operator, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department, is about, and last year was no different. 

Throughout 2022, while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued our efforts to have a positive impact on the Charlotte community. Of particular note, we spent the year sharing stories of how Connections Don't Just Happen at the Terminal - from creating homeownership and employment opportunities to supporting economic growth through small-business development and offering outreach programs to help residents understand the Airport better.

This whitepaper highlights the construction projects, initiatives, programs and events that validate Charlotte Douglas as a premier airport.

Download the whitepaper: 2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement.



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