Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport Part 3

The Winnipeg Airport Authority has begun announcements of some of the businesses that will operate in the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

There are some interesting retailers that will locate in the mall.

The most interesting announcement is that McNally Robinson and Toad Hall Toys are opening stores. I'm not sure what than means for the Virgin Books and Records store in the old terminal but it seems that they would be in conflict with McNally.

The Free Press listed the 13 retailers and restaurants:

Local operators:

Salisbury House of Canada, best known for its Sals nips (hamburgers), hot dogs, french fries and pastries.

Gondola Pizza, known for its pizzas, pasta dishes, ribs, chicken wings and salads.

Stella's Cafe & Bakery, which specializes in home-made breads, cinnamon buns, soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts.

McNally Robinson Booksellers, a full-service bookstore known for carrying a broad selection of titles from local authors.

Toad Hall Toys, an "old-world" toy shop whose products include exquisite dolls, miniature puppets, musical toys, science kits, and arts and crafts supplies.

Stella's or Gondola's Pizza will be favourites for locals and expats coming to the city.

I have never been a favourite of Sal's. I find they are expensive and the food pedestrian. The only thing I found appealing about them was their late hours. I admit I haven't dropped by recently so maybe I shouldn't judge so harshly.

There are some national and international operations as well.

National and international operators:

Starbucks Coffee, an international specialty coffee/restaurant chain.

Tim Hortons Inc., Canada's largest specialty coffee/restaurant chain.

T.G.I. Friday's, a U.S.-based, family-restaurant chain.

Rice Tales, a contemporary Asian, quick-serve, restaurant chain offering a variety of Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Filipino dishes.

Upper Crust Bakery, a U.K.-based chain best known for its freshly baked French baguettes. Also carries an extensive selection of gourmet salads and fresh pastries.

PGA Tour Shops, a U.S.-based retailer offering both men's and women's golf and leisure apparel and accessories.

Rosetta Stone, one of the world's leading language companies that sells specialty CDs and other computer-based language-learning products.

CNBC News, which offers in-store broadcasts of CNBC business news programs and carries a broad range of traditional newsstand products, including books, magazines and convenience items.

Rice Tails and Upper Crust Bakeries sound very interesting. I have heard of Rosetta Stone through their ads. I'd have to see what the store offers to make a full assessment.

TGI Fridays is huge in the States. I think they only offer a few locations in Canada. It will be curious to see what the size of some of these restaurants are.

There are more stores to announce yet. Let's hope they have a few more local companies.

My big issue is that 70% of what has been announced is in post security. That means for people waiting for friends and family to depart or arrive will not have access to many of the businesses in the airport.

Why is this a problem? Well, for airports like Winnipeg, I don't how long people wait to depart once they have cleared security but shopping and dining takes time. For hubs airports where the wait might be long, such things are fairly important. However, I am curious as to how much time people will spending in the security area prior to or immediately after their flights have landed. I guess this will be the main determining factor in how these place succeed.

Still, some interesting business announcement for the airport.

Some questions remain: What happens to the old terminal?

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