Melbourne Airport goes luxe with high-end retail, dining

By David Flynn, December 13 2017
Melbourne Airport goes luxe with high-end retail, dining

Luxury has landed at Melbourne Airport, with the T2 International Terminal now boasting a bevy of top-shelf international retailers plus some local heroes for preflight dining.

The airport believes the new luxury retail and dining outlets will not only reflect Melbourne’s self-proclaimed position as “Australia’s food and fashion capital” but reinforce the capital city experience by leaving a positive and lasting impression on international travellers.

The T2 redevelopment “captures the essence of Melbourne, from sipping on a cup of locally brewed coffee to indulging in the latest designs from international luxury fashion and accessories brands,” suggests Andrew Gardiner, Chief of Retail at Melbourne Airport.

A dingy and depressing corridor between the main duty-free shopping zone and the dining area has been transformed into a spacious and well-lit ‘luxury lane’ lined with almost a dozen premium retailers: among them Burberry, Tiffany & Co, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emporio Armani, Bally, Tumi and Watches of Switzerland.

Gardiner says that outbound Australians are the airport’s most prolific duty-free shoppers, although travellers returning to Asia – and especially China – “are right behind them”, and together those groups make up almost two-thirds of Melbourne Airport’s duty-free market.

The main duty-free zone operated by Dufry has also been redesigned and expanded, although it’s still very much a walk-through store rather than adopting the more open ‘streetscape’ duty-free design seen at Sydney Airport’s international terminal.

“The design of duty-free stores is often predicated by the shape of the airport and unfortunately the shape of the airport currently does not allow us to open this up, so we still have a bit of a chicane going through the centre of the store,” Gardiner tells Australian Business Traveller.

“But we have opened it up quite considerably – it’s wider, with a better passenger experience – and it’s very well lit.”

If you’re up for more existing food and drink than is offered b y your airline’s lounge, the main body of the terminal now includes Spanish tapas Bar Pulpo by Movida...

... the Two Johns pub, Urban Provedore (which showcases healthy meals centred on typically-Australian flavours) and artisan coffee outlet Brunetti...

... with the new Baxa noodle bar joining them in late December 2017.

It's worth noting that travellers with a Priority Pass card can receive a $36 dining credit at& Bar Pulpo by MoVida, specialising in Spanish tapas, and Urban Provodore, which showcases healthy meals centred on typically-Australian flavours – both of which are located past security and passport control in the T2 international terminal.

Read more: Priority Pass unlocks $36 of food and drink at Melbourne Airport


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1196

Given their fascination with shopping centres, maybe APAC should've bid to buy Westfield. They could've funded the purchase by selling Melbourne Airport to someone actually interested in running an airport.

The 3 main terminals are all in need of major works to improve the experience for passengers and visitors but, at the moment, the only planned works are the modifications to T3 by Virgin who gave up on APAC actually fixing the terminals and are funding their own works to their leased terminal.

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 4

Here here! Gave me a chuckle.

The eternal optimist in me hopes that the income generated from this new development may fund future capex for the airport which is in DIRE need of major works particularly T2 & T3.

AusBT - any chance you can snoop around to see if there is anything in the works? There was an article you had about 2 years ago with some imagery but that is that.

The joys of combining privatisation and subsequent 'profit & shareholder return' with major, critically important infrastructure for a global city :(...


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 732

Fantastic news, but I'd also like something rather basic, like a train to the airport....

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 178

Because Melbourne Airport could just as easily have built a new Airport Line as added these duty-free shops? Seriously, some people are all too eager to have a pointless whinge instead of saying something constructive or nothing at all.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 108

It still looks kinda depressing to me... they need skylights for natural light because the upgrade just looks like a dressed up subway tunnel.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 22

Reminded me of the Casino last week (all high end shops with no shoppers in them)... I wish they would fix the barnyard at immigration first. I used to think SYD was bad when departing, but MEL on Monday last week (4/12) was a nightmare...

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 387

It'll never match a true 'high street' shopping experience. Where's the rail line to the airport?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 93

Having traveled to 5 continents, Melbourne is 2nd world standard at best. Devoid of natural light and plane spotting areas, a car park more expensive than Heathrow. Add to that a claustrophobic narrow low ceiling arrivals corridor all the way to passport control and a bottleneck post baggage carousel exit is not the way to welcome first time International visitors. The shops have high prices as they complain about high rents making the luggage trolley charges seem "scroogy". Cmon Melbourne get your act together.

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