The Sixth Continent


‘Your boarding pass acts as a permission to shop.’

Travel retail is now so vast it’s known as the ‘Sixth Continent of luxury’.

By Marion Hume


We’ve all noticed that airports today can pass as retail destinations themselves, albeit ones with four times the footprint of Buckingham Palace. With the festivities of Christmas and New Year behind us, and many still trudging their way out of a two-week postprandial slump, escapism is an appealing prospect. As is the temptation to placate by spending big on luxury goods.

Marion Hume considers the appeal of airport-shopping by visiting Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and speaks to those who govern the ‘Sixth Continent’.

Read the feature in full here.