For its June 2022 Forum, the Airport Restaurant & Retail Association (ARRA) continued its “mini-series” looking at the state of the airport concessions industry two years into the pandemic. We welcomed two veteran ACDBE concessionaires – Bill Swift of Business Traveler Services and Greg Plummer of Concord Collective. They discussed the ACDBE perspective of the impacts of the pandemic, state of the recovery, and future for this important segment of the concessions industry.
A principal theme: our industry is not recovered. There remains debt from the past two years to work through, as well as a need to create tools to stabilize the industry and prepare for future disruptions.
Here are three takeaways:
These are just three of Bill and Greg’s observations. ARRA invites you to watch the whole conversation:
Two years into the pandemic, passenger traffic is approaching 2019 pre-COVID levels and, by all accounts, Summer 2022 looks to be among the best travel seasons ever. But … there are many “storm clouds” just over the horizon: widespread labor shortages, fuel prices, geopolitical uncertainty, and, of course, high inflation. Our aviation ecosystem has come a long way since the depths of the pandemic, but there is still a long way to go to full recovery.
ARRA’s Forum series “Two Years In” has examined the impacts of the pandemic and the challenges of recovery in the ecosystem from the perspective of airports and large concessionaires. We have discussed topics such as broader economic headwinds, restoring full operations, debt and financial health, and, of course, inflation. We have touched on a “new normal” for our industry.
For our June Forum, ARRA adds the ACDBE perspective to our conversation. ACDBEs face the same – yet greater in scale – challenges as larger concessionaires. And ACDBEs must deal with the large hurdle of accessing capital as they work to survive and prosper through the recovery. We welcome two industry veterans, Bill Swift and Greg Plummer, to talk about these challenges, as well as a “new normal” for ACDBE concessionaires. No doubt, this will be a lively, informative conversation. We hope you can join us.