Lagardère Travel Retail unveiled a new Aelia Duty Free flagship at London City Airport on November 2nd. The store and product offering have been developed to convey the company’s unwavering commitment to create memorable, authentic, and sustainable shopping experiences for travelers.


The new Aelia flagship store was inaugurated on November 2nd during a ribbon cutting ceremony with multiple brands and press attending the event. When entering the store, travelers are invited to step into a captivating environment that combines interactive features, cutting-edge technology and thoughtful design calling on all their senses. Our store is more than just a shopping destination; it is a passport to an experience that seamlessly weaves together the stories of our local brands.

As you stroll through our store, you will find yourself transported into a world where every product has its own compelling narrative. We have handpicked a collection of local brands that encapsulate the spirit of our region, sharing their unique stories through their exceptional products. From artisanal crafts to gourmet delights that embody our traditions, you will discover a sense of place that is truly one-of-a-kind.

The range of products has been carefully curated to authentically represent the local culture, promoting popular brands and producers from the East London community. In addition to a variety of local and sustainable brands, the store features products from Cooper King Distillery, which is not only England’s premier gin distillery but also the first to achieve carbon negativity, Two Drifters Distillery, a family-owned establishment committed to carbon negativity with each bottle purchased, removing 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, and crafts exceptional rum in the heart of London’s east end, and Penrhos, which is known for their pioneering use of 100% recycled aluminum bottles, a truly innovative and travel-friendly choice due to its lightweight, shatterproof nature, and eco-friendly attributes.

Among the remarkable brands featured is Earl of East, a lifestyle brand and store that celebrates the art of ritual over routine. Their commitment to sustainability is commendable, as they craft home fragrance and bathing products using only the finest natural ingredients. You will find a curated selection of candles, home mists, bath salts and self-care products. Now, the fragrance enthusiasts of London City can experience the magic of Earl of East right in their own backyard, with our commitment to highlighting the finest local brands.

From the Scottish family-owned spirits company, Ian Macleod Distillers, the store features a range of premium spirits, including the Travel Retail exclusive Vintage Single Malt Whisky Series from Rosebank Distillery in the Lowlands, Highland Single Malt whiskies from Glengoyne, one of Scotland’s greenest distilleries and award winning Edinburgh Gin, the pioneers of naturally flavored gin.

IMD Global Travel Retail Director, William Ovens says: “We are delighted to be developing our partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail. We congratulate the team on the opening of this new flagship store and wish them huge success.”

Examining the standout brands featured at the store, we find Whittard. The story of Whittard began in 1886 to offer the people of London the finest tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, adhering to a commitment to source only the best. Even after 135 years, Whittard’s unending curiosity to discover unique blends and distinct flavors continues to be its driving force. Travelers passing through London City airport can now indulge in an extensive selection of the finest teas, coffees, hot chocolates, and exquisite gifts.

The store features a captivating whisky wall adorned with an array of Diageo’s finest products. “What’s Your Whisky?,” is part of the Exploration component within Diageo’s strategic approach. It not only simplifies the whisky-buying experience but also empowers shoppers with the knowledge they need to make informed choices. Customers have the unique opportunity to explore a diverse spectrum of whisky tastes and notes.

Remarkably, Lagardere Travel Retail was among the first to embrace this innovation, signifying a forward thinking approach and commitment to enhancing the shopping experience.

Diageo Global Travel General Manager Nick Cook says: “At Diageo we set a bold ambition to double the size of the alcohol category by 2030 through a four-part category strategy. The “What’s Your Whisky?” tool is the Exploration part of that strategy. Lagadere was one of the first to adopt it, and at scale. We are delighted to be partnering with them for their exciting new store.”

From the world of Beauty, we have the cutting-edge brand Dr. Barbara Sturm for travelers to discover and enjoy. Dr. Barbara Sturm is a globally renowned German doctor, aesthetics expert and anti-inflammatory pioneer with a background in orthopedic research. Famous for her anti-inflammatory approach that is uniquely healing rather than aggressive, her product inventions are informed by her research into anti-inflammatory medicine. Her range of Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics skincare, haircare and supplements is built on 25 years of scientific research with over 300 products that have gained global recognition.

Commenting on the opening, Marion Engelhard, Managing Director of Lagardère Travel Retail UK & Ireland, said: “We are excited to unveil our flagship store, which embodies our strong concept and unique selling proposition. Our goal is to create a shopping experience that transcends traditional retail by offering customers a space where they can enjoy the best of international brands as well as very authentic brands from the East London culture and community. We are also proud to be at the forefront of sustainability, as we believe that more responsible business practices are critical to our industry’s long-term success.”

Andrew Hodges, Chief Commercial Officer of London City Airport, added: “We are delighted to launch our new Aelia Duty Free store, which champions ‘Brand London’ by offering our customers a range of fantastic products from across the capital.

“Today’s opening is one of many exciting upgrades that we are making to our departure lounge which significantly improves our customers’ experience, and we look forward to completing the overall project early next year.”

Aligned with their CSR roadmap and committed to a more sustainable and responsible Travel Retail ecosystem, Lagardère Travel Retail UK & Ireland’s teams have designed a concept bringing along eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient lighting, and innovative waste management systems to minimize its environmental footprint. Lagardère Travel Retail has engaged to lead Travel Retail’s journey to a more sustainable industry and has made the pledge to achieve its contribution to global carbon neutrality, across scopes 1 & 2 emissions, before the end of 2023. By prioritizing environmentally friendly practices, the company aims to support customers who seek to make more responsible purchasing choices and look forward to contributing to a greener Travel Retail environment.

The grand unveiling of the Aelia Duty Free flagship store later this month will be accompanied by a series of captivating events and activations for travelers to enjoy; from delightful tastings to interactive installations and personalized consultations, offering attendees a unique immersive experience.