Double retail revenue in 18 months?

That was the challenge that the British Airports Authority (BAA) gave Synecticsworld.

BAA is the world’s leading airport company. Owning seven UK airports, BAA is also one of the UK’s largest commercial landlords, providing more than 1million sq. ft. of commercial accommodation for approximately 900 airport retail organizations.

With more than 149 million passengers using BAA airports last year, the company relies heavily on its decade-old Quality of Service Monitor which surveys 70,000 per year, asking them to rate the various airport services, commenting on everything from departure lounge comfort to the availability of luggage trolleys.


But when it came to improving its retailers’ profits the BAA turned to Synecticsworld. What did we do? What do we do best. Synecticsworld facilitated a three-day workshop for 120 BAA retail managers. Out of that workshop came:

  • Dozens of concepts to increase retail income
  • A new organizational structure to sustain and implement the fresh concepts
  • A new sense of empowerment and ‘can do’ attitude on the part of the retailers

And because it was the retail team, and not an outsider, who generated the ideas, BAA enjoyed a total commitment from its retailers.


Just some of the ideas generated included changing the mix of retailers, sharing information on travelers’ profiles, and analyzing travel patterns, a novel idea that allowed retailers such as Bally to adapt their displays and in-store stock to fit the passenger demographics of incoming flights.

Without a doubt, the insights that BAA and its retailers gained from the workshops spawned an empowering ‘can do’ energy that created a sustained atmosphere of innovation capability and organizational transformation.

Did Synecticsworld’s initiative result in BAA reaching its goal of doubling retail revenue? Yes. But looking beyond the short-term numbers, Synecticsworld’s unique approach to facilitating innovation became a cultural model for BAA’s other divisions.

So the next time you pass through Gatwick on your way to that well-earned sun and sand vacation and you find that Bally has a great selection of beach shoes, remember that the other name for that seeming ‘coincidence’ is a company called Synecticsworld.

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