The Concessions Refresh initiative at the Indianapolis International Airport is marking a milestone. The airport is celebrating the grand opening of the new MAC Cosmetics store, which is one of 15 new store concepts to open as part of the initiative. In celebration of the opening, the retailer is partnering with local nonprofit Dress for Success Indianapolis to provide makeovers and professional headshots for a group of local women in an effort to “enhance their presence for career success.”
Megan Carrico, manager of communications for the Indianapolis Airport Authority, tells Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, the new store is a response to traveler demand.
“We certainly did plenty of research before we embarked on (Concessions Refresh),” Carrico said. “So we were understand where our travelers went through the terminal, where they congregated and what they were looking for most. Through passenger surveys as well as industry research, we found that we needed this type of national retail and so we have an excellent mix that’s coming through and we’re very excited to have MAC now open.”
The airport says the addition of MAC also aligns with its commitment to supporting women-owned businesses.
“MAC Cosmetics is a welcome addition to the mix of national and local brands that reflect the diverse range of retail and food-and-beverage concepts at IND,” IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez said in a news release. “MAC’s business model is based on celebrating diversity and individuality, and that philosophy aligns exactly with IND’s business practices.”
Plans for the Concessions Refresh initiative were first announced in 2016. The IAA Board approved the first round of vendor contracts, which included MAC, in January 2019 and the first new retail stores opened the following October.
The MAC opening comes just days after the airport received the Best Airport in North America award from the Airports Council International-North America for the eighth consecutive year. Carrico says efforts like Concessions Refresh contribute to the airport’s continued success.
“When you look at how we get awards like the Best Airport in North America, that is directly from passenger feedback, so people that are traveling through this place every year,” Carrico said. “What they’re telling us is they want a mix of national and local. They want to have things to do inside the terminal and excellent things to buy. So we are constantly looking at that and people’s feedback.”
The airport says the partnership with Dress for Success Indianapolis also “further encourages individuality and diversity by providing the women with the confidence needed to be successful.” The mission of the organization is to bring women out of poverty and provide them with the tools they need, including professional attire, to be financially independent and successful in the workplace.
“Dress for Success Indianapolis is grateful for the partnership with the Indianapolis Airport Authority engaging staff in volunteerism, presenting job opportunities to women seeking employment, and by conducting clothing drives,” said Julie Petr, executive director of Dress for Success of Indianapolis. “Giving DFS clients the chance to put their best face forward by receiving MAC Cosmetics and makeovers is a continuation of this generous support.”
The airport still has more to come from the Concessions Refresh initiative. More food and beverage vendors are gearing up for the airport after the IAA Board approved contracts a year ago, including Shake Shack, Bub’s Burgers and Sun King Brewery.