Tapas chain MoVida lands at Melbourne Airport

Establishing a presence in an airport can lift your brand and image, a retail expert says, after Spanish-inspired tapas bar MoVida opened a venue at Melbourne International Airport.


MoVida, which aims to capture “the essence of the great bars of Spain”, offers authentic Spanish food, both traditional and modern, at its two Melbourne CBD venues.


The new MoVida venue, dubbed Bar Pulpo, at the international terminal at Melbourne Airport, will offer travellers an alternative to the multitude of fast food outlets.


It follows in the footsteps of fellow Melbourne eatery Cafe Vue, which has also established a presence at the airport. They join fashion retailers such as Sportsgirl and Witchery.


According to Adam Dettrick, the architect who designed the two other MoVida venues, there is an international trend to provide travellers with finer food.


“After all, they can spend around three hours here after going through customs,” Dettrick told The Sydney Morning Herald.


Retail expert Michael Baker, principal of Baker Consulting, says airports can be an ideal place to establish a presence, partly because of the sheer volume of people that pass through them.


“There’s a lot of foot traffic through airports and a captive audience, so it can be a fantastic place to do it,” he says.


“However, it depends on what you sell. The footstep going through there has to be consistent with what’re you selling… You’re not going to sell too many fridges at the airport.”


Baker says the cost is another important point to consider.


“Like any shopping centre, it can be quite expensive. I don’t know what airport rents are like but I imagine the bigger airports would be very steep,” he says.


“It will probably be very high cost in terms of location and you’re looking at a very small profit margin… I imagine the profit margins would be a little bit slender.”


Baker believes an airport venue does have the potential to lift your brand and image, providing you go about it the right way.


“It depends on the airport and where you are in the airport. There’s a big distinction between what’s on the ‘land’ side and what’s on the ‘air’ side [in an international airport],” he says.


“You’ve got to pick and choose. It’s just like any other location.”


According to Baker, the growth of MoVida also suggests “what’s happening in fashion is happening is food”, as consumers trade luxury for affordability and quality.


“Mass market department stores are producing stuff with a higher design content and a low price. It’s been happening in homewares, fashion and now food,” he says.


“But with food, there are still an awful lot of people who still like McDonald’s. It’s not quite as clear cut what quality is. Quality means different things to different people.”


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