Photo by Heather Middleton
By M.J. Subiria Arauz
On a recent Wednesday evening, Louis Vuletic had time to spare before heading through the Main Security Checkpoint Area at Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Vuletic, of Phoenix, Ariz., was walking around the atrium and stopped
to adjust his luggage in front of ATL Sunglasses, a new store that
recently opened at Atlanta's airport. The passenger noticed the
store, located near the Main Security Checkpoint Area, and stepped
He said stores that serve a niche, like ATL Sunglasses, provide
passengers with shopping options. He said that because he had time
before his flight took off to Phoenix, he decided to browse around
and shop for Oakley sunglasses.
"Any shop of this quality is fantastic at an airport ... You can't
get a better location than this, because again, whoever comes in is
surprised by this area, so I think that this probably is one of the
hot spots at the airport right now," said Vuletic.
ATL Sunglasses is operated by HMSHost, under a retail concessions
contract with the airport, which runs through September 2015, said
David Pietrzak, general manager for HMSHost at Hartsfield-Jackson.
"Eyewear is often forgotten during travel," said Pietrzak. "Our
location allows the customer and passenger the ability to make this
purchase before, or after travel."
He added that the store also appeals to the high number of men and
women in the military that pass through Hartsfield-Jackson.
The brands carried at ATL Sunglasses include Oakley and Ray Ban, said
Pietrzak. Designer sunglasses such as Prada, Tom Ford, Bulgari, Maui
Jim, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Armani, Ralph Lauren and Costa Del Mar,
are also available at the 545-square-foot store, he explained.
The average price for sunglasses at the store is $179, though
customers can purchase eyewear below $100 and up to $650, he said.
Modern decor inside the store includes circular mirrors and black-and-
white photos of models sporting sunglasses.
"The store is bright and easy to shop, with best sellers displayed
attractively," said Pietrzak. "We have also incorporated decorative
wall decor and visual elements [from] local Atlanta artists."
Pietrzak said the Atlanta Home Store was once housed where ATL
Sunglasses is located. The home store, which was also operated by
HMSHost, closed on May 18.
"As a company with more than 100 years in this business, HMSHost is
able to move quickly if a store needs to be re-concepted for a
variety of reasons -- the need for additional space, performance or
consumer appeal or hot new trends," he explained.