Sky Harbor International Airport’s busiest terminal is about to get way more local. Terminal 4 is home to the Phoenix Airport Museum Gallery, and has become a hot spot in recent years for Valley restaurants opening additional locations.
Bunky Boutique has been selling Arizona-focused clothing, jewelry, and home goods in downtown Phoenix for 10 years. A second location of the store, supplying lightweight apparel and skin care products, is set to open in Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor this spring. While a specific opening date has not been announced, New Times is told Bunky will likely open at the end of March or beginning of April.
“It's exciting to be at the forefront of where I believe airport retail is going – unique and representative of regional culture,” Bunky owner Rachel Malloy says by e-mail. “Just like the addition of local restaurants to Sky Harbor, adding local retail makes such sense.”
Local architect Hayes McNeil designed the look and feel of Bunky's Central Phoenix location, and he's also designed the shop's airport location. Malloy’s outlook on airport retail is positive. “We feel fortunate for this opportunity to bring the Phoenix community and fashion to travelers,” she says. “Honestly, I am the most thrilled to showcase the talented makers and designers that we feature at Bunky.”
The Phoenix-centric shop will be in good company.
Roosevelt Row is slated to open a storefront in early to mid-March at the airport, too.
"Roosevelt Row will be operated by Paradies Lagardere," says David Harwell, spokesperson with the City of Phoenix's Aviation Department, in an e-mail. "The store will embody the feel of Roosevelt Row downtown. It is a souvenir shop, but it will however carry some local product, again representing this area of Phoenix."
Paradies Lagardere is a retail company operating more than 850 stores and restaurants in airports, hotels, and other markets in the United States and Canada.
Roosevelt Row will be the first-ever storefront representing Phoenix's well-known arts district. Though Roosevelt is known for galleries and murals, the shop is opening at a time of major change for the district, as residential and other developments are drastically changing the area.
It is unclear to what extent, if any, the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation is involved with this Sky Harbor storefront. The nonprofit organization has not responded to requests for comment.
However, Cindy Dach of MADE art boutique says in an e-mail that "many of our vendors will be part of the Roosevelt Row store."
Though some shops are embracing this move to capitalize on Phoenix as a travel hub, others — including Frances and Local Nomad — currently have no plans to open at Sky Harbor.
"We have been approached, but we have decided it is not a good fit for us," Frances owner Georganne Bryant says in an e-mail.
"I don't think opening a store in the airport is something we are interested in at this time," Local Nomad shop owner Lauren Danuser says by e-mail.
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But Terminal 4 is already home to a few locally owned stores, including an Arizona Highways outpost and two locations of Cactus Candy.
Shoppers will also find regional and national stores in the terminal, including Earth Spirit, eSavvy, Sunglass Hut, and Uno de 50. Other shops set to open in early 2017 include iStore and two spa locations. Further plans are underway, but have not been announced as of this writing.
The 2017 Aviation Business Summit was held on February 28 at the Phoenix Convention Center, and was “open to anyone interested in doing business with the airport.”
“This project will not only enhance customer service for thousands of travelers every day,” says Chris Madsen, deputy aviation director for business and properties. “Passengers will have their choice of nationally recognized brands and one-of-a-kind local merchandise only found in Arizona.”