Will PPE vending kiosks attract travelers?
Hudson, the operator of airport stores, announced plans to roll out PPE (personal protection equipment) vending machines at leading airport destinations across North America.
The vending machines, to be located in pre-security locations, will include:
- Individual and bulk packaged face masks — disposable, KN95 and cloth options;
- Individual 2 oz. and 4 oz. hand sanitizers and bulk hand sanitizer wipes;
- All-in-one hygiene kits;
- Nitrile gloves and multi-use thermometers;
- Portable and rechargeable UV-C sanitizers for mobile devices and personal items.
Some machines will also stock electronics, including charging cables and wireless headphones.
The unit’s touchscreen will be sealed with an antimicrobial shield that eliminates germs on the surface for three to four months before replacement, and Hudson will place social distancing floor decals around the machine to maintain crowd control.
The kiosks are aimed at travelers and airport workers who have forgotten their PPE at home or those looking for additional safety protection.
“With the gradual return of passengers to airports across North America following COVID-19, we’re noticing a behavioral change in travelers which puts health and safety at the forefront of the travel experience,” said Brian Quinn, EVP and COO, in a statement.
On Monday, American and United said they would start requiring passengers to wear masks, and those who don’t comply could be denied future travel.
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidelines to include encouraging people leaving their homes to carry with them a face mask, tissues and hand sanitizer. The guidelines warn, “In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”
Sanitizer has become more readily available following shortages in the early weeks of the pandemic. Medical-grade masks as well as non-medical grade masks for fashion or breathability have likewise become more attainable. On Friday, a $30 mask for exercise introduced by Under Armour sold out in less than an hour.
- Hudson Announces Rollout of PPE Vending Machines in 27 Airports Across North America – Hudson/Business Wire
- Should face masks be mandatory for shoppers? – RetailWire
- Will face masks be a lifeline for apparel retail? – RetailWire
- Errands and Going Out – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see PPE vending machines being popular with travelers and workers at airports and other transit spots? Are retailers missing a bigger merchandising opportunity around the PPE category?