Axios Pro Exclusive Content

BuzzFeed airport stores launch as part of growing licensing strategy

Aug 31, 2022
Photo of BuzzFeed News branded airport store at LaGuardia Airport, Terminal C.

BuzzFeed's branded store at LaGuardia Airport. Photo: Kerry Flynn/Axios

BuzzFeed, Inc. is entertaining airport travelers not just via their smartphones but also IRL with new retail stores.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed's stock has been struggling since its public debut in December. The digital media company is under pressure to boost revenue. One solution is more licensing deals.

Driving the news: At LaGuardia's new Terminal C last weekend, Kerry walked by an airport store labeled BuzzFeed News. She saw a second location on Monday in the same terminal when she returned.

  • BuzzFeed had announced in February its deal to develop branded stores with airport retailer Stellar Partners. These two locations opened in conjunction with Terminal C's grand opening in June.

Details: Inside these stores are common traveling necessities or luxuries like beverages, snacks, magazines and souvenirs. It turns out many of these items are curated by BuzzFeed, SVP of consumer products Melanie Summers tells Axios.

  • "We're going to be influencing this on a regular basis on what is trending. So if there's certain items within health and beauty that are trending, especially around the holiday time, we'll be pushing those into the store," she says.
  • The stores also have QR codes that lead to Tasty recipes, BuzzFeed quizzes and other content. Video screens feature BuzzFeed content such as clips of Complex and Tasty shows, Tasty recipes and BuzzFeed quizzes.

Of note: The stores will soon rebrand from BuzzFeed News to just BuzzFeed, Summers says, to better reflect the store representing all brands under BuzzFeed, Inc.

The big picture: The new stores are part of a larger BuzzFeed strategy that includes events, products and retail experiences.

  • "We're constantly looking for new and exciting ways for our entire portfolio of brands to come together in real life," Summers says. "You're going to see a lot more physical activations from us moving forward."
Go deeper