Hudson Group Wins Contract for Food & Beverage/Newsstand Concessions At Mobile Regional Airport

Mobile, AL – February 8, 2006 - Hudson Group and its local DBE partner, Irmatean Watson, have won the contract to provide new retail operations and a new food & beverage program at Mobile Regional Airport (MOB).

In addition to the company’s current airside Hudson News operation, Hudson Group will operate several food and beverage concepts, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options to the travelers and employees of MOB. The package also calls for two new Hudson News locations. Here is how the new concessions are configured:

    Pre-Security – Three concepts (Hudson News, Quiznos sub shop and Chart Room bar) will combine to offer passengers and employees numerous dining options, plus the convenience of a Hudson News store in a single cluster. Quiznos is a nationally branded and promoted sandwich shop, featuring a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items. The adjacent Chart Room will be a full-service bar with alcoholic beverages (draft and bottled beer, wine and mixed drinks); fountain drinks; fresh coffee and hot drinks.
    Airside – Once past security, passengers and employees may visit another “combination” location, featuring a Hudson News, Carpe Diem Café and Cruise City Bar and Grill. A small Hudson News store anchors this location. Incorporated into the newsstand will be the Carpe Diem Café, featuring local favorite Carpe Diem coffee and nationally branded Krispy Kreme donuts. The adjacent Cruise City Bar and Grill will provide a range of self-service and quick service choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu will offer breakfast made to order, hot entrees, cold and grilled sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. A full-service bar will feature premium and domestic beer, wine and mixed drinks.

The airport awarded the concessions to Hudson Group for a term of 15 years.

“Hudson Group, while perhaps best known for our Hudson News brand, is rapidly expanding its portfolio of food and beverage offerings, with a strong assist from outstanding business partners like Irmatean Watson,” noted Joseph DiDomizio, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Today Hudson Group operates 37 food and beverage concessions in 22 airports, with annual sales of over $16 million. We expect this segment of our business to continue to grow rapidly throughout 2006.

“Of course, our nationally recognized Hudson News brand is second to none with regard to our strong emphasis on reading materials and core traveler convenience items. In Mobile, as elsewhere, we will feature a comprehensive selection of gifts reflecting the local region as well as merchandise from local providers, such as Carpe Diem Coffee, Tanners Pecans & Candies and Mobile Popcorn,” DiDomizio concluded.

The gift sections of the three newsstands will offer merchandise from Mobile attractions and cultural institutions, including the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Delta Queen steamboat, the original Mardi Gras, and two annual Mobile events – the Fishing Rodeo and the Festival of Flowers.

Thomas Hughes, director of aviation for the Mobile Airport Authority, said, “We are very pleased to expand Hudson Group’s presence in Mobile. We have had a strong and mutually beneficial relationship for many years. Our passengers will enjoy a dramatic improvement in food and beverage options.”

Hudson Group’s partner in this venture, Irmatean Watson, is a pharmacist and a resident of Mobile. She has been involved in the operation of concessions at Gulfport-Biloxi Airport since 1987 and in Birmingham Airport since 1990. She is currently Hudson’s partner in both these airports. She first became involved as a successful participant in Mobile Regional Airport concessions in 1986, and has been its incumbent operator since 1998. Hudson Group has been associated with Ms. Watson in Mobile since 2003.

Hudson Group is a privately held corporation that operates more than 450 premier specialty retail shops, newsstands and bookstores in 65 airports and transportation terminals throughout North America. The company’s flagship concept, Hudson News, is North America’s only national newsstand brand. Under the familiar blue sign can be found the most complete selection of magazines in the transportation industry, along with books, newspapers, and a wide variety of travelers’ necessities, snacks and bottled soft drinks. Hudson Group specialty retail shops include such proprietary brands as Hudson Booksellers, Kids Works, Euro Cafe, $10/$15 Boutique, and more. Other national brands partnering with Hudson Group include Crabtree & Evelyn, Godiva Chocolatier, Roots, House of Blues and Quiznos.

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