credit: Chainels
credit: Chainels

Chainels expands into travel hub sector

Chainels, the tenant experience platform, has launched in two travel hubs across Europe, leveraging its retail expertise to expand into a new sector. Utrecht train station, run by NS Stations Retailbedrijf a subsidiary of the Dutch national rail company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), and Vienna International Airport will both use Chainels’ digital platform to improve communication with retailers and service providers.

With nearly 195,000 passengers daily and 16 tracks, Utrecht station is the Netherlands’ biggest and busiest train station. Powered by Chainels and customised to the specific needs of a high footfall travel hub, the Station Connect platform provides a tool to facilitate communication between operator NS Stations, property managers, retail tenants and service providers such as maintenance and security teams. Available in a user-friendly app format, Station Connect enables the management team to post news updates, such as events taking place in the station, and operational messages, like cleaning requests and health & safety updates. The app keeps all the station’s retail tenants and service providers up to date with the latest information. Operational details such as contact information for the station’s facility team, and overviews of services available at the station, get a dedicated service page on the platform and are available to all platform users. 

Currently used by 88 retail staff at the station, the launch of the platform is in pilot phase and, if successful, will be extended to another 17 among the largest train stations managed by NS Stations.

Thanks to its geographical position, Vienna International Airport is one of the most important hubs for travel towards Central and Eastern European destinations. As a result, the airport sees millions of passengers travel through its gates every month, with 2.4 million in October 2022 alone. To facilitate B2B communication and increase retail tenant engagement, the airport is implementing Chainels’ technology. 

Vienna AirportCity is the platform powered by Chainels currently being soft launched among targeted businesses on site and their employees. Over 100 retail shops and businesses are currently given access to the tool for receiving up-to-date communications from the property management team, the event team, service providers and shops on site. Also accessible via the platform are discounts offered to retailers working at the airport and request forms to book services such as catering.

Peter de Leeuw, Head of AirportCity Development at Vienna International Airport said: “In the Vienna Airport City, we always strive to connect our tenants and their employees to the best services, while increasing efficiency. We chose Chainels because the platform is easy to implement and adapt to our needs. A main decision criterion was also the community-building knowledge Chainels brought to the project. Our goal is to elevate our retail partner’s visibility at the airport and to create a dynamic communication platform for them. ”

Marco Valkenburg, National Account Manager at NS Stations added: “Chainels platform will enable us to communicate with our tenants in a more immediate and transparent way. The app has been well received by the retailers and partners at Utrecht Station who have welcomed the increased engagement and collaboration the tool gives them.”

Sander Verseput, co-founder, COO & CFO at Chainels added: “Travel hubs are a new area for Chainels but one, we feel, can benefit from our experience working with busy retail destinations across Europe for almost a decade. Chainels’ platform can easily be configured to the specific needs of travel hubs and their tenants.  With global travellers’ numbers increasing again after the pandemic, this is an exciting time to be entering the travel hub sector and we look forward to a successful relationship with both NS and Vienna Airport.”

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