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Hudson Group CEO: Our retail business is 'completely insulated' from e-commerce

Retailer Hudson Group’s (HUD) CEO Joe DiDomizio says the company is “completely insulated” from e-commerce.

The rise of e-commerce, in particular giants like Amazon (AMZN), have threatened many brick-and-mortar retailers as more shoppers continue to purchase from the convenience of their home.

Hudson Group, a specialty retailer, operates nearly 1,000 stores, mostly found in airports and train stations. The company is anchored by its Hudson and Hudson News stores, which sells books, magazines, snacks, beverages, and other travel necessities.

“We are here to serve the travelers’ needs. We are completely insulated from e-commerce. If you’re buying something online, it’s 23 hours too late in an airport,” DiDomizio said in an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith.

He added that the dwell times for airport travelers can be upwards of 75 minutes leaving room for shopping.

“The customers have a high propensity to spend, and we’re there to serve their immediate needs. The impulses,” DiDomizio said. “We have a variety of retail. We really compete for time is really what it is.”

A traveler shops at Hudson News (Source: Wikimedia Commons/ David Boyle)

One of the benefits for retailers like Hudson is that travelers can’t bring beverages through the security checkpoints at airports. One area, however, that might seem ripe for disruption is book sales, especially given the rise of devices where consumers can download books on the go. DiDomizio noted that books have been a stable business over the company’s 30-year life.

“Book sales, in fact, are a thriving business for us. I think when people are in airports, they look to power down,” DiDomizio said. “I’ve seen so much shift of the mix of our sales over the course of the past thirty years. Books are in fact a very stable business.”

Overall, DiDomizio sees airports as a “growing and resilient industry.” He added that passenger traffic has grown year after year and that their spending has also risen in recent years.

On Thursday, Hudson Group went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares were down about 7% in its public debut.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.