Maplin is to open its first airport store next month after enjoying a surge in Christmas custom in December.

Maplin will open a 1,000 sq ft store in Glasgow airport next month to test the model and improve brand awareness, Retail Week can reveal.

Maplin chief executive John Cleland said customers’ extended dwell time at airports would help Maplin inform consumers of its service credentials and liftUK brand awareness, which is currently at 7%.

He said: “The opportunity is browse time. People have more time at airports to browse and we can give them advice and solve their problem.  

“There are still a lot of people who do not know us and this is an opportunity to improve that.”

The store will feature three internet hubs to allow shoppers to browse Maplin’s full range and a click-and-collect service enabling travellers returning to Glasgow to pick up orders or get them delivered to their homes.

Maplin recorded a 5% increase in like-for-like sales in December, a step up from the 2.5% growth experienced on average in the second half of 2013.

Cleland said a refresh of its entire store estate, a range review and the introduction of Christmas products two weeks early in October had contributed to the sales boost.

He said: “Since September we have been trading positive like-for-like and in December we doubled that run rate. We are one of the only high street stores where our stores are growing faster than online and I think that’s remarkable.”

Cleland said a deliberate decision to “stop selling what Tesco and Toys R Us sell” and focus on home built electronics kits, motion controlled toys and telescopes had led to strong gifting sales.

Maplin’s closed circuit television category enjoyed a 43.7% uplift in December as customers sought to protect their homes and businesses over the Christmas break.