What does travel retail experience look like?


(Source: Retail In Asia | April 20, 2018)

With the news that South Korean gateway is number one airport duty free sales location worldwide, it comes as no surprise that many brands and businesses are continuing to include travel retail as a key part of their growth strategy.

After all, the travel retail space offers something no other retail environment can. Purchasing habit that is based on last minute essentials (more impulse buying), personal treats (you are on holiday the moment you reach the airport), gifting.

It makes for an incredibly lucrative market. Add to this the rise of the “bleisure” traveler (business travelers combining more leisure into their business trips), higher than average dwell times and the continued rise in airport passenger traffic, and it’s clear to see why airports might possibly be the perfect environment for face-to-face brand storytelling and true brand engagement.

Here is how Airports are becoming places to live in and focus on providing the best hospitality experience to make dwell time more enjoyable.

Design and develop bold, creative spaces

For brands to succeed, they need to create something more than just a normal ‘shop’ for customers. It’s essential that brands deliver a truly engaging experience for travelers by creating boutiques.

Four spirits and two e-cigarette boutiques; a tasting bar; an electronic cigarette smoking zone; an interactive chocolate-making experience; the airport world’s biggest media wall. Incheon airport shows liquor, tobacco and confectionery store like you have never seen before.

Paris Aéroport, Lagardère Travel Retail and JCDecaux inaugurated two dynamic and eye-catching new concepts at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E. The Société de Distribution Aéroportuaire (SDA) joint venture between Groupe ADP/Paris Aéroport and Lagardère Travel Retail revealed a striking 600sq m Buy Paris Duty Free Beauty concept created especially for the Paris airport environment.

The ‘New Age Beauty’ concept blends strong personalisation with what the company calls ‘Parisianisation’, with many brands having developed bespoke concepts or line extensions just for this environment.

Continue to push travel retail exclusives and limited editions

More and more brands are launching travel retail exclusives as a way of driving purchase and ensuring travelers feel like they are getting their hands on something that isn’t available outside of the airport environment.

Jo Malone London has partnered with Changi Airport Group and The Shilla Duty Free for an exclusive pre-launch of its Blossom Girls collection. The trio of florals was exclusively available at Singapore Changi Airport before rolling out in global travel retail on 1 April.

The Shilla Duty Free was also the exclusive launch partner for La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion 250ml version. It is the first such collaboration between the travel retailer and luxury skincare specialist La Prairie.

Enhance the shopper experience

Successful brands in the travel retail space use digital tools or offer additional services to improve the overall shopper experience. In a related move, with JCDecaux Airport, Paris Aéroport has deployed ‘La Place Digitale’ (The Digital Square), a digital platform of nearly 80sq m comprising two vast LED screens, and centred in the shopping environment. JCDecaux said that it is the largest digital platform in a duty free zone at a European airport.

The Shilla Duty Free is to introduce several technological elements enhance the T2 beauty experience. Interactive elements include a ‘Digital Beauty Bar’, powered by what Shilla described as “cutting-edge display and information & communication technology”. It provides a combination of information services, in-store promotions and virtual make-up previews, using a giant LED screen and interactive kiosk.