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GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL
In this edition of Trends Across the Planet we examine travel
retail; how airlines are taking advantages of airport wait times,
digital Champagne tasting – and a whole lot more!
The new Emirates first class lounge in concourse A at Dubai international airport is the
new benchmark for luxury waiting lounges. First-class fliers and Platinum Skywards
members are treated to the type of opulent surrounds you expect from the airline. The
100,000 square foot space also provides members with top-level amenities. These
include a cigar lounge, a wine cellar, an exclusive Moët and Chandon bar and, of course,
daybeds for travellers looking for a quiet moment.
These days, airport lounges are more than just a comfortable place to
wait for your flight – they’re a destination of their own. That’s why airlines
and airport operators are in the process of updating and refreshing their
offering. Travellers are starting to expect a level of comfort and service
wherever they are, even if it’s just whilst waiting 30 minutes for their next
flight. Today, you need to be willing and prepared to provide excellent
service to capture consumers imaginations.
DFS Group teamed up with renowned jewellery company Swarovski in August,
launching a pop-up store at Abu Dhabi international airport. The promotion
showcased the crystal designer’s newest collection, ‘Summer City Buzz’ by
creating a space that popped with neon colours and bursts of summer hues. It
also included an instagrammable backdrop where shoppers could take a snap with
their new purchase – and include the campaign-specific hashtags; #noregrets and
#FollowYourDesires in their post.
In the global duty-free and travel retail market, we are seeing an
increase in demand for retail chains that offer luxury and premium
brands. Leading brands are opening exclusive stores for special products,
promoting, and selling limited editions to increase their visibility and brand
awareness in the global market. Pop-up stores and single product offerings
provide an excellent way to create brand recognition while offering a once
in a lifetime service.
Moët Hennessy’s multisensory pop-up in Frankfurt’s airport gave travellers an
enhanced experience. To mark the launch of Veuve Clicquot’s newest, limited edition
Champagnes. At its heart was the activation’s central idea, to teach customers to
understand what they were tasting. The store featured an area where travellers
could digitally educate themselves. Here they could learn about food pairings and
Veuve facts from a virtual Champagne expert. The space also had a small popcorn
machine to help customers pick out the new flavours.
Augmented and virtual reality offer you a whole new world of activations.
The digital space is almost limitless, and its technology and hardware can
be easily transported. This makes it an excellent area to experiment with
less traditional activations. More often than not, the time holiday-makers
have in the retail section of the airport is short, so offering them something
they can interact with quickly is an invaluable tool for brands looking to
In January 2019 Grey Goose Vodka held a personalised bottle campaign at New
York’s JFK Airport. The ‘Winter Marche’ activation offered travellers the chance to
purchase an exclusive Grey Goose Vodka holiday gift tin – with a personal touch.
Shoppers were able to personalise their tin using specially magnetised tiles. The
campaign was driven, in part, by social media influencers who reportedly generated
over eight million social media impressions.
Personalisation in retail has been around for a while, but it’s evolved.
There’s a growing consumer demand with close to 2/3 of today’s consumers
desiring a more personal level of service. Advancements in data and tech
are bringing facial recognition, emotion tracking (even brain waves) to
bricks and mortar. This new tech is creating bespoke retail experiences.
Technology like this is changing how we conduct in-store shopping, and if
done right, will lead to a new level of brand-consumer connection.
A SIXTH SENSE
To celebrate the launch of Absolut Grapefruit Vodka, Pernod Ricard ran a two-
month activation at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Here travellers could enter the
‘Pink It Up’ space, an area made to look reminiscent of a local green grocer. The
experimental activation allowed customers to pick fake fruit for the chance to win
prizes. Passengers that purchased a bottle also received a complimentary ‘ABSOLUT
JETLAG’ eye mask for their travels.
Brands need to avoid falling into the trap of simplistic storytelling in their
retail spaces. A short amount of time and limited space is no excuse for
lacklustre experience either. We expect to see brands go all-in to engage
all five senses, aiming to fully immerse consumers in unique experiences
that turn the ordinary into something truly special. While virtual reality has
played a significant role in catapulting sensory marketing to the next level,
it will be just one piece of the puzzle as other brands get creative with other
senses like taste and smell.
A WINNING MEMORY
To raise awareness for a new American Airlines credit card, the company held a
competition at O’Hare international airport in Chicago. The ‘Aviator Wind Tunnel’
gave passengers the chance to experience something unique and win prizes. The
ten-second-long wind tunnel threw strips of gold and red paper into the air to
be caught, the more strips people caught, the more prizes they won. The prizes
included everything from luggage tags to $500USD gift cards.
More and more consumers say they’d rather spend money on experiences
than “things.” This is monumentally shifting the way brands have to interact
with consumers. We’re entering an age of micro experiences. Consumers
today are more comfortable than ever celebrating what makes them unique.
They’re less likely to feel a need to conform. This means you need to be
open to creating bespoke experiences for a narrow segment of consumers,
rather than overarching “one size fits all” ideas.
QUOTE & STAT
OF THE MONTH
“TO THRIVE AS A RETAIL
BRAND, YOU NEED TO HAVE
A SPACE THAT OFFERS
CAN CREATE ALL OF THAT
– THEY’RE THE ULTIMATE
- BRUCE WINDER, RETAIL
MILLENNIALS SAY THAT
TRAVEL HAS SHAPED
OF GLOBAL POLITICS
SLEEP IT OFF
If you have ever suffered from jet lag, you know it can be downright debilitating. The
Uplift app might be able to help. Unlike other jet lag apps on this list, Uplift doesn’t
try to shift the user’s sleep schedule, but instead uses biorhythmic acupressure to
end jet lag. What does that actually mean? The app asks the user some questions
about their travel plans, then presents them with a 5-minute acupressure exercise
to help them readjust to their new timezone. Uplift does have a $9.99 one-time cost,
but if you are a traveler that’s frequently flying to different time zones, it may be
worth the money.
Today’s consumer is busier than ever, constantly on the go, with little
downtime. For a brand, it’s important to be ensure that they are taking
care of their consumer, beyond what the brand’s primary purpose is.
Making overall daily life easier, while also offering faster, hassle-free
solutions -- this is what increases a brand’s value. Uplift’s sole purpose
is to help the weary, sleep-deprived traveler improve their quality of life
using a simple technique. While the solve is nothing groundbreaking,
the app addresses a necessary need and helps improve the consumer’s
quality of life. Who wouldn’t want that?
APP OF THE
VERY FRIENDLY SKIES
Last February, Scotland-based brewery BrewDog flew 200 fans from
London to Columbus, Ohio aboard the first ever ‘BrewDog Airlines’
flight. Passengers were treated to a tasting of the brand’s specially-
brewed Flight Club IPA beer while at cruising altitude, created with
heightened flavors to take into account the changes to taste and smell
travelers experience in-flight. But, that’s not all! They also received a
branded amenity kit that included a fleece blanket and a hat. BrewDog
fans spent the weekend discovering the “beer scene” in Columbus and
Cincinnati before they returned home to London.