Travel Retail Gently Takes Off Again – WWD

CANNES, France — The current TFWA World Exhibition and Convention may need been small from an exhibitor- and attendee-count perspective, however that belied the massive optimistic buzz permeating the halls, as {industry} specialists strategized for the channel’s restoration.

The premier journey retail gathering ran right here from Oct. 24 to twenty-eight, marking its first session following a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What as soon as took over the coastal metropolis and its sprawling Palais des Congrès conference heart with a swell of tourists, tons of of stands and large model billboards flanking buildings shrank to a whisper of its previous.

Main American firms, resembling Coty Inc. and the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., have been notably absent, whereas Asian and Russian consumers have been largely lacking from the quiet aisles and streets.

But these current lauded the occasion.

“For us, it’s a superb present,” mentioned Philippe Benacin, chairman and chief government officer of Interparfums SA, echoing the sentiment of many.

On the subdued session, there have been simply 262 stands from 272 exhibitors, and three,408 attendees, versus 504 exhibitors and seven,531 attendees in 2019, in accordance with organizers.

Because the well being disaster unfurled beginning in early 2020, journey in most components of the world floor to a screeching halt, inflicting gross sales in travel-retail areas to tank.

How rapidly individuals can begin taking journeys and shopping for in duty-free outlets overseas once more may have a serious affect on the enterprise of firms promoting luxurious perfume and cosmetics, which comprise journey retail’s number-one product class and pre-health disaster may generate as much as one-quarter of a magnificence group’s general gross sales.

Journey retail has been the retail channel hardest hit by COVID-19.

“It’s not but again something near 2019, which was a document 12 months, nevertheless it’s beginning to come again, particularly since this summer time,” mentioned Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari. “Within the western a part of the world, it’s coming again fairly quickly.”

“Demand is right here,” confirmed Jérôme Goldberg, retail and journey retail buyer success supervisor at ForwardKeys, a journey analytics firm.

“There may be pent-up demand, in order quickly as [people] can journey, they are going to be touring,” agreed Gordon Clark, vp of enterprise growth, journey retail at ForwardKeys.

The Chinese language, high luxurious customers within the channel, nonetheless aren’t in a position to go overseas.

“We’re not anticipating any actual comeback earlier than the final quarter of ’22,” mentioned Babin.

Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation numbers reveal passenger demand for flights in August was down 68.8 p.c for worldwide journey and minus 32.2 p.c for home journeys versus 2019.

Traveler ranges ought to rival these of 2019 in 2024, ForwardKeys projections present.

“It is going to be attention-grabbing whenever you begin to see Center Jap and Chinese language [people] journey once more, whether or not they’ll nonetheless go to the U.Okay.,” mentioned Clark. That’s as a result of from January 2021, the U.Okay. banned duty-free purchasing.

A current survey by Era Analysis signifies that duty-free sellers general ought to hit pre-COVID-19 gross sales between 2024 and 2025, with these in sure areas like Asia shifting quicker than others, in accordance with Dirk Mettlen, chief working officer on the duty-free and travel-retail market analysis specialist.

Two years in the past, travel-retail gross sales made $86.3 billion, up 9.8 p.c on-year, in accordance with Era. Of that, fragrance and cosmetics generated about $37.6 billion, a 20.1 p.c achieve.

Though footfall is choosing up, visibility stays murky. Individuals query whether or not new waves of the virus may rise, inflicting extra nation closures, in addition to how massive will supply-chain disruptions will get for all the pieces from product elements to transportation, resulting in inventory shortages and worth will increase.

Regardless of all that, journey retail is a resilient channel, having proven its mettle, bouncing again after the assaults of 9/11 and recessions.

“I really feel loads of optimism,” mentioned Benacin.

“In 2021, we’ve seen a gentle restoration of our enterprise in most areas around the globe,” mentioned Antonin Carreau, international director of magnificence at Dufry Group. “There is a crucial urge for food for consumption.”

“We might be cautiously optimistic, particularly for the second half of this 12 months and likewise for 2022,” agreed Britta Hoffmann, director of buying for perfumes and cosmetics at Gebr. Heinemann, including the operator’s enterprise in September and October has been above plan.

Britta Hoffmann

Britta Hoffmann
Photograph by Bruno Vandeville

La Prairie’s travel-retail gross sales are nearing 2019 ranges.

“We’re closing the hole month after month,” mentioned Noelle Goris, vp journey retail at La Prairie Group, who credited the rise of China and Hainan Island, which has develop into a tax-free haven, and downtown duty-free shops.

DFS has lengthy traded each in airports and such downtown locales.

“The duality of that channel has helped us to climate the storm with far more resilience than a few of our different {industry} friends,” mentioned Benjamin Vuchot, chairman and CEO of DFS.

“To go with the duality of airport and downtown, we’re additionally layering now what we name ‘journey e-tail,’” he continued. “That is actually about using on the transformation that COVID-19 had on client conduct, mixed with the elevated stage of expertise into magnificence, which L’Oréal, Lauder and LVMH manufacturers have embraced a lot, in addition to among the retailers. The patron at this time connects first with their cell phone earlier than there’s any buying intent.

“Journey retail was the one white house left that has not gone by a digital transformation,” he mentioned.

“COVID-19 has been a transparent catalyst to speed up the digital transformation of our {industry} and all of the actors of the ecosystem,” agreed Sophie Neyertz-Ehrsam, chief digital, advertising and retail officer at L’Oréal Journey Retail. “Digital is mostly a key enabler to drive client engagement alongside the traveler’s journey…with a view to drive them to buy and convert them.”

L’Oréal has, for example, been finishing up digital precision promoting; 360-degree online-plus-offline “always-on” activations for the group’s manufacturers; strategic partnerships with on-line journey companies — resembling Alibaba’s Fliggy — to attach with vacationers as quickly as they e-book an airplane ticket, largely in Asia; livestreaming, and reside promoting.

DFS’ new platform permits it to hyperlink up with individuals earlier than they begin their journey.

Benjamin Vuchot

Benjamin Vuchot
Photograph by Bruno Vandeville

“We meet them all through their journey, whether or not it’s in an airport, a Galleria, however extra importantly, we construct loyalty once they come again from their journey,” mentioned Vuchot.

La Prairie executives have continued to deal with upgrading the standard of its doorways, client engagement, in addition to giving purchasers the identical stage of service and expertise in journey retail as in home markets.

“Now’s the second to check and study,” mentioned Goris.

When journey retail was shuttered, manufacturers like Bulgari labored to cement their shopper relationships in native markets.

Babin mentioned whereas COVID-19 has been a tragedy from a human perspective, it’s additionally been a chance to raised know Bulgari’s home clientele, resembling in China, and forge deeper bonds in home shops, which might then profit journey retail when worldwide journey resumes.

Pre-pandemic, Chinese language purchasers used to make 70 to 80 p.c of their luxurious purchases overseas. Utilizing information culled internationally on them is a part of Bulgari’s outreach to, for example, prolong invites to occasions in China.

“The expansion with native clientele has been actually large this 12 months, in low to excessive double-digits in most [countries],” mentioned Babin, referring to outcomes of many main luxurious items firms.

All eyes stay on China.

Hainan is a big precedence for Coty, mentioned Caroline Andreotti, government vp international journey retail on the firm, throughout an interview previous to the TFWA present. She highlighted how the island generates about $4 billion in retail gross sales at this time, will develop into totally responsibility free in 2025 after which is anticipated to ring up retail gross sales of $50 billion.

Coty selected to launch its revamped Lancaster lineup in Hainan journey retail with Lagardère Sanya.

Interparfums will bill round 2.5 million euros within the nation’s travel-retail channel this 12 months, which it’s not too long ago entered.

“That compares to roughly 700,000 euros in 2019,” mentioned Renaud Boisson, CEO of Interparfums Asia Pacific.

To get to know these native clients, COVID-19 has spurred a deal with information like by no means earlier than.

“There was a particular enhance when it comes to entry to information, utilizing information,” mentioned Kevin Rase, chief working officer of Era Analysis, explaining that included making sense of the knowledge — “not solely having the ability to consolidate all the pieces, to place information altogether to know extra macro-level developments, but in addition to have the ability to dive down and spot sure alternatives that have been rising in very specific areas.

“Individuals will proceed to make use of much more information than they did earlier than,” he mentioned.

“Information is totally key,” exclaimed Neyertz-Ehrsam, including that entails leveraging retailers’ client relationship administration databases and different companions’ databases within the journey ecosystem.

Aglaé de Beauregard, Sophie Neyertz-Ehrsam and Anne-Laure Lecerf

Aglaé de Beauregard, Sophie Neyertz-Ehrsam and Anne-Laure Lecerf.
Photograph by Bruno Vandeville

Teamwork can be important. Dufry goals to work with its model companions to boost digital content material, buyer relationship administration and develop an omnichannel platform.

Executives mentioned there’s increased penetration in travel-retail outlets and greater baskets versus previous to the well being disaster. Kaatje Noens, vp of journey retail at Puig, chalked that as much as the heady mixture of “revenge touring” and “revenge purchasing.”

“Individuals are going for the very best manufacturers in relation to high quality, legitimacy, authenticity and…social duty,” mentioned Babin.

Sure client conduct has been shocking to executives. Within the coronary heart of the disaster, concern arose that individuals would by no means need to work together with magnificence assistants or contact testers once more. However that’s not been the case as markets reopen.

“[Some] return as if COVID-19 by no means existed,” mentioned Noens. However that’s not true for others. Due to this fact, agility — a watchword on the commerce present — is essential.

“We’ve made positive that we’ve got the buyer expertise for each these sorts of passengers,” mentioned Noens.

Puig launched touchless sampling involving a ticket system and digital leisure, plus made positive QR codes can be found, so individuals can uncover novelties themselves.

In Istanbul Airport, for example, a Penhaligon’s pop-up was opened that includes Puig’s Magic Monocle digital software, created with Ailice expertise, which lets individuals snap a photograph of a fragrance bottle to preview visually on display screen the perfume’s scent with out smelling it. Photographs of the juice’s substances are sized to replicate their focus, and the expertise additionally suggests different scents in comparable olfactive households.

“The engagement and the conversion is there for that sort of client,” mentioned Noens.

Coty is testing a multiscent pill, which BAs can entry for try-ons utilizing dry-smell expertise, and it’s deploying a touchless sampling dropper.

L’Oréal has rolled out touchless perfume testers, too, plus QR codes for individuals to study make-up and skin-care merchandise, in addition to digital instruments for magnificence advisers to diagnose magnificence wants.

“What I noticed, for instance, in Istanbul is individuals are dying for recommendation,” mentioned Anne-Laure Lecerf, L’Oréal Journey Retail Lively Cosmetics and Skilled Merchandise Divisions common supervisor.

Amongst different shifts in client habits are the polarization of pursuits.

“On the one hand, they go for greater manufacturers, longer remedies, costlier merchandise, and are searching for high quality and excellence,” mentioned Vuchot.

From L’Oréal, for example, among the many tremendous premium manufacturers which were gaining traction over the previous two years are Crema Nera from Giorgio Armani and Pure Pictures from Yves Saint Laurent.

“However on the opposite [end of] the spectrum, there’s all the time this quest for discovery, searching for the brand new product, development, colour and shade, and that forces us to be far more agile,” mentioned Vuchot.

Within the Samaritaine in Paris, DFS has created a big clear magnificence house. It’s a product phase Heinemann will likely be delving extra into, as effectively.

“We all know that clear magnificence is admittedly much more than ever necessary for customers,” mentioned Hoffmann. “So we’ve reworked the assortment, design and communication.”

Sustainability is high of thoughts, and he or she mentioned that by 2030, Heinemann targets to generate greater than 50 p.c of its gross sales from sustainable merchandise and accountable suppliers.

Customers within the channel are asking for extra sustainable choices. A current L’Oréal examine exhibits individuals anticipate merchandise to have decrease carbon footprints and be recyclable, for example.

Social duty is changing into more and more necessary in journey retail, as effectively. On Nov. 1 the Estée Lauder Cos. revealed that it’s launching a brand new program with Florida A&M College to foster the following era of Black magnificence leaders within the channel.

Different developments are on the rise, too, like miniatures. For Heinemann, Mini’s to Fly, which might be preordered, have been profitable and are to be rolled out in additional areas.

“We realized additionally this 12 months that native sense of place [and taste] is changing into extra necessary,” mentioned Hoffmann.

De Beauregard famous regional developments affect the product classes offered.

“For instance, in Europe, we’ve received an enormous deal with fragrances — near 70 to 75 p.c of the market,” she mentioned, giving as comparability about 65 p.c pre-COVID-19.

L’Oréal stored to its launch roadmap in all product segments, together with introducing perfumes from it new manufacturers Valentino, Prada and Mugler.

“In Asia, skincare has gotten even greater,” mentioned de Beauregard.

Hoffmann mentioned there’s a necessity for extra merchandise particular to journey retail — particularly with a “wow” impact.

“There’s no higher strategy to recruit clients than with newness,” mentioned Vuchot. DFS is exploring hair care, for example.

Manufacturers in that class have been current at TFWA, resembling Kérastase, from L’Oréal, which is already within the channel.

“It’s rising very quick,” mentioned Lecerf. “What we see is that COVID-19 has enhanced the seek for professional merchandise lots.”

It was the primary time that Frédéric Fekkai was at TFWA as an exhibitor. “Right now, we’re able to do worldwide and journey retail,” he mentioned, of his namesake model.

Frédéric Fekkai

Frédéric Fekkai
Photograph by Bruno Vandeville

Fekkai defined individuals shouldn’t all the time use the identical hair care whereas touring as at dwelling. So he’s contemplating, for example, making a shampoo for Southeast Asia, the place it’s humid and there’s a excessive air pollution issue.

“My dream is to have a household of merchandise that addresses a area,” he mentioned.

Ref Worldwide, a Swedish skilled hair-care line, was at TFWA for the third time. It’s offered in 40 airports and works with just a few airways and boat firms in journey retail, the place the model has traded for seven years.

“Now we’re working to develop, to get [more] worldwide listings,” mentioned Edward Ernstberger, CEO of Ref.

In the meantime, COVID-19 has been reshaping the panorama of journey retail’s extra conventional magnificence classes.

“We noticed skincare as essentially the most resilient class, dropping by about 10 p.c general and actually boosted by the load of Asia and ease of shopping for merchandise on-line,” mentioned Andreotti. “Skincare international share of enterprise in journey retail has really elevated to 87 p.c of general magnificence gross sales.”

That compares to 72 p.c pre-pandemic.

“Novelties, unique merchandise…and promotions stay the principle drivers, and positively profit the gross sales of fragrances,” mentioned Carreau.

Since final 12 months, Lagardère Journey Retail has been operating a serious communication marketing campaign on chief manufacturers and worth financial savings versus what might be discovered on the home market.

“It’s one thing that we didn’t talk on up to now,” mentioned Guillaume Robert, director service provider of perfumes and cosmetics at Lagardère Journey Retail.

Some operators have discovered that with better competitors from on-line and native markets, aggressive pricing has develop into key.

“The opposite precedence continues to be to proceed having differentiation versus the home market,” mentioned Robert.

He referred to travel-retail exclusives and new manufacturers, resembling Drunk Elephant and Kylie Cosmetics, which haven’t launched within the channel years after the home market, as was custom. Lately, some merchandise are being launched in Lagardère even earlier than they hit home markets, resembling Puig’s Phantom from Paco Rabanne, the artistic scent contained in a related bottle formed like a robotic that had a one-month unique on the journey retail operator beginning in July.

“[Phantom was] rating within the high one or two within the U.Okay., for example,” mentioned Carla Troadec Morishita, head of perfume at Lagardère. “The outcomes are wonderful.”

Dufry additionally carried Phantom previous to its debut on the U.Okay. native market. The operator was the primary to launch Creed in journey retail in Western Europe, beginning in Heathrow terminal 5 in September.

Dufry will introduce on the finish of 2021, beginning with the U.Okay., 4 indie make-up manufacturers: Huda Magnificence, Hourglass Cosmetics, Pat McGrath Labs and Kylie Cosmetics.

Some airport operators mentioned they’ll proceed to develop their provide of area of interest fragrances and fragrance collections, as customers – particularly from Asia and the Center East – skew towards unique and personalised merchandise.

“That’s the place we’re rising double digits,” mentioned Troadec Morishita.

“We’re trying into area of interest fragrances additional,” mentioned Hoffmann.

Seventy p.c of the operator’s perfume and sweetness gross sales are generated by fragrance, versus 50 to 55 p.c pre-COVID-19.

For skincare at Lagardère there’s an emphasis on pure manufacturers and dermocosmetics, whereas for make-up a brand new plan was so as, not least since manufacturers like Becca and Two Confronted Cosmetics have been taken out of the channel. Right now, emphasis will likely be positioned on influencer and make-up artist manufacturers, resembling By Terry.

Challenges and alternatives usually converged for executives on the commerce present, who ticked off amongst them studying how greatest to service the ever extra savvy, digitally pushed Chinese language customers once they journey overseas once more, and the way greatest travel-retail areas can compete with native market outlets.

There’s no upbeat strategy to view the market’s volatility, the slower than anticipated uptick of worldwide vacationers or the provision chain woes, nonetheless.

“Ensuring that we’ve got the inventory is an absolute precedence,” mentioned Carreau.

Even with the challenges, executives on the commerce present mentioned they wouldn’t have missed it.

At the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference

On the TFWA World Exhibition and Convention.
Photograph by Bruno Vandeville

“There was little question in our thoughts that if we may, we’d come,” mentioned Goris. “It’s necessary we present solidarity” with the travel-retail neighborhood and make a private connection.

“Reference to individuals, with groups,” continued de Beauregard. “After so many months going by in all probability the {industry}’s most difficult disaster, it was necessary for us to have face-to-face conferences.”

“Longterm, there’s no manner of envisioning our enterprise with out journey retail,” mentioned Noens, including will probably be the principle channel bringing essentially the most development in years to come back, beside e-commerce and Asia. “In order that’s why our presence is right here.”

She had been discovering the conferences on the present extremely qualitative, regardless of its low occupancy.

“You have a look at alternatives otherwise,” mentioned Noens.

Everybody confirmed optimism.

“We aren’t but out of the woods, however we see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel, and the sunshine is shining brighter than it used to,” mentioned Goris.

“Hopefully, in 12 to 18 months’ time we’ll look again at this era of COVID-19 with aid, but in addition a way of accomplishment that firms which have a robust spine and that consider in innovation and alter may have taken benefit of this disaster and assist with transformation,” mentioned Vuchot.

FOR MORE, SEE: and JIC Taking Minority Stake in Lagardère Travel Retail Asia

Alibaba Takes 6.1 Percent Stake in Dufry Travel-retail Operator

L’Oréal Travel Retail Chief Talks Business | Journey Retail Gently Takes Off Once more – WWD


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