Buy on the fly!
Increase in air travel, tightening of security regimen and hence the extra time spent in airports by travellers has converted terminals into captive market places converted to premium shopping destinations by Brands and Retailers. To gain competitive advantage they have used innovative strategies for display and presentation to grab the traveller’s attention, compelling to engage and buy on the fly.
Traditionally experiential retail with attention to store offerings, design and display is considered the privilege of high streets and premium malls. In the last ten years with increased security regimen, passengers are spending much more time at the airports and duty-free shopping has leveraged this captive market to grow into a serious business for premium and luxury brands and retailers. The space occupied by duty-free shopping has significantly grown converting almost entire terminals into premium malls. Extended timing and duty free pricing has made shopping convenient and affordable making even luxury affordable. Just the top 10 airports worldwide have about 1.8 Million footfalls in a retail area of 1.78 Million sft generating sales of 12.25 Million USD in just one day (source- The Duty-Free Travel and Retail Database and Directory)! Airport stores can be logically categorized into three distinct categories -
Each of these could use different brand experience and presentation strategies to achieve different business objectives. Objectives could be pure sales, inducing brand trial (usually for luxury) or just opportunistic branding (Brand Billboards). Each of these concepts has a distinctly different store design and visual merchandising strategy which is used to grab the traveller’s attention, compel to engage with the brand offerings and buy on the fly. I, being one of the millions of gullible global travelers have been ‘victim’ to some stunning concepts which I bring to you in my testimonials captured through my camera lens. In the Category British retailer WH Smith, known for its chain of stores located on high streets and mass transportation terminals, has mastered the art of offering an accurately a great relevant assortment of reading material, stationery and entertainment products. This is communicated through a simple and effective presentation strategy as demonstrated in their store at the departure terminal in Hyderabad where a selective assortment is offered to the Indian consumer. The contrast framing technique of the store front of the tightly planned retail space helps focus attention to the enticing promotions and organized categories presented with great clarity using well placed signage. The Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, features a fabulous collection of brands and amidst all the designer labels an exclusive wine corner stood out with a superb presentation of its exquisite collection of French wine. The spohisticated setting is dramatized beautifully with chandliers of wine glasses and is prompted up front with convenient signage that call out the premium price range of collection. The combination of the materials, lighting and visual merchandising justifies the premium price tags flaunted.
has always been a very successful category t hat de- stresses passengers with its high level of product engagement. Briti s h Marks& Spencers, brought its speciality clothing line into the Delhi airport highlighted in a closed window display and a well organized open store merchandise presentation supported with mannequin that highlighted fashion stories. The density of display and price call outs communicate the latest offerings and their affordability. Fashion boutiques use a similar presentation strategy. Juicy Couture, a contemporary global apparel brand based in Los Angeles, features fashion apparel (including its signature velour tracksuits), handbags, shoes and accessories at this exclusive brand outlet in Hong Kong’s international Chek Lap Kok Airport. Located on a main aisle it draws attention to its offerings at its open store front concept where its key coordinated fashion statement is highlighted. Stylized mannequins, props, floor coverings and accent lighting create a fashion setting that successfully stops passersby and communicates what the brand is about in the blink of an eye.
works with the main objective of inducing indulgence. Duty-free shopping has brought luxury products within reach by making accessories affordable for the luxury
WH Smith, the British retailer has a store concept which communicates a selective offerings put together for the Indian consumer presented with great clarity at the departure terminal in Hyderabad