Traveling frequently in the Nordics, I spend quite some time at Airports. I have always liked to travel; it gives you the feeling of being on a discovery trip. Although the increasing stress going through the securities, you rather feel the urge to explore further coming to the airport hall of departures.
Off course, duty-free has always been a part of traveling, but I do experience that this is no longer associated only to cigarettes and liquors. Airports are definitely places where affluent tourists have time on their hands, so I believe travel retail in fashion and luxury goods will continue to see growth.
However, is this growth based upon the urge of exploring or is it imposed? Leaving from e.g. Arlanda or Gatwick airport, is like being steered in to a shopping centre. Leaving the securities you have no choice but following the path. The path of liquors, cigarettes and rows of perfume and make up where sales assistants push on what they have of samples in all categories.
You literally have no choice to escape or find your own excitement to explore.
I am not sure that this will drive satisfactory score to the sky in the years to come. There are obviously detailed plans in most countries to increase the airport retail investment. Especially in the designer apparel and luxury accessories, categories as this contribute to the finance of the necessary airport infrastructure that demands continuous development. I think that these plans should seriously take into consideration the customer satisfaction, and not only what the sales figures contribute in the budget of construction.
In the end of my “endless perfume path”, this person try to draw my attention but in a more laidback attitude. He promoted an activity for Ray-ban making the possible sunglass choice easier.
Vinny had plenty of hours of airport customer experience as he throughout the day saw the different customer profiles coming through the path. He had different approaches to the early morning traveller than to the mid-day cruiser as he called them. Creating a need and not a must in the customer’s head was his sales philosophic and I he confirmed that he did quite well.
So giving the customer the choice, could also bring the sales figures up where they belong.