World Travel Retail

2018-12-20 –

Over 4 billion air passengers per year and an 8.9% increase in turnover are profiting retailers and manufacturers in the World Travel Retail (WTR) channel. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects passenger numbers to double by 2035; Allied Market Research estimates that this will lead to WTR sales nearly doubling over the next five years alone, jumping from USD 69 billion in 2017 to USD 125 billion in 2023.

Major airports are proven prime locations for retail and gastronomy. Germany's largest airport, Frankfurt am Main, has 276 retail units: 118 of these are landside and publicly accessible while 158 are airside, beyond the security checkpoints.

Travel Retail has some unique features; travel shoppers have different needs and motivations compared to city centre or shopping mall visitors. Travel shopping behaviour is largely determined by the airport experience itself. Convenience, filling time until check-in or departure, incidental hunger and thirst, the need for simple services and the purchase of last minute souvenirs are all motivations for people to shop at airports.


Airport Retail Experience

With their unique, forward-looking concepts, major international airports and even cruise ship operators provide passengers with a multi-faceted shopping experience. Branded products are often exclusive to the sales channel, and are characterised by a premium look. Using this format is highly recommended for concept tests, as it provides direct customer feedback.

Time is money

According to Nigel Dolby Consulting, airport shopping time is limited to an average of just 29 minutes. In this short time, trade marketing managers must convince their audience while taking into account the peculiarities of airport product presentation and shopping. These include the limited space available in shoppers’ hand luggage, and the requirement for flame-retardant displays and POS material in airside outlets.

New opportunities for trendy brands offer a growing stream of visitors from the Middle East, China, the USA and Russia. When presenting goods to wealthy tourists, an aura of high quality is essential; a prime example is the Korean Cosmetic unit for New Flag at Copenhagen Airport. Designed by STI Group, the unit attractively presents beauty brands Kocostar and TONYMOLY.

With travellers at airports often walking long distances, having a larger number of touchpoints can also play an important part. When products are placed in multiple different locations, the likelihood of purchase increases – and displays are the ideal vehicle for creating these additional touchpoints.

STI Group has developed a permanent metal display for evian, from Danone Waters Germany, that can easily be integrated into mobile catering units. Passengers en route to the gates in Frankfurt or Berlin airports cannot miss this prominent product placement.

With food and drink always in demand at airports. evian uses premium displays to secure a permanent place on mobile sales units.

For manufacturers already convinced of the value of World Travel Retail, STI Group offers extensive product marketing support – from developing and supplying high-quality rigid box packaging to designing and implementing shop-in-shop concepts that meet WTR quality standards.

STI Group’s Artwork Tester can also help to indicate where on a display key products and graphics should be placed for maximum impact, and which display designs promise the highest additional sales.