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Emirates-magazine.com: Navigating the Global Trade Landscape with Insights on Duty-Free, Travel and Luxury market, Commercial Real Estate, and Leading Brands in Middle East and Worldwide
Exclusive: Sung Pak Discusses Tom Ford Strategy in Travel Retail

In a significant development, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) recently finalized the acquisition of the renowned Tom Ford brand. This transformative $2.8 billion deal has profound implications for Tom Ford in the travel retail sector, unlocking opportunities to create cross-category synergies with the brand's fragrance, makeup, and eyewear lines.

Sung Pak, Senior Vice President Travel Retail Worldwide at ELC Tom Ford, delves into the brand's recent successes in travel retail and shares insights into what the future holds for Tom Ford in this exclusive interview. Tom Ford has achieved remarkable results in the channel, with a staggering +64% growth in fragrance sales in EMEA and an astounding +131% growth in the Americas. Pak also provides a glimpse of how the brand intends to capitalize on new prospects in fragrances, particularly in the Asia Pacific travel retail market.

Tom Ford has become a leader in travel retail for several compelling reasons. Its status as a global luxury house, offering exceptional fashion, accessories, eyewear, and beauty for both women and men, has established it as a beacon of modern luxury glamour. Travelers are drawn to this lifestyle, and since the introduction of Tom Ford Beauty in travel retail, the brand has become a destination where travelers can immerse themselves in innovation, discovery, premium products, and high-touch experiences. Shoppers in Tom Ford boutiques are fully immersed in the Tom Ford universe, discovering new releases, must-have products, and brand exclusives.

The demand for luxury fragrances is on the rise globally, outpacing the total category, and Tom Ford leads the way with impressive +64% growth in EMEA and +131% growth in the Americas, according to Generation Research. Additionally, Tom Ford continues to dominate in travel retail eye makeup, maintaining its top ranking globally.

Tom Ford's ability to set trends and adapt to evolving consumer preferences, coupled with strategic partnerships with airports and retailers, has kept it at the forefront of the travel retail industry. It consistently evolves to meet the needs of travelers at every stage of their journey.

The acquisition of Tom Ford by The Estée Lauder Companies marks an exciting development for both travelers and the brand. For the brand, this acquisition signifies a broader platform for growth and global reach. In beauty, Tom Ford has the opportunity to accelerate its expansion in travel retail and explore new markets, categories, and regions.

For travelers, this acquisition translates into an even more enriched and comprehensive beauty experience within the travel retail space. Expect to see new category offerings as Tom Ford introduces eyewear to the travel retail market, along with travel retail-exclusive collections and innovative shopping experiences at airports and downtown boutiques.

Tom Ford stands as a leading eyewear brand in both menswear and womenswear categories. Select retailers will get an exclusive preview at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes of how a combined beauty and eyewear at-counter offering enhances the Tom Ford experience for traveling consumers.

Travelers can anticipate a deeper connection with the brand as it continues to evolve and elevate the luxury beauty experience in travel retail. The Tom Ford counter experience will be a destination in itself, offering high-touch beauty and fragrance services, luxurious experiences, and customized consultations tailored to travelers' needs and destinations. Tom Ford Eyewear service consultations will focus on special eyewear features, frames, lenses, protection, beauty, and shape recommendations to ensure the perfect fit, delivering a complete Tom Ford luxury experience.

This enhanced world of Tom Ford requires the right retail space and partner to ensure that consultations across categories align with consumers' expectations of the brand.

Hainan plays a pivotal role in the travel retail market, and there is a rising demand for fragrance in the Asia-Pacific region. Tom Ford recognizes this and has witnessed substantial growth in fragrance in the APAC market, with +59% year-on-year growth, as reported by Generation Research.

The brand's ability to understand and cater to the preferences of the Chinese and APAC markets, combined with its dedication to providing high-quality fragrance products, positions it as a leader in the region. Tom Ford has opened a 124 sq m boutique in Hainan at the cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex, offering a private consultation area and dedicated livestreaming space. This store embodies the Tom Ford vision of seduction and glamour and is the largest Tom Ford door in travel retail, making it a destination in itself.

Looking ahead, Tom Ford remains committed to innovation, quality, and luxury through product accelerations, category expansion, and boutique openings. Travelers worldwide will have the opportunity to explore the world of Tom Ford and experience its unique offerings.