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Strategies to Revitalize the Travel Retail Market Unveiled at TFWA Airport Forum

Strategies to Revitalize the Travel Retail Market Unveiled at TFWA Airport Forum

The TFWA Airport Forum introduced a fresh perspective on the future of the duty-free and travel retail sector, unveiling a new report commissioned by TFWA and conducted by global consulting firm Kearney. This report seeks to rejuvenate the appeal of the travel retail market for brands and retailers alike.

Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman of Kearney, shed light on the report's mission, emphasizing its comprehensive evaluation of the industry's current standing and its provision of a roadmap for revitalizing the marketplace. The research incorporated a broad spectrum of insights, gathered through a global survey of travelers from ten countries and interviews with over 40 industry executives.

Kearney's central observation from the report is that the travel retail industry stands at a crossroads. Although the market has nearly rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, several transformative factors pose challenges. These include an increasingly diverse passenger mix, the rising influence of younger generations in commercial travel, and an array of potential distractions.

In response to these findings, the report advocates for a consumer-centric approach to reinvigorate the travel retail sector, focusing on four foundational pillars: assortment, price, service, and experience.

It suggests fostering greater collaboration and data sharing among stakeholders and proposes a shift from the conventional commercial trinity (airports, retailers, and brands) to a traveler-centric 'pentarchy,' which includes carriers, digital partners, and media collaborators.

The strategies outlined in this report aim to reshape the travel retail industry and align it with evolving consumer expectations, ensuring its continued relevance and appeal in the post-pandemic landscape.