Travel retail

April 2013
The number of tourist and business travelers is growing continuously and new airline routes are opening all the time

A Chinese woman getting on the plane

Nearly one million Chinese visited France last year. They should be twice as numerous in 2014. © Corbis

A Chinese woman getting on the plane

Nearly one million Chinese visited France last year. They should be twice as numerous in 2014. © Corbis

The number of international travellers for both tourism and business is continuously growing and new airline routes appear all the time. Air traffic is increasing by 5% on average annually. In 2011, nearly 30 million commercial flights carried 2.8 billion passengers around the world. With the democratisation of tourism, especially in emerging countries, these travellers could number 3.3 billion in 20141. These travellers are all potential consumers for Travel Retail, in particular the luxury segment, as air travellers rank amongs the 300 to 400 million richest people in the world and are considered "Trend Setters".

With sales reaching US $49 billion in 20122, the worldwide industry of travel commerce is a market that is as dynamic as it is strategic. An important source of revenue for many brands, it also represents the primary source of income for many airports (on average nearly 30% of airport revenues)3. For example, the Incheon Airport in Seoul, South Korea, which reported over one billion USD in shopping income in 20114, derives 65% of its income from retail activities5.

However, these excellent results are not solely due to the growth in air traffic. Over recent decades, airports have gradually been transformed from transit venues organised around aircraft logistics to shopping venues, and in some instances they have become veritable "temples of luxury." The travel retail circuit has also changed. A far cry from the first rudimentary “duty-free” shops in the 1950s, points of sale have evolved into concept stores, offering their customers genuine shopping experiences, where the choice of products is often enhanced by exclusive offers that can only be found in this specific circuit.

All these features play a part in transforming travel into a unique shopping experience.

1 2.8 billion people travel by plane, Le Figaro, 15 November 2012
2 Source Generation projection 2012
3 Source ACI 2012 Economical Report
4 Source Generation 2012
5 Source Incheon airport

Did you know?


1/ The two biggest Giorgio Armani Cosmetics boutiques in the world (by sales) are both located in the Dubai Airport. This airport has long since established its image around shopping, luxury shopping in particular. In these boutiques, the "Privée" collection, the most exclusive Giorgio Armani perfume line, achieved record sales with, on average, nearly 30 perfumes sold each day (at an average price of €180).

2/ The Japanese are the number one buyers of beauty products in the Honolulu Hawaii airport. In total, they represent nearly 60% of the international passengers of this airport1. Consequently, the Group's beauty advisers are trained to provide a Japanese-style service, which includes the ability to speak Japanese.

1 source Paxsmart 2012

3/ Chinese travellers devote more than 80% of their budget to shopping (in Travel Retail or at the place of destination). This average budget is estimated at €14,5001.

1 source Global Blue survey 2012