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Inflight Sales Group

sky’s

The

the limit

With a retail footprint that is double what it was just five years ago and two new tenders already won this year, Inflight Sales Group (Hong Kong) Ltd. is at the top of its game by

RYAN WHITE

Currently ISG’s bestselling categories are skincare, watches, color cosmetics, electronics and jewelry

“ISG still believes there is significant untapped growth in the region, and are cautiously optimistic for the latter half of 2014.” ANTHONY DETTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INFLIGHT SALES GROUP (HONG KONG) LTD

I

nflight Sales Group (ISG) has been in the airline concession operations, management and marketing business for over 20 years. ISG’s predecessor was formed in 1982 to supply amenity kits and duty free products from leading suppliers to airlines in Asia and North and South America. Since that time, the company has grown its business considerably to be a worldwide force in inflight travel retail sales. Asia Duty Free recently had the opportunity to sit down with Anthony Detter, Managing Director of ISG (Hong Kong) Ltd., to learn about the new developments in the Asia region. We began by asking him about the company’s performance in 2013. “2013 was a nearly flat year for ISG overall after many consecutive years of meaningful double-digit growth,” Detter explains. “We experienced strong organic growth in Hong

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ASIA DUTY FREE & TRAVEL RETAILING APRIL 2014

Kong and particularly in Japan, but were impacted by an overall negative trend in China. But to put this into context, our retail footprint is triple what is was eight years ago, and more than double five years ago.” So far this year, Detter reports strong performance in Japan and Hong Kong, with other markets—excluding the downturn in China—showing slightly positive results. ISG is currently working with 21 airlines, with the most recent customers being Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, and Japan’s Vanilla Airlines. The company’s existing key accounts include Cathay Pacific, ANA, Dragonair and Philippine Air Lines. Of course, the Asia region is vast and business can vary greatly among countries. Detter tells Asia Duty Free that aside from Japan, Hong Kong is ISG’s most dynamic market: “From a business perspective, Hong Kong is a duty free port, so with the excep-

tion of the tobacco and spirits categories, handling of inbound shipments and movement of goods within Hong Kong is simpler than many other countries,” he explains. “As a result we can deliver to our customers or bond rooms on a daily basis if needed.”

Getting creative

Of course, doing business in Hong Kong also presents its challenges; as there are no taxes, ISG’s pricing is largely on par with the local market. “Unlike markets such as Korea, China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia where airline duty free has significantly lower prices than their domestic markets and have a built-in advantage with their own country’s outbound travelers, we have to be more creative in Hong Kong to drive sales,” Detter explains. ISG does this by delivering an experience focused on newness, exclusivity and

Profile for Global Marketing Company Ltd

ASIA Duty Free and Travel Retailing Magazine Pre-TFAP April 2014 (Digital Edition)  

ASIA Duty Free and Travel Retailing Magazine Pre-TFAP April 2014 (Digital Edition)