Global Travel Retail Magazine SOTA April 2023

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Dufry’s
Top
perfume
Attenza
p. 24 GTRMAG.COM April 2023 SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS VOL 35 · NO 2
Enrique Urioste discusses 2023 plans p.14
Brands sees
and liquor growth p.18
DF on Tocumen store openings

Global Travel Retail Magazine (ISSN 0962-0699) is published seven times a year by Paramount Publishing Company Inc. It is distributed digitally worldwide. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or the editor. April 2023, Vol 35. No. 2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Paramount Publishing Company Inc.

GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE

Tel: 1 905 821 3344 www.gtrmag.com

PUBLISHER

Aijaz Khan aijaz@globalmarketingcom.ca

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Hibah Noor hibah@gtrmag.com

MANAGING EDITOR

Jane Hobson jane@gtrmag.com

DEPUTY EDITOR

Laura Shirk laura@gtrmag.com

SENIOR WRITER Rebecca Byrne rebeccabyrne10@yahoo.com.sg

SENIOR EDITOR Mary Jane Pittilla maryjanepittilla@hotmail.com

ART DIRECTOR

Jessica Hearn jessica@globalmarketingcom.ca

Americas back at it

The Americas is a huge and complex region that we are so thrilled to be reporting a lot of positive news on as we gather in West Palm Beach. Since Summit of the Americas last year, several new stores have opened and many have returned to 2019 levels – in some cases, for the second year in a row.

In this issue of Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTRM), we move away from conversations of weathering the storm that was the pandemic and into a healthy place of focusing on goals that have been achieved, rebuilding that has happened and partnerships that are thriving. As Dufry’s Enrique Urioste explains, 2023 is on course to be an energetic year for the industry.

“Some countries have already achieved full recovery and others are right on track,” he says. Stepping into the role of CEO LATAM, Urioste discusses the retailer’s plans to reap the benefits of traveler’s post-pandemic “indulgent” mindset and the emphasis on its Destination 2027 strategy.

Top Brands’ Yeison Betancur reports good results at the retailer’s two new LURYX Duty Free stores; Motta Internacional CEO Erasmo Orillac highlights positive response to its Attenza Duty Free flagship store at Tocumen focused on sensory experience; Essence Corp’s Antoine and Guillaume Bona detail a strong start to 2023.

“Travel retail and overall sales are recovering strongly,” Antoine says. “The overall outlook is positive. There could be a slowdown, but travelers from the US will continue to drive tourism in LATAM. And with China opening back up, the future looks good. It’s been a good Q1 – now three more to go.”

Plus, association leaders Michael Payne, Erik Juul-Mortensen and José Luis Donagaray bring the industry an invigorating dose of cautious optimism in this issue’s Association News piece, highlighting the regions performing well and addressing challenges still on the horizon.

“Any single Association [cannot] solve the problem, but working together and coordinating is becoming more and more effective, making a positive contribution,” Payne tells GTRM.

CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER accounts@globalmarketingcom.ca

Additionally, our Special Report on American Spirits gives the latest updates on this dynamic sector of the category. From adapting to changing drinking patterns to innovating through playfulness, escapism and new experiences, this report shines with voices from WEBB Banks, Diageo, Fraternity Spirits, Tito’s Handmake Vodka, Iceberg, Blue Caterpillar, Latin Gin, MONARQ Group and FlyWithWine.

From all of us at GTRM, we wish you a successful Summit of the Americas and look forward to seeing you there.

Kindest Regards,

www.gtrmag.com GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023 3 Letter from the Editor
APRIL 2023 · VOL 35 · NO 2

WHAT’S INSIDE

18

Departments

Top Stories

14 Leading in LATAM

New Dufry Group President and CEO Latin America, Enrique Urioste, will be responsible for seeking new business opportunities while trying to create synergies across the duty free, duty paid and food and beverage sectors in the region

18 Living the LURYX experience

Top Brands celebrates two LURYX Duty Free store openings and continued growth in liquors, perfumes, cosmetics and accessories

24 Taking over Tocumen

Attenza Duty Free tells Global Travel Retail Magazine about its retail expansion with the opening of seven stores at the recently opened Terminal 2 of Tocumen International Airport

Features

ASSOCIATION NEWS

6 Cautious optimism among industry leaders

Global Travel Retail Magazine brings together major industry associations for an update on recovery in the Americas region

RETAILERS

20 Exceeding expectations in Uruguay

In this Q&A, travel retail expert and Neutral Free Shop CEO Marcelo Montico discusses maximizing collaborations and potential growth since Top Brands Internacional’s acquisition of the company

TECHNOLOGY

25 New way to pay

Paradies Lagardère’s checkout-free shopping experience relies on Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology

26 Customer satisfaction and crew solutions

Retail inMotion discusses its in-house training and crew portal interface that aims to personalize the inflight shopping experience

BEAUTY

29 Essence of success

Essence Corp’s Vice Presidents Sales Antoine and Guillaume Bona say the beauty distributor is off to a strong start in 2023 with a refreshed logo and indications of strong recovery in LATAM

SUSTAINABILITY

32 Luxury thrifting

Harding+ shares its strategic approach to the pre-loved luxury product category

SPECIAL REPORT – AMERICAN SPIRITS

34 Diversification and decentralization

Jose Castellvi, COO at WEBB Banks, outlines how the company’s entrepreneurial spirit and in-market personnel have led to impressive growth and a win-win strategy

38 A sweet escape

Global Travel Retail Magazine asks experts in the spirits category for their take on flavor innovation, escapism and experimentation in 2023

42 The perfect blend

Interview with Carmen López, Master Blender at Ron Carúpano, on the premiumization of the rum category and the legacy of the brand

44 Love of Latin

Known for its botanical collection, Latin Gin is new to travel retail and represents a new segment in the gin category

46 Categories and collaboration

MONARQ Group adds three brands to its portfolio and teams up with Japanese-French brand Heavensake to establish the high-end sake category in the region

48 Luggage for wine lovers

FlyWithWine tells Global Travel Retail Magazine it has secured new supplier partnerships and is planning for a big year ahead

ON THE COVER:

An update on the recent acquisition of WEBB Banks and its in-market personnel strategy, on page 34

Contents
Editor’s letter 3 News 50

Cautious optimism

among industry LEADERS

Global Travel Retail Magazine brings together major industry associations for an update on recovery in the Americas region

Three years ago the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Now, international air passenger traffic is on the rise and some regions are showing signs of serious recovery.

This report brings together Michael Payne, President and CEO of International Association of Airport Duty Free Shops (IAADFS), Erik Juul-Mortensen, CEO of Tax Free World Association (TFWA) and José Luis Donagaray, General Secretary of Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (ASUTIL), for an update on recovery of the duty free and travel retail industry in the Americas. They also examine the factors affecting spend and the challenges ahead.

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Association leaders say recovery is underway despite challenges

Global tourism increase

According to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), more than 900 million tourists traveled internationally in 2022 – double the number recorded in 2021, though still only 63% of pre-pandemic levels. The Organization reported every global region recorded notable increases in international tourist numbers.

The Middle East experienced the strongest relative increase as arrivals climbed to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers.

Europe reached nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels as it welcomed 585 million arrivals in 2022. Africa and the Americas both recovered about 65% of their pre-pandemic visitors, while Asia and the Pacific reached only 23%, due to stronger pandemic-related restrictions which have started to be removed in recent months.

While these numbers make pleasant reading, there remains a long way to go before the world completely recovers from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the restrictions that were in place through the pandemic, the Association representatives agree that the pent-up demand driving recovery is no surprise. The desire to travel is strong – and travelers are willing to spend money, but the question is how long will this last?

Donagaray tells Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTRM), “We’re facing a complicated mix of issues: there is a lack of frequency, excessive demand and inflation.”

Swelling interest rates, a slim job market and looming recession are among the other issues threatening a robust recovery across the duty free and travel retail industry in Latin America.

www.gtrmag.com GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023 7
Erik JuulMortensen, President, TFWA Michael Payne, President and CEO, IAADFS José LuisDonagaray, General Secretary, ASUTIL

Donagaray says domestic travel within Mexico, Brazil and Argentina remains strong, but international travel is lagging.

Airlines in the region saw a 119% rise in international traffic and 93.3% increase in annual capacity in 2022 compared to full year 2021; load factor increased 9.7 percentage points to 80.8%, according to data from the International Air Transport Association

ASUTIL predicts the region will move closer to 2019 levels by the end of 2024, Donagaray adds.

The lagging Asia Pacific market is a huge factor in global recovery, Juul-Mortensen acknowledges. But the recent changes to restrictions for Chinese travelers brings promise for “significant recovery,” he says, citing news from the Beijing-based Civil Aviation Administration of China (the Chinese civil aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport). The company reports that an astounding 9 million passengers were transported via air travel during the 2023 Chinese New Year period (January 21 to 27, 2023).

For Europe, the war in Ukraine is dampening some sentiments toward travel to Europe, but south European destinations are performing particularly well, Juul-Mortensen adds.

Demand is obviously present, but what consumers must spend on flight tickets, food and accommodations will impact how much they spend on travel retail purchases as more people begin traveling again.

Revenge travel

Meanwhile, Juul-Mortensen cites revenge travel as a possible reason for increased travel demand, but most likely in regions such as Asia where there were severe restrictions due to the pandemic.

FDFA’s Barbara Barrett highlights recovery in Canada

After two tumultuous years, Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA) is looking forward to the duty free industry being “firmly on the road to recovery,” FDFA Executive Director Barbara Barrett tells GTRM.

The Association was at the forefront of getting Canada’s land border reopened and removing sticking points serving as barriers to travel and its businesses.

During the lengthy border closure and continued travel restrictions, Barrett says it was imperative that FDFA became the national voice of the industry. The aim was to ensure duty free and its supply chain was included in government support measures such as rent and wage subsidies.

“FDFA formed alliances with larger tourism associations to bring to bear one of the loudest, most effective advocacy efforts that lead to Bill C-2 passing. This specifically named land border duty free one of only 20 qualifying industry groups,” she explains.

FDFA’s work with the Coalition of the Hardest Hit Businesses was recognized as the best advocacy campaign of the year for 2021 by the Canadian Society of Association Executives.

The Association also formed a coalition of border community mayors and political leaders on both sides of the border. In addition, it launched a successful campaign to remove measures so border communities – and border community businesses – could get back to business.

“As Canadians and Americans habituate to traveling with ease across the land border, we expect our stores to return to pre-pandemic business. We are looking forward to the summer, which is typically our peak season, and to growing and thriving again,” Barrett adds.

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Association News
VALAYA parfu ms - d e- m arl y.co m

According to UNTWO, tourists are expected to “increasingly seek value for money and travel closer to home in response to the challenging economic climate.”

Based on the Organization’s forward-looking scenarios for 2023, international tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels.

Juul-Mortensen agrees and is optimistic long-haul travel will recover in the next year or two.

Payne suggests that the demand for travel is unpredictable.

“Weather, regional struggles, virus and other health issues, staffing and capacity limits on airlines and in airports, can be factors and most are unpredictable,” he remarks to GTRM. “Revenge travel to me is just another new buzzword for pent-up travel demand and at some point, it will stabilize.”

Eighteen million Chinese tourists are expected to travel internationally in the first half of 2023, followed by 40 million in the second half of the year, according to China Outbound Tourism Research Institute

Payne says, “It could take a long time for this demographic to shift to predictable trends by nature.

“This is due to the sheer volume of travelers and the amount of time they were restricted. Spend-per-passenger could drop somewhat, but the volume of travelers could off-set that trend,” he says, adding that this year’s summer and holiday seasons will reveal more.

“We are cautious about what the immediate future holds. If costs remain high, we can’t expect the growth curve to continue a particularly dramatic upward trajectory. That being said, there is undoubtedly room for growth,” agrees Juul-Mortensen.

Optimum shopper offer

Juul-Mortensen is adamant that shopping remains a huge part of the travel experience. “Statistics show it is among the top-five motivations driving people to travel. It is up to us to ensure our offer is the best possible.”

A seamless experience is an opportunity to encourage travelers to spend, according to Payne. He says supporting funding resources to enhance airport infrastructure development, such as upgraded security screening, can speed travelers through security and customs faster, increasing dwell time and curating a more relaxed environment to shop. This would also require expanding the personnel at these airport checkpoints.

Juul-Mortensen also points out that the number of short transfers internationally decreased from 44% in 2019 to 37% in 2023 and highlights the “major opportunity” for duty free and travel retailers to benefit from the longer dwell times.

To help maintain spend through the pandemic, Donagaray says the region continued investing in the channel with the opening of new stores and terminals in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Panama.

Duty free stores are available in Arrivals and Departures at every airport in Latin America, offering a wide selection that attracts tourists from across the region.

A focus for ASUTIL during the pandemic was negotiating to increase duty free allowances within Latin America. The mission was successful, with Uruguay increasing allowances for air travelers entering the country from US$650 to US$1,000. Postpandemic it remains at US$850.

10 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023
Association News

In Brazil the allowance for travelers entering by air is now US$1,000 at airport stores and US$500 at land border stores.

ASUTIL also negotiated to allow for delivery of duty free purchases to increase spending. Although most international flights arrive to the Brazilian hub of São Paulo, passengers arriving from international flights and transiting to domestic flights can purchase at duty free shops and receive delivery within 15 days.

Donagaray says this has been extremely helpful, particularly when it comes to driving spend in the electronics category.

The importance of value

In addition to emphasizing the importance of increasing dwell time to encourage spend, Juul-Mortensen points to research from Swiss company m1nd-set’s on evolving shopper behaviors.

“We need to consider how we offer good value from an experience and price point perspective,” he says, referencing month/ date data from m1nd-set which reveals that price and value remain key barriers to purchase in travel retail.

“Higher price points and the lack of motivating promotions were among the main reasons stopping travelers from shopping in duty free and travel retail stores when traveling internationally. Our stores need to take this into consideration,” he says.

UNTWO research states that tourists are expected to “increasingly seek value for money and travel closer to home as a response to the challenging economic climate.

According to research from Airport Dimensions who are global specialists in designing, building, and operating shareduse airport lounges, there are various traveler categories.

These include ‘Premiers’, who spend around 15% of their time shopping, ‘Affluents’, who account for 18% of total travelers and take a balanced approach to what they spend and ‘Explorers’ who seek a low-budget experience.

Aside from traveler categories, Payne pinpoints the smoothness of the airport process as a major factor in determining whether passengers shop. “Do they have time to relax and shop or are they waiting in lines getting angry and running to the gate? What is their mood, regardless of what they intended to do?” he asks.

Payne also highlights the importance of industry-wide collaboration and sharing best practices among retailers and airport partners. This is another way of enhancing the passenger experience – a theme which will be covered at Summit of the Americas,

he points out.

“Any single Association [cannot] solve the problem, but working together and coordinating is becoming more and more effective, making a positive contribution,” Payne says.

The rise of “bleisure” travel

The distinction between business and leisure travel has become less clear in recent years. Bleisure travel – the combination of both – is on the rise, according to spring 2022 research from Travel Edge Network that reveals a 25% increase in demand for “workcations” compared to recent years (Bleisure Travel Rapidly Increasing At Hotels And Resorts, Forbes).

Payne says this leisure add-on could be impactful in increasing travel retail spend – an air ticket paid by the company could translate to more spend in travel retail stores. But, Payne says, there are still many variables to consider in this scenario that could affect spend, such as whether they are traveling alone or accompanied by colleagues, friends or family members.

“Business travel has not declined to the degree we thought it might. It continues to recover despite a looming economic recession,” Juul-Mortensen says.

Referencing the TFWA Travel Outlook H1 2023 webinar, Juul-Mortensen says trade events, such as TFWA conferences and exhibitions, continue to attract strong numbers of delegates, perhaps as a welcome alternative to Zoom and Teams meetings. Meanwhile, leisure travel is still popular, particularly in Latin America which has a stronger leisure recovery than business, Donagaray remarks.

“An example of the rise of global tourism is even with Argentina’s exchange rate issue, this summer in Uruguay, we had more Argentine tourists than in the last twenty years. Tourism is moving. It’s moving a lot,” he explains.

Further information including airline data, border acitivty and consumer trends will be presented by Jose Ricardo Botelho CEO at Latin American & Caribbean Airport Transit Association (ALTA) at the ASUTIL Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina in June.

Furthermore, Juul-Mortensen highlights that the premium segment in South American outbound markets has increased by nearly 10% compared to 2019. This suggests premiumization in leisure travel could indicate that many travelers are looking to upgrade their experience due to a pent-up desire for adventure.

12 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023
Association News

Leading in LATAM

For Enrique Urioste, new Dufry President and CEO, Latin America (LATAM), the recovery of the industry in LATAM could not have come at a better time.

Urioste is part of the global travel retail superpower’s new 10-strong Global Executive Committee led by CEO Xavier Rossinyol. He is charged with the task of leading the implementation of the company’s Destination 2027 strategy in Latin America and the Caribbean. The aim of the company-wide strategy is to enhance passengers’ experience during their entire journey.

He tells Global Travel Retail Magazine, “My main responsibility will be to deliver the best retail practices by focusing on customer centricity, thereby allowing our operations to maximize organic growth. I must also look for new business opportunities.”

Currently living in Miami where he has resided since 2007, the well-respected Urioste adds, “Other key points will be to introduce food and beverage [across the industry] in the region and create synergies across duty free, duty paid and food and beverage. All this needs to be achieved while ensuring our key values such as Environmental, Social and Governance engagement are implemented across all our operations.”

LATAM recovery

On the recovery in LATAM, it clearly seems to be gathering pace. Dufry boasts a strong presence across the region in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador and is reaping the rewards.

Dufry said that the rebound in The Americas at the beginning of 2022 was mainly driven by a continuous increase in domestic flights in the US and intra-regional touristic travel to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands and the Dominican Republic.

14 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023  Retailers
New Dufry Group President and CEO Latin America, Enrique Urioste, will be responsible for seeking new business opportunities while trying to create synergies across the duty free, duty paid and food and beverage sectors in the region
Enrique Urioste, Dufry President and CEO, Latin America Last year, Dufry signed a new concession contract at Recife International Airport in Brazil where this combined Dufry and Hudson store is located

Transatlantic travel and South American destinations began trending upwards, especially in Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador in the third quarter. The wider region has also followed more recently.

Benefitting from more favorable travel environments, the Americas performed strongly for Dufry last year. According to the company’s 2022 Annual Report, which was released in March, the Americas reported a turnover of CHF2,918.3 million (US$3,183.8 million) versus CHF1,728.5 million (US$1,885.7 million) the previous year. This equates to an organic growth of 62.7% versus 2021.

The company’s South American locations made significant progress in 2022, particularly in Mexico, where Dufry signed a new concession contract at Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Santa Lucia. Operations in Dominican Republic and Argentina also performed particularly well.

Elsewhere, the retailer, which is engaging with LATAM airports on combined travel retail and food and beverage offerings, signed a new concession contract at Recife International Airport in Brazil.

Urioste, who describes the recovery as ‘solid’ remarks, “LATAM and the Caribbean have always been very strong for

www.gtrmag.com GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023 15
A Dufry-operated Rumbar concept at Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Dufry Group is strongly represented at Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo, where it runs a Mind.Body.Soul. shop-in-shop concept

the duty free industry, therefore our key focus is to continue growing and expanding through the different channels. Some countries have already achieved full recovery and others are on the right track.”

In terms of overall business, the Caribbean and Mexico, for example, have benefitted from strong US and Canadian traffic. “Other countries like Argentina have been positively impacted by different economic factors,” he says, “but in all cases, we are benefitting from excellent retail prices, good stock quantities and fantastic promotions.”

People also seem to be in a more indulgent mode postpandemic, according to Urioste. “They are more open to buying and [open] to different experiences. The training programs and special actions we implemented across the region played a key role and generated the expected results.”

High air ticket prices

Amid the apparent positivity, it is important to point out that the region is still missing some of its pre-COVID-19 routes. The cost of air tickets and availability of connections remain a concern.

“Prices of hotels and car rentals are another challenge. These cost increases compete with the disposable income customers must spend in our shops. This is why it is key for us to continue providing an excellent customer experience.”

Excitement may be building over the prospects of the LATAM duty free and travel retail industry, but it is also ramping up ahead of the upcoming Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas

Libres (ASUTIL) Conference in Buenos Aires, running June 7 to 8.

Registration is open for ASUTIL 2023, which takes place at the Hilton Hotel in Puerto Madero. ASUTIL is returning as a face-to-face event for the first time since 2017.

Beginning on Wednesday, June 7 with three conference sessions between 09:00 and 12:30, the first day will include a lunch, networking session and cocktail night at the Hilton sponsored by Colonia Express.

Day two (Thursday, June 8), will begin with a networking session in the morning, followed by lunch. In the afternoon there will be four conference sessions between 14:30 and 18:30.

The conference will close with a Gala Dinner and party sponsored by Interbaires and on Friday, June 9, attendees can take part in a full day of social activities and excursions, also sponsored by Colonia Express.

Urioste, who also holds the role of ASUTIL Vice-President, will be part of a strong speaker line-up in Buenos Aires. He comments, “ASUTL was born with a very specific mission to promote and protect the duty free industry. Since it was created, we have integrated all types of channels (airport, ferry and border) and suppliers.

“We provide economic and political reports to our members on a regular basis to help them better understand the region. In addition, we have a proven track record of very successful lobbying campaigns.”

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Retailers
Los Cabos International Airport in Mexico boasts an impressive Dufry perfumes and cosmetics offer Wine connoisseurs will no doubt find what they are looking for at this Decanted hybrid wine shop at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Living the LURYX experience

Top Brands celebrates two LURYX Duty Free store openings and continued growth in liquors, perfumes, cosmetics and accessories

Yeison Betancur, Retail Director Latin America and Caribbean at Top Brands International, says 2022 was a successful year for the retailer. It celebrated the opening of two LURYX Duty Free stores, saw continued growth in the liquors, perfumes, cosmetics and accessories categories and tells Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTRM) 2023 is shaping up to be another profitable year for its businesses.

Latin America performed relatively well through the pandemic due to limited travel restrictions and dynamic passengers flows within, to and from the region. The International Air Traffic Association reported LATAM coming out on top at 2022 yearend in terms of international air passenger capacity and load factor compared to all regions. With this, Top Brands reported good results in 2022, with sales comparable to 2019.

Betancur says the retailer has seen an increase in shoppers at its stores in the first few months of 2023. Top Brands expects this momentum to continue through the year with predictions of “significant increase” in travel to Paraguay and Chile.

“We hope that the innovation we offer in our multi-category stores, and spaces with avant-garde, modern architecture, glass roofs, wide corridors and a high level of comfort for the traveler will allow us to have significant growth,” Betancur says.

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The storefront of LURYX Duty Free at the Punta Arenas Free Trade Zone location Yeison Betancur, Retail Director Latin America and Caribbean, Top Brands International

New LURYX locations

Top Brands unveiled two stores in 2022: a 1,000-square-meter store at Paraguay’s Silvio Pettirossi International Airport on May 16, and a 500-square-meter shop at Punta Arenas Free Trade Zone in Zona Austral Patagonia on September 12.

Put on hold due to the pandemic, the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport Departures store carries all duty free categories. The stores are characterized by the variety of brands, such as prestige and lifestyle, allowing the retailer to have a broad portfolio for all types of passengers.

The Free Zone, a tourist attraction with a mall, the world’s southernmost skating rink, game room, cinema, coffee shops and food court, also carries all categories and acts as an anchor for sales.

This has allowed for significant increase in traffic which helps to achieve good sales conversion, the retailer says.

The two stores feature modern architecture that aims to expertly combine the excitement of shopping with that of traveling, “to offer an exceptional experience for all customers and travelers who visit,” says Betancur.

Along with Top Brands other 100+ stores under the LURYX banner, the new stores offer exclusive and luxury brands, with expert advisors in each category to educate shoppers. The stores also have “shop in shop” Pandora and MAC boutiques.

“We intend to convert the frequent traveler and captivate firsttime visitors with personalized attention that makes the experience unique,” Betancur explains.

The expansion emphasizes Top Brands’ mission to maintain LURYX Duty Free’s reputation as synonymous with luxury.

“The new stores establish our points of sale and continued expansion and growth,” Betancur tells GTRM. “At both locations, our stores are doing very well, customers have been incredibly accepting, and we're very pleased with the reception we've had in both markets.”

Top Brands invited influencers, special guests and senior executives to “live the LURYX experience” at the opening ceremonies. Invitees were able to experience the liquors, perfumes, cosmetics and accessories the way shoppers do, with expert category advisors and personalized assistance in the luxury environment.

Category performance and future projects

Best-selling categories for the retailer remain liquors, perfume and cosmetics, but jewlery, accessories and textile categories are experiencing significant growth.

Betancur says he believes this is due the personalized and relaxing experience shoppers receive in store.

When asked about future projects, Betancur shares that the retailer is focused on its regional expansion. New projects are in the pipeline, including stores that are due to materialize in the Caribbean in both multi-category and mono-brand concept stores. He says new stores are also expected farther south in the future with more details to come.

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The confectionery section at LURYX Duty Free in Silvio Pettirossi International Airport The liquor section of LURYX Duty Free at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Paraguay

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS IN URUGUAY

uted to us having a surplus of US dollar availability and therefore an appreciation of the local currency.

Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTRM): What challenges did you face as you took on the role of CEO at Neutral Free Shops? How are you navigating business post-pandemic?

Marcelo Montico, CEO, Neutral Free Shops: I joined the team at the beginning of 2020, when the organization was trying to get out of our own pandemic as a result of negative years and 60 days later, we found ourselves with another pandemic, but with global characteristics and with a devastating impact on the bottom line.

We had to rapidly deepen the structural changes to adapt to the new reality and thanks to the resilience of the entire organization, we were able to reverse the reality of the company to transform adversity into prosperity.

Today we all enjoy a totally different reality, even compared to 2019, which allows us to clearly visualize the path to recover leadership in this channel, which we already know how to achieve. In quantitative terms, we closed 2022 at 54% above 2019 and so far in 2023, we are 48% above 2022.

In 2022 we started to run, but now we are already flying.

GTRM: How is the general economic climate in Uruguay?

Montico: Uruguayan exports reached a record high in 2022 after exceeding US$13.4 million, which added to strong foreign investment as a result of the construction of a second pulp mill, contrib-

This generated a very encouraging business climate, but it could indirectly impact tourism and industrial production, since Uruguay is a country with high operating costs measured in US dollars. In regional terms and focusing on Brazil, the macroeconomic situation shows signs of strength, and the market has welcomed the arrival of President Lula to power. In summary, the economic climate for us is more than encouraging for 2023.

GTRM: How is the country boosting tourism?

Montico: At border stores we are operating with a shopping allowance of US$500

20 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023  Retailers
In this Q&A, travel retail expert and Neutral Free Shop CEO Marcelo Montico discusses maximizing collaborations and potential growth since Top Brands Internacional’s acquisition of the company
Neutral by Luryx Duty Free Shop is the most recognized duty free retailer on the Uruguayan side of the border between Brazil and Uruguay Neutral by Luryx Duty Free Shop is the most recognized duty free retailer on the Uruguayan side of the border between Brazil and Uruguay

READERSHIP AWARDS 2023

RETURN TO

HAMBURG!

From onboard caterers to connectivity and all the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that go above and beyond — this year in partnership with TravelPlus for the first time!

The award winners will be announced on June 6, 2023 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg.

Award winners will be featured in a special spread, as well as in our e-Newsletter.

PAX-INTL.COM

and that undoubtedly helps the positive evolution of the average ticket. In terms of tourist arrivals, as a result of what was mentioned earlier, we are a country with a currency that has appreciated a lot against the US dollar, which makes us an expensive destination, which greatly segments the visitor's profile.

Historically, Uruguay was characterized by receiving many tourists from Argentina, but this situation is not going through the best moment due to the exchange difference with the neighboring country.

If this situation improves by next summer, we will be able to have a greater number of tourists from the middle socioeconomic segment, which will generate more consumer traffic.

GTRM: How did Top Brands Internacionals’ acquisition benefit Neutral’s business?

Montico: I think that if I were to list all the benefits that Neutral has received from being part of the Top Brands Group, it could take up more space in your magazine than could allocate to us. Focusing on what is most relevant and on what we define as our main competitive advantages, I believe that it allowed us to achieve an economy of scale in purchases that we could not have achieved alone and to be able to access regional alliances with strategic brands that today are pillars in our proposal of value.

Undoubtedly, the Neutral brand is synonymous with quality, credibility and

trust on the part of the customers who visit us, and we are maximizing that value with exclusive brands that allow us to offer a superior shopping experience in all our stores.

GTRM: I understand the intention of the acquisition was to grow in Uruguay. What’s in the pipeline?

Montico: After the acquisition by Top Brands International in mid-2019, the Uruguayan operations were merged into a single management, that is, the seven stores with Neutral by Luryx brand and the two with the Luryx brand. Today we operate nine stores, with more than 15,000 square meters in the six cities enabled for the travel retail channel in borders and the exclusive GAP franchise, both for the local market and for borders stores.

GTRM: Can you describe key synergies since the acquisition?

Montico: I think I could highlight three fundamental aspects where we emerged strengthened as a group, in the logistics, technological and commercial fields.

In terms of logistics, we added a new consolidation hub in Panama and another in Miami to our distribution center in Uruguay. As a result of the above, we have considerably less transit time and we managed to significantly reduce spending. Also, from Uruguay we can serve the operations of Top Brands in Chile and Paraguay, also achieving a substantial improvement in efficiency.

Technologically, we merged the inno-

vation and development department and as a result of the above, we already have an APP developed by the new team and a business intelligence tool that allows us to receive daily the different KPIs by country, store, category and brand. This possibility of reliable information in real time allows us to make quick decisions.

Naturally in terms of business development plans, the acquisition allowed us to broaden our coverage horizon to our main business partners. Our value proposition as a group includes operations in 14 countries, 85 stores and more than 1,000 collaborators committed to the same mission.

GTRM: Are there any other new developments you can tell me about?

Montico: We are changing the way we see the development of our value proposition, so innovation will be oriented to offer experiences instead of products. This implies a change in the way we will present the categories in the stores and in what we want the consumer to receive when they visit us. This strategy will be complemented by new categories and brands, which reflect what consumers request from us in the satisfaction surveys that we have been carrying out since last October 2022.

GTRM: What are the current challenges that you’re facing?

Montico: We think that consumer behavior will increase consumption of all those products that generate personal gratification and in that there is no doubt that the portfolio that Neutral by Luryx stores have, comply with that goal. The question we ask ourselves is how they are going to buy it and where, since because of the health crisis there was a profound change in consumer habits and buying through electronic devices occupied a predominant place to the detriment of face-to-face shopping.

Neutral has already developed a series of innovations in this direction that aim to increase the buyer base, that is, to enhance the visit to our stores by incorporating exclusive brands and SIS for borders (MAC, Adidas, GAP and Pandora among others).

In short, we think that the consumer will buy more but not in the traditional way as we have known it until now.

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Retailers
Neutral offers a selected international brand portfolio including categories such as beauty, spirits, confectionery, apparel, consumer electronics, appliances, toys and home products

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Taking over Tocumen

Last summer, Panama’s Tocumen International Airport (PTY) officially inaugurated its new Terminal 2, marking a major milestone for the airport, increasing capacity from 5.8 to 15 million passengers annually. In March 2023, PTY was named the Best Airport in Central America and Caribbean by Skytrax.

Panama Airport Terminal 2 spans 116,000 square meters divided into four levels. It features 20 boarding gates, a new baggage handling system to ease baggage inspection and reduce waiting times –and is home to seven new retail stores operated by Attenza Duty Free (Attenza DF), Motta Internacional SA’s, travel retail brand.

Erasmo Orillac, Chief Executive Officer, Motta Internacional, SA., tells Global Travel Retail Magazine the stores are performing well with increased passenger traffic flowing through Terminal 2. The airport served a total of 15.7 million passengers in 2022. PTY handled 2.8 million passengers in the first two months of this year, 1.3 million travelers corresponding to February alone.

Shopping with the senses

In September 2022, Attenza DF celebrated the opening of its flagship store. It covers 1,000 square meters and offers 200+ luxury brands, including Lancôme, Estée Lauder, Lindt and Jo Malone. The location

houses a Dior Beauty boutique, offering the complete portfolio and exclusive La Collection Privée.

The flagship focuses on sensory engagement to enhance the shopper experience.

“It provides passengers an opportunity to feel, try on and sense our product range,” says Orillac. “Our customer profile has been changing over the pandemic and post-pandemic period, with a more omnichannel perspective during shopping. We have constantly been working to adapt to satisfy new demands.”

Rich visuals, textures and aromas are present throughout, encouraging perfume sampling, coffee tastings and customized consultations in haircare, skincare and makeup. The store integrates technology for a seamless experience and uses lighting to highlight each brand, offering an opportunity for shoppers to engage directly with Attenza DF’s brand selection. It features a liquor and spirits tasting bar where shoppers can sample and learn about products from associates in an immersive and visually appealing brandinspired setting.

Electronics for tech-lovers

The most recent addition is Attenza DF’s electronics and iShop store. At 346 square meters, the store carries 40 renowned brands, such as Bose, Sony and Nintendo. Shoppers can test

video games and the latest gadgets at interactive stations.

As the only premium Apple authorized store at PTY, the modern and elegant iShop features the iconic minimalist design and latest Apple products.

“For those looking for the latest technology without leaving the airport, the iShop is the perfect solution,” says Orillac.

Multi-category and monobrand boutiques

Spanning 134 square meters near Gate 20 is a multi-category store. The space is dedicated to luxury watches and sunglasses brands, including Ray Ban, Oakley and Gucci. Another multi-category store, featuring fragrance, skincare, sunglasses, liquor and confectionery brands, is located at final boarding gates. The 179-square-meter layout is a final chance for passenger to purchase their favorite luxury brands before departing.

For mono-brand boutiques, Attenza DF opened the Adidas Stadium 2.0 boutique, offering the season’s latest novelties. Hugo Boss expands its presence at PTY with a dedicated men’s apparel boutique operated by Attenza DF.

Orillac says more stores are expected to open this year in Terminal 2’s central luxury unit, reaffirming the strong regional presence of Attenza DF. Monobrand boutiques, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, are coming this August.

24 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023  Retailers
Attenza Duty Free tells Global Travel Retail Magazine about its retail expansion with the opening of seven stores at the recently opened Terminal 2 of Tocumen International Airport Motta Internacional, SA. has opened several new Attenza Duty Free stores at Tocumen International Airport’s new Terminal 2 in Panama by JANE HOBSON

NEW WAY TO PAY

Paradies Lagardère’s checkoutfree shopping experience relies on Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology

Earlier this year, Paradies Lagardère debuted Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at its new The Goods Express@CLT outlet at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). The checkout-free shopping experience is enabled by computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning (the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars). Just Walk Out technology works like this: enter the store by using your credit card; then shop the aisles as usual and leave the store sans checkout.

Located in the airport’s Atrium, the outlet offers an enhanced, streamlined and convenient experience for passengers in need of various travel essentials including snacks and beverages. Designed to be a frictionless shopping experience, customers gain entrance to the store by using their credit card at the entry gate; then the tech detects the items taken from or returned to the shelves. The credit card is charged for the items once customers have completed their shopping and exited the store.

When asked why this tech was introduced at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, T.J. Slade, Vice President of Business Transformation at Paradies Lagardère, points to the airport’s “robust

program of travel essentials and specialty retail stores.” According to Slade, Paradies Lagardère identified a unique opportunity at CLT to serve travelers with efficient speed of service and convenience. He calls it the perfect solution.

“We’re excited to see how our guests enjoy this shopping experience at [Charlotte Douglas International Airport]. With operations in 100 airports across North America, we look forward to assessing any future opportunities that may be a great fit for Just Walk Out and other innovations that help to enhance the customer journey and throughput,” says Slade.

High-tech, high-touch

Having recently been named “Retailer with the Highest Regard for Customer Service” by Airport Experience News for the 21st time in 26 years, Paradies Lagardère is focused on the future. The retailer balances the integration of automated tech with the varying levels of face-to-face engagement. This “High-tech, high-touch” approach couples top-notch, in-person service with innovative solutions to suit the preferences and demands of all customers.

“Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology fits perfectly into this mix by offering

the ultimate speed and satisfaction for customers seeking just that. We have an ambassador available during shifts at The Goods Express@CLT store to assist customers who may have questions,” explains Slade.

Speaking about tech-related privacy concerns, he says customer trust is very important to both companies and that Amazon takes data security and privacy seriously. Any sensitive data is treated in accordance with its longstanding policies.

Looking to remain agile and meet the increasing demand for contactless transactions within the airport environment, Paradies Lagardère has steadily introduced and operated innovative retail solutions such as self-checkout stations, its Scan, Pay & Go program and 24/7 automated retail vending options. Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology is another tier in its offering.

“We look forward to seeing the growth of this program and continuing to elevate the retail shopping experience at airports by offering options in how customers choose to engage and interact with us,” says Slade.

www.gtrmag.com GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023 25 Technology
T.J. Slade, Vice President of Business Transformation at Paradies Lagardère A person exits The Goods Express@CLT The storefront at The Goods Express@CLT outlet at Charlotte Douglas International Airport where Paradies Lagardère debuted Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology

Customer satisfaction and crew solutions

Committed to delivering state-of-the-art innovation, technology and retail programs, Retail inMotion (RiM) is aligned with airline business development strategies. The leading inflight specialist’s worldwide presence allows the company to analyze local and global product purchasing patterns and improve the passenger shopping experience with its concepts and solutions.

Beyond product innovation and design services, the company’s focus on crew management is based on a two-prong approach that consists of retail training and technology training. RiM’s in-house modular format retail training ensures that crew members have a better understanding of the skills required to create a satisfying customer experience.

According to Anthony Carson, Crew Engagement Manager Global at RiM,

the company’s “i-Engage with Retail” training methodology mainly centers on the emotional connection and relationship that the crew aims to build during the retail experience. Once an emotional connection is established, the training covers how that connection can be used to enhance the customer offering. Finally, RiM demonstrates the skills necessary to make a sale.

“This method of relationship selling ensures that retail becomes an integral part of customer service and that the crew finds the right product for the customer, which can then increase customer satisfaction and avoid hard sell culture.

“Our i-Engage with Retail training course offers a comprehensive crew solution to help crew members understand the transition and develop the skills required to enhance the on board offering. The course is tailored to the airline’s

needs, with relevant content formulated to match the skills of the crew and the overall training objective.

“Our advanced training looks at how people personalize their customer approach based on a group of different customer mindsets and how tailoring their approach can enhance the customer’s overall flight experience,” says Carson.

Additionally, virtual point of sale (vPOS) training is offered in several formats to best suit the airline’s requirements and resources. RiM’s video-based training provides a tutorial of the technology solution, which allows crew members to study at their own pace; online and in-classroom integrated learning is provided and

26 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023 Technology
Retail inMotion discusses its in-house training and crew portal interface that aims to personalize the inflight shopping experience Thanks to Retail inMotion’s technology, passengers now have the ability to choose and “try on” a product without having to leave their seat Anthony Carson, Crew Engagement Manager Global, Retail inMotion

used to educate the airline’s own instructors and RiM’s Go-Live support sessions help to increase crew confidence. All of the company’s training solutions can be accessed via its purpose-built “i-Engage with Retail” crew portal.

When asked how RiM’s training can be applied to duty free sales staff on the shop floor to increase sales, Carson says it can be applied to all customer-facing scenarios. The basis of its strategy: build a strong emotional connection while personalizing the retail experience and incorporate retail knowledge and skills to generate engagement, which he believes is desired by the modern customer.

RiM instructs its teams to be commercially aware and understand how their openness and attitude are vital to the experience. Connecting with airlines’ products and services emotionally helps to strengthen brand affiliation and increase customer loyalty; this practice can be translated to retailers, operators, brands and representatives across the duty free channel.

From inflight to in-store

Designed as a one-stop retail experience for crew members and managers, RiM’s customizable crew portal has been developed with a holistic approach. It’s reported that the company supports over 15,000 face-to-face interactions annually,

as a result of its technology engagement. In line with RiM’s “i-Engage with Retail” brand, its “informative, upbeat and relevant” interface provides crew members with the knowledge and skills to improve the customer retail experience and elevate their personal performance.

Augmented reality is another new development that RiM relies on and that the duty free industry is currently exploring. Similar to the inflight experience, the concept of the in-store experience is evolving via technology in terms of offering an extended product overview and a seamless transaction process. Thanks to RiM’s technology, passengers now have the ability to choose and “try on” a product without having to leave their seat. Passengers can look at how watches, sunglasses – and soon jewelry – suit their needs without having to unpack the item; this also minimizes the risk of damage or loss.

“The customer wears an anchor, while the app projects the item as though it’s being worn by the person. This sustainable solution increases sales, as the customer can see how it looks on.

“Our vPOS device also provides crew members with essential information to assist with on board duties; it tracks everything from the calorie content of a snack to the top, middle and bottom notes of a fragrance. The device can link items

to a meal deal and even allergens or food coloring details can be retrieved,” explains Carson.

This snapshot reflects the fact that the in-store experience of duty free shoppers has increased in importance and interaction with sales staff has become more frequent and influential when it comes to final purchasing decisions.

Rewarding performance

Along with RiM’s approach to crew management, its extensive portfolio of incentive programs can be applied to duty free and travel retail. Based on the airline’s preferred reward methodology, RiM’s crew management team implements programs to drive revenue, improve customer service and reward performance – in addition to the traditional commissionbased reward for onboard sales.

“Crew participation is welcomed in the development of any program and extensive research is carried out to ensure each incentive stimulates the crew to get involved through strong visual promotion and exciting rewards. Our WinZone concept increases the achievement factor as it invites incentive winners to be part of an advanced tier, which recognizes their success in an invitation only event. The top performing crew over the term of this incentive becomes the WinZone Champion,” says Carson.

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Technology
All of the company’s training solutions can be accessed via its purpose-built “i-Engage with Retail” crew portal

Essence of success

Corp’s Vice Presidents Sales Antoine

Essence Corp’s Antoine Bona, Vice President Sales, says the year is off to a very strong start. Numbers are above 2019, makeup and skincare is seeing a comeback and the Miami-based beauty distributor is celebrating more than three decades in business.

January and February indicate strong sales, with international departure stores in major LATAM markets reporting passenger traffic of +7% compared to 2019, Antoine says. Argentina, Colombia and Mexico mainly are driving these sales, to no surprise. Mexico had minimal COVID-19 protocols from day one, leading to continuously strong passenger numbers during and post-pandemic.

“Travel retail and overall sales are recovering strongly,” Antoine says. “The overall outlook is positive. There could be a slowdown, but travelers from LATAM to the US will continue to drive tourism throughout the Americas. And with China opening back up, the future looks good. It’s been a good Q1 – now three more to go.”

Promising forecast

Essence Corp depends less on Chinese travelers and more on tourists from America and locals from LATAM. Latin America airlines posted a 119.2% increase in traffic in 2022 over full year 2021, and m1nd-set reports that the US remains within the top two rankings, along with

the UK, as the top traveling nationality last year. Canada became a new entrant into the top ten traveling nationalities in 2022.

Last month, Neil Walters, Acting Secretary General of the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), confirmed that the Caribbean had one of the quickest recovery rates globally in 2022, with 28.3 million registered tourist visits, representing 88.6% tourists compared to 2019.

www.gtrmag.com GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023 29 Beauty
Essence
and Guillaume Bona say the beauty distributor is off to a strong start in 2023 with a refreshed logo and indications of strong recovery in LATAM
Antoine Bona, Vice President Sales, Essence Corp The Essence team during the week-long 2023 Internal Meeting at Jungle Island in Miami Guillaume Bona, Vice President Sales, Essence Corp

International travel is expected to contribute largely to the region’s substantial gains in 2023, largely in thanks to the United States. CTO reports the Caribbean saw a 28% increase in US visitors in 2022, totaling 14.6 million American tourists. That is 3.2 million more than the 11.4 million in 2021, indicating clear recovery.

Arrivals from the European market increased by 81% in 2022 when compared to 2021. The 5.2 million tourists from this market were almost double the 2.8 million in 2021. This represented 18.3% of all arrivals in 2022.

Due to travel restrictions in early 2022, Canadian tourists to the Caribbean has recovered slower at 60%. And the CTO sites the lack of availability of intraregional flights as negatively impacting regional connectivity.

But the Organization says 2023 is shaping up to be a good year for Caribbean travel and tourism. Growth will be uneven among the destinations, but some countries and territories will exceed 2019 levels, according to CTO. Arrivals to the region are expected to increase between 10 and 15 percent compared to 2022. About 32.6 million tourists are expected to visit the region this year.

Essence’s Guillaume Bona, Vice President Sales, calls this a very promising forecast.

Local living in the Caribbean is an important demographic for Essence’s business – but Essence reports they are

not as strong as they have been in the past.

Panama has been a highlight in the region as travel retail recovers strongly, Antoine says, highlighting the increase in transit through Panama, and the success this has brought retailers such as Attenza Duty Free and Duty Free Americas, which saw the opening of several stores in the new Terminal of Tocumen at the end of 2022.

m1nd-set highlights Panama City Tocumen International Airport as being the only top ten travel hub to have reached pre-pandemic 2019 traffic levels for connecting passengers. The airport reported a 7% growth in traffic in 2022 compared to 2019.

Fragrances and makeup in the lead Essence’s fragrance portfolio continues to perform well. Antoine tells Global Travel Retail Magazine the popularity of fragrance through the pandemic could be due to the emotional connection to scent with new buyers transitioning from mass fragrance brand purchases into the luxury sector. Now makeup and skincare are also seeing a revival as traveler numbers rise and restrictions, such as masks, are a thing of the past.

“We are seeing a comeback for makeup brands and skincare – but the demand for fragrance is still very high,” he explains. Sales in these categories together total about 80% of what they were pre-pandemic.

Antoine adds that specifically high-end fragrances are performing well. Many retailers are dedicating more floor space to these fragrances.

Wellness brands and home products, such as Bath & Body Works and Rituals, are also selling well.

Keeping up with supply demands has also become significantly calmer in recent months. Logistics have improved, and while some raw materials, such as glass, are hard to find, Essence is filling needs for customers more easily.

Strong past, future projects

The company kicked off the year unveiling its new logo in honor of its 35th anniversary. The logo was unveiled in January during its week-long 2023 International Meeting at Jungle Island in Miami.

The new look is inspired by the ocean and the sky, which Essence considers key elements in the travel retail industry. Designed by Xposure Advertising, a full-service graphic design and branding studio, the logo incorporates a sophisticated color palette: dark blue to evoke commitment, honesty and responsibility; burgundy to symbolize energy, individuality and assurance; and blue-grey for insight and stability.

The refreshed logo celebrates the family-run company – which operates in many ways like a family, Antoine says. Many colleagues have been with the company for decades, working loyally and determined as a family.

“We work hard to support retailers and we remain present in the market in spite of worldwide difficulties – it will be important for us to maintain that in the future,” Antoine says.

Essence has set up a new office in Uruguay to distribute along the Uruguayan border and manage inventory and teams locally. The team is confident in the new venture because it’s a market the company is very familiar with, after 35 years in business in the region. The company is now selling to between 34 and 40 individual mom and pop shops and retailers along the border.

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Beauty
The refreshed Essence Corp logo is inspired by the ocean and sky, key elements in the travel retail industry

thrifting Luxury

Harding+ shares its strategic approach to the pre-loved luxury product category

Following a trial aboard P&O Cruises’ Arvia in December, Harding+ has rolled out its pre-loved luxury product category on ten more ships across multiple cruise lines. The cruise retailer’s plan for 2023 and beyond is to continue to identify spaces for its gently-used offering and capitalize on the fast-growing global sector.

When asked about the launch of this initiative and its implementation, Paul Cunningham, Global Director of Buying at Harding+ says as with any new concept, the rollout is based on a number of factors including cruise ship locations, future destinations, available space on board, sustainability and most importantly, the customer.

During the trial, marketing and promotion was driven in store with the help of showcards and a clear “preloved” explanation to differentiate the products from the rest of the range. The team also generated awareness via digital content on board, as well as the daily guest newsletter.

“We are now in the process of creating our own brand, logo and supporting visuals for our pre-loved collection and

wider roll out, which will help us engage guests more succinctly, broadly and consistently, alongside our other luxury accessories collections.

“We plan to build the brand and collection profile and allow for more storytelling behind the key pieces, as well as creating a memorable experience for guests. Long-term we are working with the cruise lines to be able to offer preorder of key pieces, as offering the items to guests before they arrive will allow them to pre-order the pre-loved,” explains Cunningham.

Affordable luxury

When it comes to sourcing pre-loved luxury products and determining change in pricing, Harding+ works closely with its pre-loved brand partners to ensure the items selected reflect the current market, the latest trends and consumer wish lists. According to Cunningham, items are sourced from private collectors and auction houses globally by expert buyers with the intent to provide luxury pieces with their next owner. All pre-loved products come with a guarantee of authenticity and no two items are the same. Cunningham points out factors including market

demands, current trends and the condition of the product contribute to pricing.

Sustainability for all

Speaking about the Harding+ demographic in relation to the “more for less” mantra, Sue Gosling, Chief Brand and Culture Officer at Harding+ notes that it varies depending on which cruise line or individual ship its working with. Although 40-50+ is the leading age segment among cruise passengers, certain ships are geared more toward pre-family and family at certain times of the year.

Answering how Harding+ champions the importance of sustainability for all, Gosling says the retailer has a clear roadmap for its journey toward enhanced sustainable business practices. With the wellbeing of our planet and people in mind, it believes in continually reviewing all aspects of its business and encouraging its team to share ideas that can make a difference.

“Harding+ is focused on carrying out more sustainable day-to-day operations around marketing and merchandising, e-mail reduction and travel, lighting and energy policies,” adds Gosling.

32 GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE APRIL 2023  Sustainability
Harding+ works closely with its pre-loved brand partners to ensure the items selected reflect the current market and latest trends
THE NEW RITTER SPORT VEGAN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR TRAVEL EDITION ASSORTMENT www.ritter-sport.com/travel-retail THE NEW RITTER SPORT VEGAN SAVOUR THE FLAVOUR.

Diversification and DECENTRALIZATION

Focused on the “away from home” experience, WEBB Banks (WEBB) develops brands across the Caribbean, Central America and travel retail. A premium wine and spirits distributor, WEBB is said to act as an extension of its suppliers and “enhance the connections that travelers make throughout their journey; from their departure at the airport to their return home.”

In recent news, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has acquired WEBB Banks. The agreement, which closed at the end of March, will expand the distributor’s presence in the Atlantic and travel retail and strengthen its logistical capabilities to deliver products more efficiently to complex markets in the region.

As published in a press release, the business will continue to operate during the transition period under the WEBB Banks name and management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Andy Consuegra, Chief Operating Officer Jose Castellvi and Chief Financial Officer Juan Carlos Rodriguez. The team will report to Scott Oppenheimer, Southern Glazer’s President, East Region. The existing Southern Glazer’s Travel Sales & Export team and associated portfolio will transition to WEBB to ensure a complete solution for suppliers focused on the Atlantic Basin.

“This acquisition provides another connection point for

Southern Glazer’s and our valued suppliers who are looking for expert route-to-market capabilities across the Atlantic Basin. Combining the strength of our supply chain and logistics expertise, with WEBB Banks’ strong customer relationships and knowledge of the market, makes this acquisition an absolute game changer for our suppliers.

“WEBB Banks has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years thanks to a collaborative company culture, strong strategic partnerships, and in-depth knowledge of the markets in their region. We’re excited to welcome their brands –many of which we already share – and their talented, experienced team into the Southern Glazer’s family,” said Oppenheimer.

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Jose Castellvi, COO at WEBB Banks, outlines how the company’s entrepreneurial spirit and in-market personnel have led to impressive growth and a win-win strategy
Originally catering to the American traveler, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has become a favorite among tourists and locals alike Jose Castellvi, Chief Operating Officer, WEBB Banks
Lifestyle products for enjoying life’s special times. www.flywithwine.com

A winning strategy

Since WEBB Banks represents a wide range of established international brands that are well-known in many key markets around the world, the company considers the traveling consumer as an opportunity. During a previous interview with Global Travel Retail Magazine, Castellvi said that WEBB capitalizes on the success of its brands across US domestic markets –and the travel patterns of Americans – in order to also succeed across local markets in the Caribbean Basin. As an example, Castellvi referred to a leading brand in the WEBB Banks portfolio, Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Originally catering to the American traveler, Tito’s Vodka has become a favorite among tourists and locals alike.

Entrepreneurial in nature, the company values autonomy and is made up of a decentralized team. Calling the strategy a win-win, Castellvi commented this arrangement enables WEBB to better understand the local market and the expectations of its suppliers with local distributors.

“Our strength is a combination of our local team working in unison with our local distributor networks. This coupled with our strong suppliers’ relationships allows us to manage and adapt to constantly changing needs in very diverse and challenging regions.

“Our decision to add more local in-market personnel along with additional WEBB Banks support staff was instrumental in helping us grow our business and share within the Caribbean, Central America and travel retail during these challenging times,” he explained.

Travel retail and cruise market trends

Describing the dynamics of the business, Castellvi points out that due to the close proximity of the Caribbean to the United States in many cases brand performance across the region is often a bi-product of American success stories. In addition to the growth of Tito’s Vodka across travel retail and the cruise market reflecting its growth in the US, WEBB has seen progression within the liquor segment and the premium aged rum and American whiskey categories. Experiencing “phenomenal growth” with its Disaronno Amaretto and Disaronno Velvet, Illva Saronno S.p.A. remains committed to investing in both channels. WEBB has also been able to broaden the stories of brands like Bumbu Rum and Templeton Rye Whiskey to the “away from home” traveler. From a new category perspective, the company is pleased with the reception of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey. The new and innovative brand launched last year in Puerto Rico and has already taken off.

According to Castellvi, feedback from key customers within the cruise industry say business has bounced back to almost pre-pandemic levels. Considering the continued addition of new cruise lines, he believes there is opportunity for this channel moving forward.

Growing and reflecting

Having become accustomed to facing existing hardships within the Caribbean and Central America, WEBB relied on the strength and experience of its management team to overcome the pandemic. Benefitting from the early re-opening of select markets in the Caribbean and its small team and in-market personnel, WEBB Banks doubled its business over the last two years. Looking ahead, WEBB is excited about the newly signed deal and upcoming changes.

“We have found a great partner in Southern Glazer’s, like us a family-owned company that takes pride in a strong company culture and diverse workforce and shares our values and commitment to building world-class wine and spirits brands.

“Together, with our market expertise and Southern Glazer’s strong industry relationships, superior capabilities and deep consumer and trade insights, we will significantly elevate the standard of services we provide to our valued suppliers, wholesalers, and retail customers,” said Consuegra.

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Special Report
WEBB Banks has been able to broaden the stories of brands like Templeton Rye Whiskey to the “away from home” traveler

A sweet

escape

GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL MAGAZINE ASKS EXPERTS IN THE SPIRITS

CATEGORY FOR THEIR TAKE ON FLAVOR INNOVATION, ESCAPISM AND EXPERIMENTATION IN 2023

As reported by IWSR earlier this year, flavor innovation across the spirits category in 2023 is expected to be fuelled by “unique experiences and fun moments.” Tapping into this playful mood in the travel retail space, Global Travel Retail Magazine collected input from select names in the business to learn how beverage companies and brands are prioritizing escapism and driving innovation.

On a mission to make beverage alcohol the “growth engine” within a stronger travel retail industry and double the category over the next seven years, Diageo says it needs to innovate across its business – not only with its brands. The global leader is using consumer insights to direct its strategy and shape its product and experience offering in travel retail. It is also emphasizing three key areas of innovation: product, retail and omnichannel and recruiting a new, younger, more inclusive and gender diverse audience.

According to Annelie Moessel, Head of Innovation at Diageo Global Travel, rather than churning out short-lived innovations, Diageo is investing in its most stretching ideas to unlock new occasions and create sustainable growth for the long term. Moessel points out this is done with a “future back” understanding of the consumer. The company is transforming the retail space to be high-impact and more immersive. Moessel provides the revamping of its Johnnie Walker permanent visual sites as an example. The changes reflect Diageo’s future vision and incorporate more dynamic digital options.

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The team at Fraternity Spirits supports new serves within mixology to help stand out from its competition Annelie Moessel, Head of Innovation at Diageo Global Travel John McDonnell, Managing Director International at Tito’s Handmade Vodka

“Since we understand the crucial blend of experience and digital, we have established ‘What’s Your Whisky,’ an e-platform to recruit new shoppers and help them trade-up within the scotch category. The digital tool is used to identify flavor preferences and it is being installed across permanent fixtures and via online customer sites,” she explains.

In the case of Fraternity Spirits World (Fraternity Spirits), while the company believes in traditional products and flavors, Owner Raffaele Berardi says innovation is a requirement to succeed. This is why the company supports new serves within mixology to help stand out from its competition and introduce new liquids with different profiles and unique combinations. The company also maintains relevancy among a wide group of travelers by identifying new consumer segments and designing versatile products that cater to various occasions.

“We are constantly developing new ways to create special moments. For us, bringing people together through our products is the final goal and we do so by supporting our clients with creative, fun and original ideas that will leave an experience in our consumers' memories,” shares Berardi.

At the same time, he notes that nostalgic serves and flavors are rooted in the past and often evoke memories of a simpler time. Berardi says nostalgia ties into the concept of escapism by transporting consumers to a different time or place and providing a temporary reprieve from the stresses of everyday life. The heightening of a moment by a product in Fraternity Spirits’

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Raffaele Berardi, Owner, Fraternity Spirits

portfolio could bring a feeling equivalent to the sense of escapism that travel offers to individuals.

“Fraternity Spirits continues to be a leader in driving innovation in the spirits category by focusing on sustainability, leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience and disrupting category norms through more inclusive and diverse marketing campaigns,” adds Berardi.

Outlining the importance of presenting something new to the category, John McDonnell, Managing Director International at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, says even though buyers are familiar with vodka, it is the innovative cocktails – and of course the classic serves – that can be made with vodka that help to keep people excited and engaged.

“Spirits, especially those like Tito’s Handmade

Vodka, that have earned consumer loyalty because of their very nature are perfectly positioned to offer consumers unique experiences and fun moments. We continue to foster these in travel retail by offering our popular Tito’s ugly sweaters and red, white and blue bottle bags and by communicating our commitment to helping charities and organizations,” says McDonnell.

Alongside its commitment to animal welfare and Vodka for Dog People initiative, the brand disrupts category norms by working with organizations across the globe to support community causes and projects. The company’s generosity extends into the travel retail space; it recently partnered with DFS Group to run a program that earmarked US$1 per bottle to benefit Meals on Wheels. The brand has also supported Duty Free Americas’ CSR initiatives via donation to The Sylvester Cancer Center and is teaming up with iShoppes on an upcoming program to benefit No Kid Hungry.

Circling back to Diageo’s take, Moessel says as the industry looks toward the future of travel retail, focusing on experience, escape and diversity is key to tap into the next generation of travelers. Gen Z consumers are quickly becoming a larger part of its base and innovation can support the company in gaining their attention and interest.

“Instead of feeling outpaced and over-charged, the next generation of consumers is likely to feel that constant innovation is a given. However, product innovation alone is not a unique selling point. We need to drive innovation around immersive experiences that engage and deliver for all senses,” she says.

At Diageo’s new Johnnie Walker stores, the company invites consumers to take a journey through flavor with an interactive brand experience featuring smell, taste and emotion with luxury shopping service mixed in.

STALK&BARREL raises a glass to Canadian innovation

Iceberg Vodka Corporation tells Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTRM) STALK&BARREL Canadian Whisky is the latest edition to its growing portfolio. It is now available for duty free purchase in Canada, including at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

From Vaughan, Ontario, a city just north of Toronto, the handcrafted whisky has gained popularity in the spirits market for its creamy vanilla, butterscotch and white pepper notes.

This “must-try” small-batch handcrafted whisky uses locally sourced grains and is aged in hand-selected barrels. The flavor profile “seamlessly blends traditional Canadian whisky with a modern twist,” Iceberg reports to GTRM

With recent brand building expected to impact unique experiences and fun moments, STALK&BARREL is entering the TR channel at an opportune time.

According to its website, the company has goals of “reinventing what it means to be Canadian-made,” encouraging whisky lovers to “craft new traditions.”

STALK&BARREL is the official Canadian whisky of Golf Canada, RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open.

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Special Report
The handcrafted whisky uses locally sourced grains and is aged in hand-selected barrels Tito’s Handmade Vodka champions innovative cocktails and classic serves to maintain category engagement

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The

perfectblend

Located in the Macarapana Valley and off the coast of the Caribbean Sea, Destilería Carúpano benefits from what it calls an exceptional microclimate. This natural recipe for success, which depends on elements like humidity, salinity and high temperatures during the day and lower temperatures during the night, optimizes the aging process up to three times and enables air to penetrate the American white oak barrels used to increase the complexity of its rum.

Described as a pure and honest rum, with no added sugar or artificial flavors, Ron Carúpano’s richness comes from its natural environment and aging process. Plus, the passion of its Master Blender Carmen López. Responsible for the continued legacy of the brand, López has helped to drive innovation, enhance product quality and position Ron Carúpano as a leading name in the prestige and prestige-plus categories in Venezuela. As the first female certified master blender in the country, López has also paved the way

for other women to enter into – and make their mark on – the industry.

“I am proud to say that being a pioneer and becoming the first female blender 33 years ago has inspired other women in the field. My advice to them would be: don’t be afraid to trust you are talented enough, to trust you are strong enough and to trust your sensibility,” she says.

A divine transformation

Leading up to the Summit, Global Travel Retail Magazine spoke with López, Global Marketing Director Lucia Alliegro and Sales and Marketing Coordinator Maria Luisa Sanchez to learn more about the award-winning brand and its presence in travel retail.

Discussing Ron Carúpano’s mission to spearhead the elevation and premiumization of the rum category, the team says innovation is ingrained in the DNA of the brand. The aim is to show the world that rum can be as exclusive and as premium as whisky. In 2020, the company revamped the look of its commercial

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Interview with Carmen López, Master Blender at Ron Carúpano, on the premiumization of the rum category and the legacy of the brand Ron Carúpano activation at JFK Airport Terminal 4 Carmen López, Master Blender at Ron Carúpano

portfolio and launched its super premium Ron Carúpano 18. Alliegro says this move served as a turning point and the update ensured that Ron Carúpano’s brand image matches the quality of its liquid.

Last year, in line with the portfolio revamp, the hero product of Ron Carúpano’s Collector’s line: Ron Carúpano Legendario experienced a “Divine Transformation.” This transformation led to a new look and added value. The range also welcomed Ron Carúpano Reserve 1996, which is an evolution of its Ron Carúpano Zafra and a reliable starting point for those looking to dive into the world of prestige. In the second half of this year, enthusiasts can expect the look of Ron Carúpano X.O. to also change.

When asked how much the premiumization category trend played a role in the transformation of Ron Carúpano Legendario, Alliegro points out the recent general change of behavior among consumers also happened in Venezuela. With more criteria, knowledge and a tendency to self-indulge, consumers are

in the know – and more demanding and better informed than ever. Central to Ron Carúpano’s brand message: rum is a spirit that can be used for more than mixing, it is one worthy of sipping.

Women in power

It is said that López’s “feminine sensibility” helps to give Carúpano rums’ a special touch. As a family-owned, artisanal business, Ron Carúpano’s creative process, research and development and quality of work are rooted in sensory analysis and evaluation. To maintain the profile of its collection, López says in addition to technical knowledge, her task as Master Blender requires that she trust her instincts and palate.

“Women have a different view on taste than men. Rum should be exquisite, beautiful and satisfying to the palate. I want my products to be mystical, magical and balanced. By lowering the tannic notes as time passes, rum becomes more feminine and seductive throughout the aging process,” she explains.

According to López, it is about having the capacity, the taste and the ultra-sensibility, as well as the dedication to know how to mix different types of blends with different aging vintages in order to create products that elevate every occasion of life. López’s personal mission is to continue to make people happy through her work because “rum unites people.”

“Ron Carúpano’s tasting journey has been a great achievement because I’m in love with what I make. Each rum that I have created I have done so with a lot of love and responsibility; I put in the passion the profession requires because loving what you do already makes it successful,” she adds.

López is also Head of the company’s Quality Department, which means she leads the team responsible for complying with International Organization of Standardisation (ISO) regulations. As shared on its site, ISO is an independent, nongovernmental international organization that brings together experts to develop voluntary, consensus-based and market relevant standards to support innovation.

Building brand recognition

Providing an update on its presence in travel retail, Ron Carúpano is using the channel to educate the consumer, draw attention to category premiumization and showcase its super premium range and Collector’s line: Ron Carúpano Legendario, Ron Carúpano X.O. and Ron Carúpano Reserve 1996.

Looking to build brand recognition, Ron Carúpano launched an endcap at JFK Airport Terminal 4 in December 2022 and plans to increase its attendance at trade shows throughout the year. The first stop: Summit of the Americas at Suite 1E.

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Ron Carúpano’s richness comes from its natural environment and aging process In 2020, the company revamped the look of its commercial portfolio to match the quality of its liquid

Love of Latin

KNOWN FOR ITS BOTANICAL COLLECTION, LATIN GIN IS NEW TO TRAVEL RETAIL AND REPRESENTS A NEW SEGMENT IN THE GIN CATEGORY

Inspired by a love story, a love of travel and a love of adventure, Latin Gin is described as an authentic and timeless gin that is true to the Latin way of life. The budding brand is new to duty free and has already earned interest from multiple retailers in the channel. Co-Founder Ivania Sher tells Global Travel Retail Magazine it represents a new segment in the gin category and attracts a new type of consumer – one that desires quality over quantity.

From the start, the team at Latin Gin set out to offer a different kind of experience – one that not only celebrates the spirit and its rich tradition, but also creates a feeling of connection. The brand’s emergence is based on the fact that consumers – especially those shopping in duty free and travel retail – are increasingly interested in finding fresh, exciting and fun spirits. Since Latin America and Latin Europe present some of the world’s most desired destinations the brand’s product range is a match.

At a glance, Latin Lover and Latin Beach appeal to new gin drinkers; Latin Lover is a soft gin infused with strawberries and roses, Latin Beach is more playful with a passionfruit nose and a hint of citrus. Classic in style, Latin Spice and Latin Secco are also available for more traditional gin drinkers.

“Latin Gin is famous for its beautiful aromas; and our fine botanical collection is curated from countries in Latin America and Latin Europe. Tradition, love of the land, care for the environment and respect for an age-old way of life are values that underpin the gathering of Latin Gin botanicals. The brand’s artful blend of ingredients gives Latin Gin its passion, unique character and perfected flavor,” she explains.

Crafted in Italy, Latin Gin is “a work of modern craftsmanship produced in the foothills of the Italian Alps.”

As shared by Sher, the collection is made in a boutique-size distillery by a centuryold family business that has perfected the art of spirits production. The master distillers of Latin Gin have a heritage of art, culture and design, “imbuing the final spirit with sophistication.” The gin is made with an uncompromising attention to detail. Sher points out that each bottle of the gin has historical roots and is a masterpiece of tradition.

Trending worldwide

According to Sher, Latin Gin embodies escapism and experimentation and Latin

Latin Lover is a soft gin infused with strawberries and roses

culture is trending worldwide. Enjoying a cocktail is all about being transported to a new place or the comfort of the familiar. Latin Gin’s four expressions: Latin Lover, Latin Beach, Latin Spice and Latin Secco are crafted for “the most important cocktail occasions” and to capture a diverse range of emotions.

“We see on social media an excitement of the Latin twist on familiar cocktails such as Latin Mule, Latin Margarita, Brazilian Negroni and Spanish Sling. It’s exciting to see a whole culture reclaiming a spirit category as their own. Like a new genre of music, Latin Gin expressions open the door to creativity behind the bar,” she adds.

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Latin Beach is more playful with a passionfruit nose and a hint of citrus

2 23

April 16 – 19 I Palm Beach County Convention Center I West Palm Beach, Florida

Categories and collaboration

MONARQ Group adds three brands to its portfolio and teams up with JapaneseFrench brand Heavensake to establish the high-end sake category in the region

Dubbed a “first-mover” Robert de Monchy, Founder at MONARQ Group (MONARQ), says the Group’s ability to source upcoming trends is a team effort, led by its marketing department and based on online research, digital sources, trade publications and market visits.

With a focus on taste and product diversification, MONARQ has been growing at a steady rate and successfully expanding its regional footprint. The leading distributor of premium beverages in the domestic and duty free markets of Latin America and the Caribbean – plus, the USA duty free channel – recently added three new brands to its portfolio: Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin, Condesa Gin and Charleston Bloody Mary Mix. Coming up, the company is moving to a larger office space in Coconut Grove, Miami, to accommodate its growing organization and host its suppliers and distribution partners.

Leading the way

Known for driving innovation, the company helped to shape categories such as Japanese whiskey, mezcal and craft beer. Serving as an early adopter, de Monchy says gives MONARQ the opportunity to select the right brands, which generally puts the Group in a leading position within new categories in the region.

“Product diversification within our portfolio is a key element of our strategy. Even in more generic categories, we only consider distinctive products that offer a unique selling point and have defined a clear positioning,” he explains.

When it comes to distributing premium beverages across the duty free channel in the Americas, de Monchy comments brand loyalty tends to remain the same from region to region. Although the product offer in retail mainly depends on the visitor target

group, consumers remain loyal to aspirational global brands including Jack Daniel’s, Heineken and Bollinger – all of which are part of MONARQ Group’s portfolio.

According to him, right now, there is movement toward uniqueness and premiumization, as well as destination products within the spirits category. When asked about the cruise channel, de Monchy points out that sustainability – and a brand’s positioning toward sustainability – is becoming more and more relevant to cruise buyers.

From sourcing trends to connecting with its consumer base, the Group depends on the global marketing strategy of individual brands. In line with today’s market, de Monchy refers to millennials as “digital natives” and reiterates that – even more than millennials – they are best targeted via social media and e-commerce.

When asked about its recent collaboration with the JapaneseFrench brand Heavensake, the growing category of high-end sake in duty free and the Group’s potential to help transform the century old category, he adds more than transforming the category, MONARQ Group wants to establish it within “our part of the world.”

“We were looking at the high-end sake category for years, but decided to stay out until the right premium brand with international appeal and potential came along. Today, we are in a strong position to have two brands in our portfolio that exactly fit the profile we were looking for: Heavensake and SOTO,” he says.

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Award-winning SOTO sake is finely polished with specialty rice and offers a clean, smooth taste Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin perfectly fits the current premiumization trend within the gin category

Luggage for wine lovers

FlyWithWine

FlyWithWine (FWW), creator of luggage designed to protect wine and spirits while traveling, is preparing for a big year ahead, starting with its attendance at Summit of the Americas followed by TFWA Cannes.

Participating in these events for the second year in a row, Ron Scharman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of FWW, says the company has developed several new partnerships since its presence last year and is in discussion with potential cruise, duty free and travel retailer partners.

Global expansion

Napa, California-based FWW has secured partnerships with airport retailer Stellar Partners (at select US airport locations) and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, which recently acquired Miamibased WEBB Banks. It has also partnered with Brazilian Cellshop Duty Free’s triple border store operations to serve the South America region.

With its headquarters and main distribution hub founded in the state’s wine country region, FWW has established distribution operations in Canada to keep up with demand and growth. Several additional distribution hubs are slated to begin operations this summer, particularly in Europe and Australia. A

UK-based distribution hub will launch in September.

Scharman says the company did not experience major sales decline during the pandemic.

“Demand has always been there and has come back in full strength due to our continued entry into new sales channels and people’s desire to travel again. We believe that our products are a natural fit for many of the world’s winery regions and travel destinations. We believe in searching for that perfect bottle of wine,” he says.

Wine transport and travel

Ideal for gifting and self-gifting, and suitable for a wide demographic, FWW is highlighting two of its travel solutions for wine and spirits lovers in the year ahead.

The VinGardeValise Collection is the company's flagship line of wine and spirits travel luggage. The product line was a first of its kind when introduced to the market in 2016.

“It continues to be the ultimate choice for the casual wine lover, to the more serious oenophile (wine connoisseur), as well as for the industry professional,” explains Scharman.

The classic VinGardeValise luggage can be personalized for each travel experience with removable patented protec-

tive inserts that allow for travel with up to 12 bottles of wine. The luggage can also accommodate some spirits bottles. All VinGardeValise models are airline approved, TSA compliant and supported by the FWW’s 10-year manufacturer's warranty.  Personalization and customization services are available.

The VinXplorer Beverage Backpack, introduced in late-2022, is a multifunctional bag accommodating up to three liters. A discrete spigot allows for easy access from the insulated foil-lined, reusable bladder bag. The backpack features a two-bottle hard shell with foam zipper case that can be used with the backpack or separately. It offers space and pockets for other items, including a protective section for laptop and electronic device storage. Adjustable shoulder straps can be removed and stored in the concealed zipper pocket, transforming the bag to be travel-ready as an airline carry on, without liquids.

Along with US travel retail and duty free locations, FlyWithWine products are also offered at luxury retailers Neiman Marcus, Williams Sonoma, Bergdorf Goodman and Macy’s. The brand is present in more than 500 winery tasting rooms and specialty wine retailers.

The VinGardeValise Collection from FlyWithWine is the company's flagship line of wine and spirits travel luggage. The product line was a first of its kind when introduced to the market in 2016
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The classic VinGardeValise luggage can be personalized for each travel experience with removable patented protective inserts that allow for travel with up to 12 bottles of wine
tells Global Travel Retail Magazine it has secured new supplier partnerships and is planning for a big year ahead
fdfa.ca @FDFAInsider @CanadaDutyFree BUILDING TOMORROW CANADIAN DUTY FREE –King Edward Hotel, Toronto ON FDFA Convention 2023 November 27–30

Nestlé ITR returns to Summit with five brands in focus

Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR) returns to Summit of the Americas this year showcasing five key focus brands: KitKat®, Smarties®, Nestlé Swiss®, After Eight®, and with nonconfectionery brand Nescafé®.

New products presented at Summit of the Americas include KitKat Vegan bar; KitKat Senses Tablets; Pistachio and Lotus Biscuit flavors for KitKat Senses Mini Moments; four-flavor KitKat Mix Sharing Bag (White, Dark, Milk and Orange); and KitKat Chunky Mix Gift Pack updated flavors (Peanut Butter, Milk and White).

For Smarties, this spring sees the launch of Smarties Cool Creatures. Exclusive to travel retail, Cool Creatures represents NITR’s first venture into augmented reality, with a QR

code taking users/shoppers to a virtual world where they can access three digital experiences: marine explorer, fun facts and an expert quiz.

The Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut addition joins the Nestlé Swiss 170-gram tablet range.

After Eight has a new Gin & Tonic Mint limited-edition flavor, in a 400-gram travel exclusive pack.

Travel retail options for the Nescafé Roastery Collection light and dark roast will be presented. And, the brand will highlight Nescafé Azera Americano, designed to appeal to younger consumers, in Americano, Americano Decaff and Americano Intense versions.

Open Coast Gin Co. highlights sustainability practices

Newfoundland, Canada-based Open Coast Gin Co. is highlighting its sustainability practices as it ventures into the duty free and travel retail channel. The brand has recently joined Canadian Iceberg Vodka Corporation’s portfolio.

Emerging as a standout brand in the craft spirits industry, Open Coast says its commitment to sustainability sets it apart from the competition.

“For us, the coastline hits close to home. That's why a portion of our proceeds go toward clean ocean initiatives – so we can give back to something that gives us so much,” reads the website.

Produced locally in St. John’s, the classic dry gin offers a unique taste that “captures the rugged beauty of Canada’s coastline,” the brand says. Presented in a sleek and modern bottle, the gin is ideal for experienced gin drinkers and casual enjoyers alike. Open Coast Gin Co. is now available for duty free purchase in Canada, including at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

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Nestlé After Eight new Gin & Tonic Mint limited-edition flavor Open Coast Gin Co. is available at duty free stores in Canada, including Toronto Pearson International Airport

Ferrero brings biscuit and tablet innovations to SOTA

Ferrero Travel Market will return to Summit of the Americas to showcase its latest innovations in its biscuit and tablet ranges.

Under the branding of La Biscotteria, Ferrero has released Kinder Cards T(2x3), Nutella Biscuits T12 and T22. Kinder Cards and Nutella Biscuits were introduced in selected European domestic markets over the last three years. The positive response from shoppers has inspired Ferrero to introduce the range in airports, border stores and on ferries.

The Ferrero Rocher Tablets (in three flavors: milk, dark 55% cocoa and white), launched in TR last year with the category providing new opportunities to engage shoppers with sharing and treat-size indulgences. The launch of Ferrero Rocher Tablets into the fast-growing premium chocolate tablet category reinforced Ferrero’s competitive position within the premium chocolate market. The three flavors are available in an exclusive travel retail multipack format for travelers containing 3 x 90-gram tablets.

Both the biscuit and tablets range will be rolling out in travel retail, with a focus on the USA. The full biscuit range will be available in US duty free stores from March and Ferrero Rocher tablets will follow in May.

Marshall Retail Group opens 10 concepts at Kansas City International Airport

Marshall Retail Group (MRG) and InMotion announced the opening of 10 concepts inside the Single Terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI).

At the security checkpoint leading into Concourse A is The Market at 18th & Vine, a travel essentials store designed to honor the historic 18th & Vine jazz district, featuring an interactive keyboard. Travelers can visit the Made in KC Marketplace to shop products from dozens of local vendors and makers, including Skin, Growing Days, Christopher Elbow and LEGO®

The walkway into Concourse B features a replica of the oldest market in the Midwest, City Market KC. The store invites travelers to explore local vendors and discover the city’s past. Concourse B travelers can also check out the Turn the Page KC bookstore, with a sculpture of a book commissioned in celebration of MRG’s partnership with Turn the Page KC, a local literacy organization.

Additional MRG concepts in Concourse B include The Pitch newsstand and gift shop, InMotion tech accessories store and Brookside Local.

MRG has also launched its first automated retail solutions at MCI and now offers travelers 24-hour access to key brands. One of these automated retail concepts is the airport electronics retailer InMotion Kiosk.

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Ferrero will bring one of its latest innovations, Nutella Biscuits, to the event City Market KC in Concourse B. Photo by Jeff Evrard

Duty Free Global enters non-alcoholic spirits category with Caleño

Tropical non-alcoholic spirit brand Caleño has appointed Duty Free Global (DFG) as its global travel retail partner.

DFG will be representing Caleño Light & Zesty, a gin alternative distilled with a mix of 10 botanicals, including pineapple, lemon peel and Colombian inca berry. The other, Dark & Spicy, is a rum alternative adding a bold punch of pineapple, coconut, lime and natural spices.

“Duty Free Global are the leading experts on building brands in global travel across multiple categories. They have a proven track-record and an amazing reputation in the trade. It is brilliant to be partnering with them as their only non-alcoholic brand and I am extremely excited to see where this partnership can go,” said Ellie Webb, Founder of Caleño.

Barry Geoghegan, Founder of Duty Free Global said, “We think it will appeal to travel retail operators with the growing trend for non-alcoholic alternatives in particular with millennials and Gen Z and it also offers an extra sale on top of the passenger’s duty free allowance.”

And, Duty Free Global’s recently appointed Vice President America’s Tito González will be attending Summit of the Americas. González, born and raised in Panama, has more than 20 years’ experience in the wine and spirits industry.

“This is just an incredible team to work with. We all come from different backgrounds and cultures but share the same objective; to build brands. America plays a big role in our global business and Latin America and the Caribbean are full of opportunities and areas to conquer,” he said.

It’s a 10 partners with International Brand Builders Inc. to grow TR presence

International Brand Builders Inc. tells Global Travel Retail Magazine it has been named partner for It’s a 10 in the Americas region. The haircare brand is expanding its presence in the travel retail channel, highlighting its exclusive travel size kits.

It’s a 10 has more than two decades’ experience as a leading brand. It is female-owned and cruelty-free Leaping Bunny certified.

Katherine Sleipnes, President at International Brand Builders Inc., will be at Summit of the Americas in West Palm Beach to represent the brand. Contact Sleipnes at +1-954-557-8638 to arrange a meeting.

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The exclusive travel size kits from It’s a 10

Appleton Estate opens multisensorial boutique at Sangster Airport

Campari Group Global Travel Retail has opened a new permanent boutique experience for Appleton Estate Jamaica rum, located within the Dufry store at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

The boutique features the largest most digitally advanced activation in the brand’s history, engaging shoppers in a selfguided, immersive journey that blends the physical, multisensorial and digital experience. New Ruby Anniversary Edition is a key feature of the space.

The central focus of the store is the Appleton Estate Insignia, formed of five national symbols of Jamaica all integral to the Appleton Estate brand identity. The 3D modernist copper sculpture in the center of the space intrigues shoppers and is the starting point for the interactive experience.

Shoppers can scan the front label of any bottle in-store to discover content about the age statement, the craft and passion behind it, the characteristics and taste profile, at-home recipes and more.

A wall-sized digital screen shares sights and sounds of each stage of crafting Appleton Estate and brand ambassadors offer cocktail demos and guided tastings at the bar for the permanent portfolio available in-store. Shoppers can also add personalized messages to the neck hanger of purchased bottles, accessible via QR code.

Brown-Forman named among World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere

Brown-Forman is recognized by Ethisphere as one of 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies. This is the second year that the company has received the recognition.

“We are proud to be recognized as a World's Most Ethical Companies Honoree for the second year in a row,” said Lawson Whiting, CEO, Brown-Forman Corporation. “The people of Brown-Forman, through their commitment to our values, have helped us to flourish since our founding in 1870. Our values are at the forefront of who we are and how we conduct business each day.”

Grounded in Ethisphere’s proprietary Ethics Quotient®, the World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment process includes more than 200 questions on culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity, and initiatives to support a strong value chain. The process serves as an operating framework to capture and codify the leading practices of organizations across industries and around the globe.

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Products in the Brown-Forman portfolio The Appleton Estate boutique is located within the Dufry store at Sangster International Airport
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