How is the travel retail business nowadays?
Travel is more and more integrated to our way of life. Thus, TR is getting more important in terms of business but also in an omnichannel brand visibility strategy and tomorrow probably in an omnichannel sales process.
Millennials represent a strong share of passengers (+50% and growing), so it’s crucial for brands to adapt their offer and communication.
Airports are a fantastic platform to showcase and recruit new consumers.
People travel for work, leisure and ultimately go on a trip to discover the world. And we have exactly what it takes to find the perfect bag companion.
Our TR business grew significantly over the past couple of years and while we are strengthening our business base we are also building our ambitious future.
How is the change of the brand affecting the travel retail business?
Kipling’s TR approach is completely in line with the new brand Creative Vision. TR seems to be the perfect playground to express Kipling Live Light. It’s all about being casual, in movement, juggling while targeting our collections to a younger consumer, who travels more and more in a global world.
This brand changes and the new Creative Vision are also making of Kipling an inclusive brand and that’s what we need in an airport environment. Try to picture the PAX mix in an airport: genders, age groups, nationalities. Such large diversity, being inclusive is a must. We need to address our collection to the largest number of passengers.
So in that sense, we are now completely unleashing Kipling potential in Travel Retail.
What is your focus this year?
This is year is about setting the foundation of our Global TR business. We are aligning our strategy globally in order to be more consistent and relevant during the consumer journey. Travellers are global and so are the consumers.
Concretely, this means that we are aligning our product offer in TR with Asia, EMEA and Americas.
We will, of course, keep some local specificities. We developed our GTR strategy to be globally consistent and locally relevant.
We also see the importance of exclusive products/ranges. We developed 12 exclusive TR SKUs as part of our core TR range, mainly backpacks and totes for now. We are working on exclusive products for some countries and airports (i.e. London airports and Rio de Janeiro airports). This is exactly how the locally relevant approach is key to us.
What is the future for travel retail?
As mentioned, we are now building our GTR business. It will take a few seasons before being fully aligned, then we will have to ensure our TR assortment lives well and allow us to grow as we want. Also, we are considering opportunities to open Kipling mono-brand stores in Asia (we already have 6 in China mainland, HK and Singapore).
In addition, we are looking for new channel opportunities such as inflight, where Kipling would be perfectly relevant.
From a global perspective, we have strong ambition to keep growing in this sector. There are regional specificities that will require local strategy adjustments but our ambition is to grow a strong and consistent presence of Kipling in Travel Retail worldwide and ultimately to offer our customer a unique Kipling experience during their journey.