Pragma on the airport store of the future
Pragma Managing Director, Airports, Travel & Commercial Spaces Alex Avery believes that in the digital age airport retailers must radically evolve the consumer proposition in order to maintain and grow customer conversion and spend.
This article is the latest in our popular new series in association with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which examines travel retail and airport sector ‘disruptors’ – focusing on companies challenging established models through risk-taking innovation.
With high volumes of affluent travellers, airports offer a captive audience for retailers. They’re one of the few locations able to guarantee footfall and the opportunity for brand exposure – compared to conventional high street and shopping centre locations. This has led to a wider mix of brands and category types gaining interest in occupying the showroom opportunity airport space offers.
The unique selling point and safety net of the value-driven tax and duty free proposition, together with the captive audience, has to date sheltered airport retailers from high street competition. It has long been considered a channel of its own, insulated from the market pressures of downtown.
In the digital age though, with a diminishing price advantage, the global dominance and reach of the e-commerce giants, cross-border fulfilment and increasing price transparency, the pressure is on. Airport retailers need to evolve their proposition in order to maintain and grow customer conversion and spend.