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TFWA 2014 highlights

TFWA 2014 highlights

The 30th TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, the 'Tax-Free' to initiates, kicked off Sunday 26 October, with an invitation-only cocktail (dress  'smart') at the legendary Carlton Hotel, followed by a dazzling firework display offered by the City.




For all involved in travel retail - luxury brands, their agents and distributors, airport architects, designers, operators, investors... - there followed a not-to- be-missed five days of ideas, networking and business, facilitated by a generous helping of social...








3000 premium products from 39 countries and 1200 companies;


600 DF & TR operators and airport authorities;



6300 delegates, over half from outside Europe.






In his opening address, TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen reflected on the last 30 years of Travel-Retail.


“Last year the average annual wage in China was over $8000; in 1985 it was $300!” The industry was "content in 1985 - Turnover was $6bn, just one tenth of what it is today." Back then, "Wines and spirits accounted for more than one-third of sales and luxury was not  even a category!" Nevertheless, he questioned "the current business model... leading to an 'unstable tipping point' of high rents and eye-watering concession fees."




Other major TR industry challenges were identified by keynote speakers:


  • The fight against counterfeit:
    TFWA joined forces with French manufacturers' union Unifab in a wide-ranging workshop. Maître Emmanuelle Hoffman, a Unifab vice president. quoted figures: 36 million fake products seized in Europe last year, 3 billion globally!
    Nestor Martinez-Aguado, responsible for intellectual property at the French Foreign Ministry, was unambiguous: counterfeiting contributes $250bn a year to fund organized crime, floods markets with low-quality and/or dangerous goods and exploits labor, particularly under-age & feminine.
  • Is Big Data the way forward for in-flight DF sales?
    In-flight concessionaire, Tourvest, thinks so and Joe Harvey their Chief S & M Officer challenged the industry to pool data on the two priority areas of sales conversion & personalization. Cathay Pacific's In-flight Sales Development Manager agreed: "We must use our data to ensure there are no reasons for consumers not to shop on our planes".
  • m1nd-set, the TR market & consumer research company has launched its own Big Data bid at which it describes as "the first global industry think-tank". Consumers provide feedback on their travel and travel-retail experience – good or bad – in the knowledge that their data and comments will be shared with the companies concerned.
    Conversely, the site can be used by travel & travel-retail professionals as a research & concept-testing resource. Already consumers from over 60 countries, with a wide range of age, business/leisure, mileage, expenditure... profiles have signed up.




Brands 'making their mark' included:



  • Pernod Ricard who gave guests at their Travel Retail dinner a taste (& no more!) of  Martell Premier Voyage, Martell's 300th-anniversary cognac. Just 300 bottles produced worldwide and a price-tag of some €10,000...per bottle
  • Haig Club, bringing David Beckham, (football superstar or global celebrity?), briefly to Cannes to support the single-grain scotch in the royal blue bottle at $62.50. David admitted he was no connoisseur but talked at length of his grandfather's love for whisky!
  • L'Oréal gave a TR press conference on how the brand aims to "interact with global shoppers from the very start of their journey, throughout their traveling and all the way back to the domestic market in their home country" - a sort of 'cradle to grave' marketing approach! (To be fair: Just several days later outside the 'Tax Free', the company announced the extension from 2015 of its revolutionary social protection "Share and Care" to every member of its global workforce).
  • Nice airport operator 'Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur' unveiled tender plans for developing its retail concessions to attain 40% revenue growth from unchanged traffic volumes. Passengers are promised "an unforgettable retail experience... with that added French Riviera touch (sic)!"




Let us know if you manage to keep your hands in your pockets when you come through the Côte d'Azur terminals next year!


!We look forward to making your visit a success!