The Airline Retail Conference, the leading industry event centred on inflight sales, took place at Olympia London earlier this month, attracting over 300 delegates with 61 exhibitors showcasing their wares to airline travel retail buyers and agents. The event provided a forum for new and established brands looking to break into travel retail, and impress inflight buyers with their novelties.
Insightful conference sessions were split into three streams – Inflight, Pre/Post-flight and a new subject, The Digital Traveller, which explored the impact and implications of the ‘always connected traveller’ via smart phones, tablets and other internet devices.
The second break-out Workshop Two on Day One featured a short presentation from WH Smith International Director Louis de Bourgoing, who discussed the retailer’s relationship with airlines. “We are testing something very exciting which enables consumers to download newspapers,” he said. “We have 100 newspapers from 20 countries, some of which are difficult to import. Passengers can either download them instore or purchase a voucher if they are in a hurry, with a code to download. This can be done in airports or even inflight as some carriers have WiFi.” WH Smith’s new toy shop format the Zoodle store recently opened its latest outlet in Departures at Hyderabad Rajiv Ghandi International Airport. The 700sq ft shop, is dedicated to children, and offers a range of toys, activity products, magazines, stationery collections, gifts and gadgets. “The new Zoodle store at Hyderabad is number two in terms of sales compared to the other WH Smith outlets at the location, so is a real success,” de Bourgoing said. “The airport is very happy.” WH Smith operates over 700 stores in travel locations, including more than 160 units in around 50 airports.
The Airline Retail Awards dinner and ceremony took place at the Kensington Close Hotel on the evening of Day One. The first prize went to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which triumphed in The Best Airline for Inflight Retail category. British Airways scooped the Best Airline for Food and Beverage award, while The Best Inflight Concessionaire prize went to Inflight Service Europe. Scorpio Worldwide collected the award for Best Inflight Retail Agent or Distributor, and KÖLD Frozen Cocktails claimed the Best New Inflight Product prize. The Best Inflight Product award went to Daniel Wellington, with Pots & Co. and Chai Latte triumphing in the Best Inflight Product – Food and Best Inflight Product – Beverage categories respectively. Tony Detter, Managing Director of Inflight Sales Group, won the Airline Retail Personality of the Year award.
[“source – airport-business.com”]