14 May 2013
Workshop A at the Tax Free World Association Asia/Pacific focused on how retailers, brands and airports can delight and surprise travellers
A three-pronged panel consisting of Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd (MAHB) senior general manager of commercial services of commercial services Puan Faizah Khairuddin, Duty Free Philippines (DFP) chief commercial officer Lorenzo Enchong Formoso and William Grant & Sons global marketing manager Ian Taylor discussed how airports, retailers and brands can create the “Perfect Journey” for consumers during WorkShop A at the Tax Free World Association Conference and Exhibition in Singapore.
The session began with a presentation from Faizah who previewed the opening of the new klia2 permanent low-cost terminal at Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA) which is due to be operational on June 28.
Faizah, who spoke of the aim to create “an exciting retail adventure” said: “In our field we want klia2 to become a destination (as opposed to a location) because we believe it can evoke the retail explorer among travellers.
“At the outset we embarked on an intense market research campaign and was keen to understand the customer demographic and behaviour. Whatever the customer wants we will set out to create.”
Regarding MAHB’s 39 other airports Faizah said: “We will leverage learnings and migrate best practices from klia2 elsewhere. We will shift perception of all MAHB-managed airports and ensure they are recognised as lifestyle destinations.”
Faizah was followed on stage by William Grant’s Taylor who discussed whether it is possible to create “The Perfect Journey.” He commented: “Can a brand create the perfect journey? This is beyond me, but striving to attain something should not be outside my remit. Perhaps a more suitable question is whether I can create the perfect moment?”
He then highlighted why brands might be encouraged or discouraged from entering global travel-retail. “There cam be quite a lot of friction in the trinity. There are high costs of business, high levels of complexity and low profitability.
“Why would a brand like to be involved in global travel-retail? “There is of course the chance of global showcase, impressive demographic mix and product change and highly trained staff and as you drive the middle class there is that goal to move forward.”
In terms of William Grant’s involvement in global travel-retail Taylor said: “We must be profitable and bring our brand essence alive. If we get it right, consumers will find something they didn’t expect and make a purchase and airport authority, brand and operator will all be content.”
Executive these activities in airports is the prime objective. “At the airport, consumers are comfortable, relaxed and ready to shop. With the brands William Grant have, I will focus on the airport as this is where we have the opportunity to bring our brands alive.”
Creating “The Perfect Journey” may be difficult but Taylor said: “Can we create the perfect journey of a brand? No we can’t, but we can strive to create that perfect moment.”
The final presentation was delivered by DFP’s Formoso who enthralled the audience with numerous amusing video clips. Referring to the retailer’s slogan: “Duty-Free. It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
Formoso delivered a comprehensive overview into its diverse customer base covering several segments? The tourist regular travel and Balikbayan markets? and how it services their needs through social media and other means. “The tourism market, for example, covers a vast range of travellers each with a different need to come to the Philippines. DFP opens its doors to this market via the Fiesta Mall and various other concepts. Aside from the usual core duty-free offerings, Filipino products such as Haliya Light Fruit Wine and Guimaras chocolates are available in our stores.”
Accommodating the needs of the Balikbayan overseas workers fulfils Formoso with a sense of pride. “Being part of this tradition sets us apart from other travel retailers. We develop our shopping mix to cater for the needs of this market. No journey is complete without this passenger group shopping at one of our various outlets.”
Formoso concluded: “We recognise each market as unique and despite the differences try to turn the shopping experience into a perfect dream. Every day we happily open our doors to give customers a unique, warm and shopping experience. We want each traveller to bring home a special warm feeling that is uniquely Filipino.”