18 January 2013
By Melody Ng in Kuala Lumpur
LS travel retail ASPAC officially opened its Lonely Planet, Billabong and Longchamp stores at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) today, marking the company’s entry into the Malaysian travel retail market.
An inauguration ceremony was held on 15 January at KLIA’s Satellite Building, where the three stores are located. It was attended by senior management from LS travel retail and Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB), members of the media – including from travel retail The Moodie Report – and guest-of-honour Her Excellency Madame Martine Dorance, France’s Ambassador to Malaysia.
The Lonely Planet store at KLIA is the first concept store for the travel brand in Asia and the third airport store worldwide, following the opening of outlets in Sydney, Australia (opened July 2009) and Manchester, England (opened June 2012).
The 153.6sq m outlet (which includes the adjacent Billabong space) will mirror that of the other two locations and offer travellers a full range of Lonely Planet travel guides (all 477 travel titles), phrasebooks, pictorials and reference products as well as showcasing new publishing initiatives such as the children’s series ‘Not-for-Parents’ and the recently released Food travel titles. There will also be an extensive range of travel essentials and gift items.
The store is designed with interactive elements in mind, from wide display screens with illustrations of global landscapes to an iPad Concierge platform that allows customers and staff to connect with the Lonely Planet’s digital range of products and services. The iPad Concierge also enables face-to-face live interaction with the Lonely Planet Manchester and Sydney stores, allowing customers and staff to exchange travel tips and information.
Speaking at the opening, Malaysia Airports Senior General Manager Commercial Services Puan Faizah Khairuddin said that LS travel retail’s choice of KLIA as a launch pad “speaks volumes” of MAHB’s efforts to position its airports as lifestyle destinations, and it shows that KLIA is “fast becoming the preferred destination of international brands”.
“Today, KLIA scores yet another first for Malaysia with the opening of Lonely Planet’s first concept store in Asia, following its success in Manchester and Sydney. We are delighted that such an exciting concept will have its Asian debut at KLIA. This dovetails beautifully with our strategy of positioning airports as lifestyle destinations where our passengers’ holidays start from the moment they arrive at KLIA,” Khairuddin underlined.
“Being able to take advantage of Lonely Planet’s interactive hubs, innovative travel products and knowledgeable staff team will give passengers travelling through our terminal a huge boon.
“This, coupled with today’s launch of Billabong and Longchamp, makes KLIA home to three of the most iconic names in adventure and travel luxury merchandise. With the addition of these three new outlets, those travelling through KLIA will be treated to a complete travel experience ranging from adventure to board sports to luxury fashion,” she added.
The Lonely Planet store will mirror that of the other two locations and offer travellers the full range of Lonely Planet travel guides, phrasebooks, pictorials and reference products as well as an extensive range of travel essentials and gift items.
The VIPs try out the iPad Concierge and say hello to the Lonely Planet team in Manchester
Commenting on the choice of KLIA for the brand’s first Asia store, Lonely Planet Asia Pacific Sales & Marketing Director Chris Zeiher said: “Lonely Planet’s brand was born in Southeast Asia and it was always a part of our vision to have a store within the region as soon as possible. Once this unique space became available we knew that this was the perfect location for the first of, what we hope is many, stores in the region. The space also offered us the unique opportunity to share the retail environment with another iconic brand in Billabong – which creates a fantastic dual shopping experience for the consumer.”
Targeted at board sports and beach enthusiasts, Billabong will offer a wide range of board shorts, surf tees, bikinis, luggage, backpacks, accessories, as well as its seasonal and limited edition collections. The KLIA store will also offer Billabong’s Since 73 Membership Program providing exclusive customer rewards and updates from the brand.
The new mono-brand Longchamp store, which opened in late August last year, is the third Longchamp store in the LS travel retail ASPAC network. Spanning 113sqm, the store offers the latest selection of bags, luggage, small leather goods and selected items from the men and women’s collections.
Billabong will offer a wide range of board shorts, surf tees, bikinis, luggage, backpacks, accessories, as well as its seasonal and limited edition collections.
Her Excellency Madame Martine Dorance taking a tour of Billabong and Longchamp.
LS travel retail ASPAC Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel de Place said: “Travel retail is a crucial and growing component of Lagard?e’s innovative portfolio of businesses. Especially in Asia, travel is on the rise and this means there are vast opportunities for growth in the travel retail sector in this region.
Therefore, we are pleased to be the first international travel retail operator to have this opportunity to work with the dynamic teams in KLIA to explore and initiate these new and exciting stores.
“Malaysia is a developing market for the travel retail industry and a strategic development for Asia. For this reason, we thank the Malaysia Airports team and our brand partners for making today possible. Going forward, we look forward to working closely with Malaysia Airports to take the lead in setting new standards in the travel retail industry.”
The 113sq m mono-brand Longchamp store, which opened in late August last year, is the third Longchamp store in the LS travel retail ASPAC network.
De Place added that the partnership between the travel retailer and the airport company will grow even further, as LS travel retail ASPAC is set to open two new concept stores in the upcoming Klia2 terminal – a 108sq m Discover Malaysia store selling travel essentials and local souvenirs and My Lifestyle Gallery, a 500+ sq m multi-category store offering fashion, travel essentials and luxury accessories.
Most distinctively, My Lifestyle Gallery will feature the very first Elle Cafe in travel retail, developed in partnership with Lagard?e Active Enterprises, which manages the fashion and lifestyle brand and license worldwide. The Elle cafe will be the centrepiece of the My Lifestyle Gallery, which De Place expects to attract high footfall as it is located on the departure level before passengers embark on their journey.
De Place told The Moodie Report that the Elle Cafe represents a major step forward in its food services offering – which, together with news, gifts & convenience and duty free & luxury, form the three pillars of LS travel retail. “The Elle brand is something we are very proud to bring to KLIA and to travel retail, because it will be the first Elle Cafe worldwide. This is just the start, as we hope to expand this concept in the other airports where we are today – not only in Asia Pacific but also in Europe.”