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Retail therapy at the airport

Retail therapy at the airport

The shopping experience once known as ‘Duty Free’ but now known as ‘Travel Retail’ is a fascinating place. Naturally it owes much of its unique status to the very specific mindset of its captive consumer audience: We are all on our way to another country, for business, on holiday, or to see someone special. In…

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Travel accessories

It seems obvious in hindsight, but you’ve got to applaud the insight that Veuve Cliquot now mines with great panache, to distinguish its brand from dozens of other champagnes: Travellers love accessories. For besuited business blokes it’s a quick rummage in the electrical section, hoping to find yet another bargain camera or an iPhone charging…

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Explorers wanted

Johnnie Walker display at the airport simulating Louis Vuitton Luggage

Still on the theme of making people feel good about themselves (which is pretty much the whole point of brands anyway), Johnnie Walker has been working hard to encourage businessmen and women to see themselves as Explorers. Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than ‘number-crunching knowledge worker catching the last flight home’? The Explorers’…

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Defining character

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Jack Daniel's displays

There’s a fine line between symbolism and caricature and this particular manifestation of Captain Morgan just crossed it. Looking like a prop at the Year Six performance of Peter Pan, I don’t think I can take his products seriously. I know he’s not meant to be taken that seriously, but this is alcohol, after all.…

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The golden triangle

Toblerone's airport display with Amsterdam canal houses shape

I don’t know the proportion of global sales of Toblerone delivered by the Travel Retail channel, but with regular room-sized promotional campaigns it has to be significant. This time it’s a special souvenir pack personalised to the city you’ve just visited, stacked high and wide in a glittering walk-through display of triangular gold graphics and…

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Chance to shine

Chanel Chance Fragance Display at an airport

I’ve heard of Chanel, but beyond No. 5, Coco and I seem to remember there was once a No. 9, I know nothing about their brand portfolio. But now I know this one, thanks to a simply brilliant piece of travel retail design. Simply is the key word, with a single brand, a small range…

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Mixed metaphors

Havana Club Display simulating a pub

The brief seems clear: Make Havana Club feel like the authentic ‘rum of Cuba’. So we’re transported to a room set which could be an impromptu bar set up in someone’s kitchen. It’s a bit of a rough neighbourhood judging by the state of the walls, painted decades ago in the duck-egg blue of the…

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On the razz…

Belvedere and Stoli flavoured Vodka

Two examples of vodka indulgence that need no help from elaborate displays, selling their offer straight from the shelf through sheer tastefulness. Adding a flavour without spoiling the cool chic of the category has become a bit of an arms race, and Belvedere’s coloured punt is only a rehash of a technique pioneered by Absolut…

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The power of wood

The Glenlivet Whiskey Airport display

Ah, the hundreds of stories that whiskies tell us about wood. Aintcha just sick to death of them? Well, no, actually, in fact I was deeply fascinated by the account of whisky maturation in wood, in this richly informative website. Being German it’s big on diagrams and convincing technical explanations, but slightly less good on…

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Short story

Three Chase bottles in a Special gift box, which is a book with the Union Jack Flag

William Chase (of Tyrrell’s Crisps fame and fortune) has transformed himself from a potato farmer to a bastion of British good taste and style. His Union Jack bow-tied Vodka bottles stand out proudly on many a Travel Retail shelf, but here we have a suitably eccentric gift box of small (but not miniature) bottles. There’s…

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