Welcome to my latest travel retail column for DisneyRollerGirl.
As global travel slowly picks up, we look at the business and shopping trends of the travel retail world. Recent highlights include the launch of beauty retail ‘café’ destinations in Hamad Airport, Doha and a focus on exclusive duty-free products in Hainan, where Chinese consumers continue to ‘revenge spend’ their way out of the pandemic, while domestic travel is their only option.
1 BEAUTY RETAIL-TECH ‘CAFÉ’ CONCEPTS
L’Oréal has launched two ‘phygital’ retail concepts at Hamad Airport, Doha. The new retail-tech destinations – from Lancôme and YSL Beauté – sit next door to each other as one beauty department within the Qatar Duty Free retail space.
The Lancôme concept features a French apartment-inspired décor and the addition of bar stool seating gives a luxury café atmosphere. The counters offer interactive touchpoints where customers can personalise their purchases. It’s the first store in the brand’s EMEAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa, India) division to launch Lancôme’s new Shade Finder tool – the skin tone measurement technology that can identify up to 22,500 shades for foundation matching.
The YSL Beauté store launches the latest Pure Shots skincare range in the Middle East and uses L’Oréal’s ModiFace AI technology, to allow travellers to virtually try on beauty looks.
TRP takeaway: Middle East travellers are digitally agile and have a preference for beauty technology that gives them highly personalised skincare options. The new concepts talk to this region’s beauty fanatics with new contactless shopping options.
2 YSL DOES LIVESTREAM-COMMERCE
More from YSL Beauté but this time in China’s duty-free hotspot of Sanya in Hainan. YSL has launched an update to its bestselling Le Cushion Encre de Peau Compact and features a ‘couture’ chevron leather-look design, gold chain and YSL logo case that is exclusive to the CDF Mall in Sanya.
Tapping into China’s big livestreaming digital sales trend, YSL Beauté collaborated with Chinese KOL-duo and real-life couple, Ivy and Suye, who hosted a 60-minute poolside livestream show that was broadcast on CDF’s Yizhibo platform and reached 12.5 million viewers. The KOLs (key opinion leaders) joined other models for a YSL Beauté catwalk show then discussed their beauty advice and use of other products in the range, such as YSL Beauté Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow Moisturiser, Rouge Our Couture Slim Lipstick and the YSL Libre fragrance.
TRP takeaway: China’s livestream marketplace has become the digital movement of 2020. Luxury brands will need to find their way through the minefield of mass-market audiences by working with KOLs for more targeted digital launch events that market to key customer groups.
3 EYE CANDY FOR GEN Z
According to the latest Bain & Co Luxury Study, eyewear has seen consistent growth amid diminishing sales elsewhere in the luxury industry in 2020. Here are a couple of new sunglasses launches to watch for. First, Pucci’s guest designer range by Christelle Kocher (of Koché fame) has just dropped for travel retail; a futuristic cat-eye style featuring a maxi Pucci logo and matching chain.
Meanwhile, Italian eyewear specialist Luxottica has partnered with China Duty Free to exclusively pre-launch Bulgari’s new Serpenti eyewear collection in Hainan. There are two limited edition rose-tinted sunglasses available, both featuring the brand’s signature snake motif. Choose between the Serpenti Sunnyscale style, with its oversized metallic frame and sleek hexagonal scale pattern, or the oversized square Serpenti Back-to-Scale style, embellished with crystals.
TRP takeaway: Luxury brands are placing more emphasis on fashion eyewear ranges that talk to Gen Z and Millennial customers. They offer a compelling price point for younger customers to start their brand allegiances.
4 SHISEIDO’S JAPANIME HOLIDAY COLLECTIONS
Spreading love, joy and cheer is Shiseido’s Holiday 2020 message to customers. The Japanese beauty house has launched its annual gift collections in global travel retail locations, and they feature exclusive illustrations that bring a characterful charm to the brand’s best sellers.
The packaging for Shiseido’s hero product, Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate 100ml, portrays ‘karakusa’ a Japanese motif that represents longevity, prosperity and beauty found ‘in the moment’ and was designed by artist Noritaka Tatehana.
Another Shiseido-owned brand, Clé de Peau Beauté has launched the Enchanted Lake Collection (above), inspired by the Swan Lake ballet featuring surrealist artworks from illustrator Daria Petrelli. The limited edition range is focused on the brand’s hero products: The Serum, Lipstick Mini Set, Luminizing Face Enhancer, Lipstick Cashmere and Lipstick, Eye Colour Quad, La Crème and Lip Glorifier. Imagining a gilded theatre stage set, Petrelli said she wanted to bring to life a different chapter of Swan Lake’s story with each product and has featured golden feathers and moonlit motifs that dance across the lipsticks and compacts.
Both the Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté Holiday ranges are available in US and Asia-Pacific duty-free locations.
TRP takeaway: Premium skincare and cosmetics brands embrace the Holiday gifting period with highly collectible products – often exclusively available in travel retail locations – with storytelling opportunities for fans to buy into.
PLUS… ICYMI, some travel news to fuel vaccine-related trip planning: Target the newest, hottest hotels opening around the world over the next two months with this Forbes guide. (Including Pharrell’s feel-good hotel opening next month.) Elevate your status when you do travel by joining one of the new swathe of membership-only hotels as per this New York Times trend report. For anyone in Singapore, Changi Airport is offering a Glamp-cation overnight stay for a touch of mindfulness in the verdant Shiseido Forest Valley, reports Time Out. In luxury retail, LVMH has had a boardroom shake up with Ian Rogers, Chief Digital Officer (ex-Apple exec) swapping luxury for cryptocurrency, to be replaced by a Chief Omnichannel Officer as the luxury group ramps up its digital sales channels.
Click through to DRG for a shopping gallery.