Tripidi targets airport expansion in 2020 and increased focus on e-commerce

By Andrew Pentol |


Jennifer Noelle, Managing Partner, Tripidi.

Specialist German retailer Tripidi is looking to open more stores in European airports adding to existing locations in Vienna (VIE) and Frankfurt (FRA).

At present, the company operates four stores at FRA and two at VIE. In FRA, the retailer runs a 160sq m shop in Terminal 1 (Landside, Departures B), 55sq m airside store (Terminal 1, Departures Z, Non Schengen) and two Non-Schengen departure stores. One 105sq m Non-Schengen store is located in Terminal 1 (Airside Departures B) and the other 115sq m outlet is situated in Terminal 2 (Airside, Departures D).

In VIE, Tripidi runs a 12sq m Lamy concept store in the shopping plaza and a 130sq m outlet in Terminal 3 (Non-Schengen, G Gates).

Founded in December 2012, the company opened its first store at FRA in October 2013. At the same time, it also introduced a click-and-collect service (arrival/departure) and global home delivery concept. In addition, Tripidi runs a fully-fledged online store providing free worldwide shipping on orders exceeding €130 ($144).

The name of the company stems from a melodic extension of the English word trip. With Chinese customers its main target group, the word Tripidi was translated into Mandarin and actually means ‘place for special things.’


Jennifer Noelle, Managing Partner, Tripidi, who cited South Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese and US travellers as other key target groups told TRBusiness: “We want to open more stores in Europe, but there are also interesting airports elsewhere. We are not looking at Asian airports right now because travelling shoppers like to buy European brands in Europe.”


Tripidi was founded in 2012 and operates stores at Vienna and Frankfurt International Airports.

She added: “The Chinese are by far our best customers and we see that more and more are travelling individually. They are now extremely well informed and sophisticated and glued to their mobile phones. They have a lot more information and know which brands they want to buy and how much certain items cost.”

Earlier this year, Tripidi opened a Victorinox shop-in-shop in its Terminal 3 outlet at VIE. Opening further shop-in-shops and mono-brand stores might well be on the agenda in 2020. Noelle remarked: “Travel retail is different from high-street retail. Many brands do not want the hassle of opening stores and have little knowledge of tenders and all that goes with them. We handle all of this for Lamy and could do so for other brands.”

The Tripidi in-store assortment comprises popular European and German premium brands for the home and family. Items cater for demanding customer groups with high purchasing power, according to the company. Household goods are available from brands such as Fissler, Le Creuset, Peugeot, WMF and Wüsthof, while the likes of Victorinox and WMF offer recreational knives. Manicure sets from Zwilling are also on offer.

“The other part of our assortment is stationery products from Lamy and Faber-Castell. We also have a gifting section with some souvenirs. This is because we do not only want to sell to the Chinese. We want to cater for all travellers who buy a lot of stationery, gifts and souvenirs.”


Stationery products from Lamy are part of the Tripidi assortment.

Accommodating the needs of all customers is an essential part of Tripidi’s strategy, but the main focus is on Chinese customers. Payment solutions such as Alipay, Union Pay and WeChat, intensive after-sale assistance via e-mail, Weibo, WeChat or QQ and Chinese speaking employees helps keep them satisfied. Noelle said: “We are a final stop destination which is why we offer a pre-order service. After being at the airport, passenger board the plane and head back to China or wherever they are going. Chinese travellers, for example, have an obligation to return home with presents so it is important they ensure they are well prepared.”

She added: “Seventy percent of our staff are Mandarin which is important as most Chinese travellers do not speak English. We always try to have at least one person in a store who can speak Chinese. If a customer is served in their own language it creates a different feeling during the purchasing process and makes him/her feel better.”

Looking ahead, Tobias Wolfshohl, one of four shareholders in the company, said fast expansion was difficult due to the nature of the duty free and travel industry. He told TRBusiness: “In this channel, even the quickest airport openings can take six months. Tenders must take place for which documents can be sent out up to 1.5 years before a store is due to open. There are also things which can happen that result in a store not opening at all.”

He added: “Our concept is working and we would love to expand faster, but it is impossible to open quickly in an airport like it is elsewhere.”


The company has developed a strong partnership with Victorinox, makers of the original Swiss army knife.

Outlining her own vision, Noelle is targeting more stores in more airports and an increased focus on e-commerce. “We want to do more as far as our cross-border e-commerce business with China is concerned. At the moment, we are not investing too much in the promotion of our website. We can certainly do more as this is a huge market because the Chinese want to buy our overseas products. Also, there are not many stores which offer a cross-border e-commerce service especially with mainland China.”

Branching out into other DF&TR sectors such as the cruise business is also an objective for Tripidi. With the number of Chinese travellers going on cruises set to grow to between eight and 10 million a year by 2025 (Source: The Cruise Lines International Association) now could be the right time to take to the seas.

“The cruise channel is certainly interesting with the Chinese embracing the cruise theme. It would be great to have a store on a cruise ship catering to Chinese and other Asian passengers because we would be selling to a captive audience,” Noelle concluded.




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