Lanthier, who officially commenced her second spell with the company on 27 April, joined from global luxury group Kering, where she had held the role of Gucci World Travel Retail Director and Kering Global Head of Travel Retail since 2015.
She first joined Lagardère in 2004 to launch its Chinese operations and was CEO of that side of the business until 2008.
Speaking during the latest edition of the TRBusiness Adapt & Survive Skype Video series Lanthier said: “This newly created role encompasses business development, strategy, innovation and external communication.
“All three elements have a critical role to play in helping our business recover from the current crisis and building an even stronger foundation for future growth.”
‘STRONG FOCUS ON INNOVATION’
On the importance of innovation now and in the future, Lanthier, who led Lagardère’s the acquisition of Aeroporti di Roma’s duty-free activities in 2012 commented: “Innovation is one of Lagardère Travel Retail’s core values. There has always been a strong focus on innovation within the Lagardère group.
“In 2017, Lagardere Travel Retail structured its innovation approach by developing an ambitious strategy, which relies on a strong internal and external ecosystem. This has been operational for a while and is critical today because we need to adapt and make changes quickly.”
She added: “We need innovative solution seekers everywhere. The crisis will foster a real need for innovation on all dimensions, so I am pleased Lagardère Travel Retail has the foundation to make this possible.”
On the crisis itself, Lanthier said: “This crisis may be the most serious we have ever faced in travel retail, but we are confident people and customers will want to travel again and that traffic will pick up. My job is to prepare for this return to growth and help us adapt to the new environment by driving ambitious business development and innovative strategies.”
Looking ahead to the post Covid-19 world, the need to build strong partnerships will be greater than ever. “I personally completely believe in partnerships and think Lagardère Travel Retail has always had a tailor-made approach to them with landlords and brands.
“In order to build strong partnerships, there is no one-fit-for-all. Partnerships have to be based on trust and a long-term vision. For me, the crisis is an opportunity to go further into this and reshape and strengthen alliances.”
She concluded: “We need to be agile and creative on all kinds of partnerships and business models.”
Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.
The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.