Lagardère Travel Retail has officially opened its new The Fashion Gallery concept at Vienna International Airport in the Terminal 2 Plaza behind security (5 September 2019).
The inauguration of the 800sq m space was attended by Frédéric Chevalier, COO Europe, Middle East and Africa Lagardère Travel Retail and Julian Jäger, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG.
A stellar line-up of brands includes Michael Kors, Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna, Longchamp, Tag Heuer and Chopard. The Fashion Gallery also features Europe’s largest LED wall at the entrance. Starting from The Fashion Gallery, a virtual flight is simulated over Vienna City Centre to the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
State-of-the-art technology immerses passengers in traditional Viennese lifestyle and ambience.
AN ‘IMPORTANT’ CATEGORY
As exclusively reported by TRBusiness, Lagardère was awarded the multi-brand Vienna Airport fashion contract last year. We also revealed that the agreement covers a mix of approximately six or seven shop-in-shop units merchandising sunglasses, watches & jewellery and accessories.
Ambroise Fondeur, Chief Business Officer, Lagardère Travel Retail told TRBusiness at the time: “It is a concrete example of the importance that we put in this category and the need to adapt our organisation to the specific activity of fashion.”
Speaking as part of the inauguration Jäger commented: “On the basis of our shopping and restaurant offering, we want to make the stay at the airport as comfortable and diversified as possible. The Fashion Gallery not only brings many top brands together under one roof, but also ensures a special flair with a virtual journey in the heart of Vienna.”
Chevalier, who describes fashion as a very important category for the retailer and a key strategic asset added: “The opening of another Fashion Gallery proves that our concept has truly become a brand in itself, highly appreciated by landlords as well as brands.
“The launch of our fashion activities in Austria further strengthens our relationship with Vienna Airport and accelerates our development in Austria.”
With 353 fashion stores in 86 airports across 23 countries, Lagardère Travel Retail is the first global airport fashion operator. The Fashion Gallery itself is present at many airports including Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi, Madrid Barajas and more recently Geneva.
Its design is based on a shop-in-shop format which highlights individual brands. The open sales area ensures a varied offering of fashion and accessories, according to the retailer.
An extensive product portfolio includes women’s and men’s fashion (business and casual) and shoes, leather goods, jewellery, watches, glasses and seasonal fashion and travel accessories. Brands represented include Breitling, Omega, Longines, Furla, MCM, Tumi, Montblanc, Prada, Rado, Samsonite, Tissot and Coccinelle.
COMMENT: ANDREW PENTOL, SENIOR EDITOR
The importance of the fashion category for Lagardère Travel Retail must not be underestimated. Last year, the company announced the creation of a new fashion entity, which is separate from the retailer’s core activities. It also grew fashion sales by +6% compared to the previous year.
Over in China, the segment grew a record +60%, driven by the opening of 26 new shops.
With fashion comprising 20% of the French operator’s market share behind perfume and cosmetics, the sky’s the limit for the retailer’s fashion business, especially taking into account its strong growth potential.
Nathalie Santonja, who was named Executive Vice President, Fashion at the time the new entity was established told TRBusiness: “Fashion requires a specific and dedicated organisation to be successful and to be able to adapt to the specificities of the category.
“This is the reason we underwent a full transformation of our organisation with the creation of an expert fashion team gathering buying, procurement, supply and marketing.”
Reflecting on the opening of the new The Fashion Gallery in Vienna, Santonja added: “Our customers can discover the latest fashion trends and live a vibrant experience smoothly navigating through the different areas dedicated to accessories, sunglasses and watches and branded shop-in-shops.
“Key highlights include Hugo Boss, Ferragamo, Longchamp and Victoria’s Secret shop-in-shops, a sunglasses concept, compact watch area and a vibrant generic area with accessible and premium brands.”
Lagardère can now prepare for the opening of the new Beijing Daxing Airport, scheduled for 30 September and the unveiling of what promises to be another impressive fashion offer.
Santonja remarked: “With over a dozen brands across 1,100sqm, the fashion offer will reflect our strategy to capture the interest of business and leisure travellers and to encourage practical and impulsive purchases.”