[UPDATED] Airport operator Groupe ADP has chosen Lagardère Travel Retail as the 50% co-shareholder in the Extime Travel Essentials Paris joint venture.
As revealed by TRBusiness, the landlord of Paris’ airports launched an advertising and competitive bidding round in February to run travel essentials activities – including travel accessories, books, press periodicals, gifts and souvenirs, grocery items and takeaway snacks – covering Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris-Orly Airports earlier this year.
Subject to regulatory approvals, Extime Travel Essentials Paris will run more than 60 points of sale in a 10-year concession beginning 1 February 2024.
Lagardère Travel Retail will run the units conspicuously under its Relay branding and in partnership with a number of brands.
The new joint venture agreement renews a partnership between the Paris-headquartered travel retailer and Groupe ADP initiated in 2011 within Relay@ADP, also equally owned by two partners.
A ‘new dynamic’ for travel essentials
In a joint statement, both partners outlined their intention ‘to deploy a new dynamic’ for the travel essentials market through a network of outlets ‘which will be renovated and rich in innovation’.
These will execute in time for the Paris Olympic (26 July – 11 August) and Paralympic Games (28 August – 8 September) 2024 under the stated aim ‘to reinvent tomorrow’s essentials every day’.
The travel essentials portfolio will extend brand ranges and concepts, some of which as Paris exclusives, in a bid to offer travellers a local and consistent experience aligned to the Extime retail and hospitality platform.
“The revitalisation of Relay, Lagardère Travel Retail’s international brand of French origin, is a response to the multiple expectations of customer-travellers, who have both essential needs and emotional desires, as part of an increasingly responsible and sustainable approach to consumption,” read the statement.
“To integrate CSR challenges and expectations, a programme of in-depth transformation of the commercial offer will be tested in “Relay le Lab”, then rolled out across the entire Extime Travel Essentials Paris network.”
TRBusiness was on the ground at Paris-CDG’s refreshed Terminal 1 in February to witness the official inauguration of the new Extime retail, hospitality and leisure concept, which includes franchise Extime Duty Free [to read a detailed report, click here].Lagardère Travel Retail won a competitive tender last year to become the 49% joint venture partner in Extime Duty Free Paris, working alongside Groupe ADP (51%) to manage 140 beauty, gourmet, technical and fashion outlets at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Le Bourget Airports.
In comments shared with TRBusiness, Dag Rasmussen, Chairman and CEO, Lagardère Travel Retail said: “Our selection by Groupe ADP as co-shareholder in the new Extime Travel Essentials Paris joint venture is another recognition of the strong relationship we have, just a year after we have been selected as the new operator for Paris’ duty free operations.
“We are looking forward to renewing our collaboration with the teams at Groupe ADP and to be building on our two-decade long relationship and experience to serve the needs of travellers at Paris airports and exceed their expectations.
“The Extime hospitality and retail concept developed by Groupe ADP serves the great ambition of reinventing the passenger experience and offer travellers a moment out of time. We are very proud to have been chosen to embody this vision and to position Paris airports at the forefront of innovation and excellence within the airport world.”
Asked about the 10-year vision to transform the dynamics of the business in Paris through Relay by ‘reinventing tomorrow’s essentials’, Rasmussen continued: “Because the new paradigm of the airport world demands greater efficiency, agility and innovation… Because offering an experience worthy of Extime and travellers’ expectations means offering more unique experiences, more emotions and more fluidity… The Relay brand is the perfect foundation for this strategy because it is a very strong and iconic brand, and at the same time protean, with the ability to adapt to meet all passengers’ needs and desires.
“While keeping the brand’s fundamentals, we have worked on a tailor-made project for each shop, taking into account its terminal, its location on the passenger’s itinerary, and the type of passenger, to offer a complete and highly relevant proposition, focusing on three mantra: efficiency, innovation and emotion.”
With the network of shops due to execute in time for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024, which will welcome thousands of athletes and many more spectators, Lagardère Travel Retail and its Relay brand are in the midst of preparing for an influx of international travellers.
“We’ve been preparing for this event for almost two years now, with three main focuses,” continued Rasmussen. “The first is to make our customers’ experience easy and seamless, with Relay’s focus on operational efficiency. The second component is to offer a selected and diverse range of products to enable passengers to take home a piece of the event. We introduced the first ranges over a year ago, and they were an immediate hit with our customers.
“Bringing the games to life in our points of sale also involves an experiential approach: we have planned a series of events around the games, which will run throughout the year leading up to the event. Right now, in partnership with VISA, we’re offering our customers the chance to win tickets for the games.”
TRBusiness has reached out to Groupe ADP for comment.
More to follow…