3Sixty Duty Free bets on omnichannel approach

By Andrew Pentol |

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Alex Anson Esparza believes adopting an omnichannel approach will help take the inflight sector to the next level.

3Sixty Duty Free Chief Operating Officer Alex Anson Esparza, has emphasised the importance of the omnichannel opportunity as a tool for improving the fortunes of the inflight retail sector.

Anson Esparza officially joined the US company in July having been in retail for more than 20 years. Originally working in domestic retail with Tesco and the speciality liquor sector, he then worked with Nuance as it was then known for seven years as Commercial Director.

Speaking to TRBusiness before news emerged that Hotel Shilla is to purchase a 44% stake in the company, Anson Esparza commented: “We have all seen the inflight sector having the only negative trend [in the channel] really and we all see the omnichannel opportunity as being the phoenix that brings the sector out of the ashes.

“3Sixty is making phenomenal investments and working very closely with a number of partners to make this work. I genuinely believe this omnichannel approach is one of the disruptors that could turn around the fortunes of the inflight channel and really take it to the next level.”

Anson Esparza, who officially joined 3Sixty shortly before the unveiling of KriShop’s brand revamp for Singapore Airlines said: “It is a phenomenal partnership with significant investment to really deliver a best-in-class execution.

IMPRESSIVE STATISTICS

“I am really impressed with the way this business is going about delivering this. The numbers are really encouraging and the share and growth we are seeing coming through online are very impressive and have given us all some great energy for what this business is going to look like.”

Assessing the current state of the inflight duty free sector, Anson Esparza believes the next few years will be extremely exciting. “Travel retail for a long time has seen itself being impermeable to what e-commerce is doing to retail the world over. In our ability to bring the omnichannel approach to the inflight channel, it is effectively being aligned to the customer experience in domestic markets.

“By working with key airline partners, we know the customer and what their travel motivations are. We can deliver personalised solutions to passengers, whether they are outbound, returning or travelling for business or leisure. We can deliver fulfilment solutions aligned with what that customer wants in the domestic environment, be it home or on the seat.

“All those components will bring this channel to being best-in-class in what could be a very exciting time.”

Regarding the company’s ground-store business, Anson Esparza remarked: “We have all seen the North American travel retail market as having significant untapped potential in infrastructure in terms of retail configuration. Basically, what 3Sixty is trying to do is bring the standards of the retail execution in the airports we operate to a much higher level as you would come to expect in other markets.

“That starts with focusing on the customer and delivering a much better job for the customer in range, innovation, value, engagement and service.”

He also believes there is a ‘much bigger opportunity’ to talk to domestic travellers in North American travel retail. He explained: “The North American travel retail market is talking mainly to international travellers. The question, however, is how this links up to domestic travellers and the various omnichannel solutions we discussed, at airport level [and not just airline level] to tap into a much bigger pool of potential customers.”

3Sixty-Charlotte

3Sixty Duty Free Chief Operating Officer Alex Anson Esparza believes there is a significant opportunity to talk more to domestic passengers in North American travel retail.

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