Daniel Levin has stepped into the role of CEO and Managing Director at leading travel accessories firm, Travel Blue, as Avi Levin, Daniel’s father and Travel Blue’s creator, retires from the role, after 35 years of building the business.
In an exclusive interview, Daniel Levin tells TRBusiness what is on the horizon for the company as it begins a new chapter and how he plans to tackle today’s unprecedented challenges.
You stepped into the role of CEO & Managing Director earlier this year. What vision do you have for the company in this new position and how do you plan to bring it to reality?
Daniel Levin: Our industry is changing very rapidly. We intend to bring new products that follow the changes in consumer taste. I also plan to expand our product offering and our distribution into new territories.
You have been working for the company for many years and have observed its evolution in travel retail closely. What does this new phase – post-pandemic – mean for Travel Blue?
Every stage in a company’s life had different challenges. This new phase requires us to be even more agile, more creative and respond quicker than before. Consumers are more impatient and demanding which gives us an opportunity to improve. At Travel Blue we don’t shy away from an opportunity to become better.
How do the challenges you face today compare with those you encountered in your previous roles?
The challenges are very different and much larger. The team and I need to make decisions that will influence the company for years to come. I am responsible for a large number of people in countries all over the world. Everything now is much bigger than before so the responsibilities are much, much bigger.
Do you believe the travel accessories category itself has adapted over time to remain relevant to today’s consumers? If so, how?
Yes of course. In the last 20 years travel has become an important part of our life, people won’t give up travelling. Even now the term ‘Revenge Travel’ is trending as people had enough of lockdowns and isolations and are now catching up on their travels.
Travel accessories have developed from simple inflatable pillows to ergonomic high-quality memory foam to provide travellers with a relaxing experience. Today’s travellers are savvy travellers unlike 20 years ago when most travellers were either first-time travellers or once-a-year travellers. The new travellers are much more demanding and sophisticated. Our continuous challenge is to offer them better and more innovative products.
Supply issues are rife within the industry right now. How is Travel Blue navigating these in travel retail?
The global and local disruptions in the supply chain have been astounding. Even the simplest things as having drivers for trucks became a problem. Fortunately, due to correct in advance stock planning, the amount of disruptions we had, was relatively low and we have been able to return to full supply of demand from our clients, very quickly.
It’s been very challenging, but for us, making sure our clients get the best possible service is our passion. Clearly cost of logistics sky rocketed, however, in order to keep smooth supply to our customers, cost was not a factor.
What are your top priorities for Travel Blue this year and beyond?
My top priorities are first and foremost to build on and improve Travel Blue’s buying experience and to continue designing innovative products for our customers around the world. Travel is a need and a desire more than it ever was and it’s my goal to make customers’ travel even a bit better.
Travel Blue to exhibit in Cannes
Over the last two years, Travel Blue has invested heavily in companies and new projects around the world. Travel Blue Group has also relaunched a new logo and new packaging of our extensive Travel Accessories range.
During the upcoming TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, it will be launching two new types of travel pillows and many other travel accessories.
Along with its Travel Blue brand, the Group will also be showcasing Lexingham (mobile accessories) and Anomeo (health and comfort accessories) in the YELLOW VILLAGE F33, Level 1.