M1nd-set publishes new research into luxury shopping trends in travel retail

By Benedict Evans |

A chart demonstrating the percentage share of GTR shoppers internationally who are luxury buyers, courtesy of m1nd-set.

New research, published by Swiss-based research agency m1nd-set, has revealed males, younger shoppers, and Asia Pacific consumers emerging as the driving forces behind luxury shopping in global travel retail.

More than half of luxury shoppers (57%) are younger than 35 years old, and Millennials make up 42% of luxury shoppers in travel retail, while Gen Zs account for 15% currently.

According to the research, Gen Zs have started to purchase luxury goods much earlier than Millennials, and among these younger Gen Z luxury shoppers in travel retail, men are more prone to purchase luxury goods in travel retail than women; 62% of luxury GTR shoppers are men and 38% are women.

According to m1nd-set, Asia Pacific travellers have the highest tendency to purchase luxury in travel retail.

47% shoppers from the region say they purchased luxury goods in travel retail on their last international trip.

The Middle East & Africa is in second place with 40% of shoppers purchasing luxury goods.

In Europe, 38% of travel retail shoppers say they purchase luxury goods, while in the Americas just over one third say they purchase luxury goods; 35% in North America and 34% in South America.

Category analysis

The research provides a category specific analysis of the luxury shopping trends also, demonstrating that luxury shoppers have a higher tendency to purchase all the main premium categories than non-luxury shoppers.

Perfumes is the most popular category purchased with 42% of luxury shoppers, which is 4% higher than non-luxury shoppers. Fashion & Accessories follows with 38% purchasing the category 22% more than among non-luxury shoppers.

Significant differences between luxury and non-luxury shoppers are also seen with the skincare and jewellery & watches categories, where there is a 20% delta between the two customer segments: 34% vs 14% in skincare and 25% vs 5% for Jewellery & Watches, 36% of luxury shoppers purchase alcohol, which is 10% higher than other shoppers.

Purchase drivers

According to m1nd-set there is a distinctly greater desire and quest for differentiation and exclusivity in their travel retail purchases among the luxury shoppers compared to non-luxury shoppers.

More than two thirds of luxury shoppers say they want to purchase something different than what they usually purchase, which is 16% more than among non-luxury shoppers.

The percentage of luxury shoppers who purchase exclusive items in duty free shops is 31% higher than among non-luxury shoppers, according to m1nd-set.

Other purchase driver criteria, where significant differences can be seen between luxury and non-luxury shoppers, include: destination purchases; the product not being available in their home country; familiarity with the brand and travel retail exclusives.

The research also shows a significant difference between luxury and non-luxury shoppers’ tendency to purchase products for the first time or products on promotion: 20% higher for first- time purchases and 16% higher for products on promotion.

READ MORE: Alcohol insights: Conversion up, spend down in Q4

READ MORE: Men buy and spend more in travel retail says new research by m1nd-set

READ MORE: Indian shoppers more likely to engage with retail staff on trips, research shows


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