Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail (PR GTR) is planning to further grow its business on the back of positive H1 FY22 results, with consumer insights playing a pivotal role in informing decision-making.
“Travel retail remains an extremely important market for Pernod Ricard,” said Liya Zhang, Vice-President of Marketing, PR GTR.
“Our H1 FY22 results (released February 2022) highlight that, while remaining lower than pre-Covid H1 FY20, travel retail sales jumped by 38% year-on-year.
“As travel recovery continues, we are optimistic that we can build on this momentum.”
PR GTR is a Platinum Sponsor of the TR Consumer Forum 2022, which is jointly organised by TRBusiness and m1nd-set and is taking place from 4-6 September at the Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, in Limassol, Cyprus.
As part of the conference agenda, delegates gain exclusive access to m1nd-set consumer research worth six figures in value (if commissioned independently), which are designed to help industry stakeholders to stay a step ahead when it comes to understanding and catering to consumer needs.
“Consumer insights sit at the heart of the effective recovery, transformation and resilience of the travel retail sector,” said Zhang, whose colleague Daniel Worboys, Head of Retail Design, is speaking on the panel for the Consumer Engagement Part 1: Industry 4.0 & The Impact on Shopper Influence session on Day 2, Tuesday 6 September (13.30-14.45).
“We must have a clear understanding of who is travelling, why they’re travelling, and their purchase motivations and drivers to be able to deliver the experiences and activations that will connect with our shoppers throughout their journey.
“From pre-trip media through to impactful and creative activations instore, insights are key to map where and when we should be targeting consumers.
“The pandemic has created new travel and shopping behaviours, as well as accelerating others (for example, the role of e-commerce) – all nuanced across nationalities and demographics.”
Zhang describes the TR Consumer Forum as “a fantastic opportunity to bring airport operators, travel retailers, brands and other stakeholders together to discuss and share ideas and learnings, to drive the industry forward”.
A key focus area for PR GTR currently is continuing to introduce new and exciting retail theatre to tap into a rising consumer demand for in-store theatre and digital services, which has been pinpointed by the company.
“This expectation is particularly clear amongst Chinese travellers,” said Zhang.
PR GTR’s latest Consumer Sentiment Tracker data shows that 63% of people globally expect duty free stores to offer more types of digital services compared to before the pandemic, with 56% highlighting that they expect more exciting, interactive and entertaining features in the alcohol section specifically.
Martell is just one example of a brand that is utilising deep consumer insight and digital innovation to respond to these newly-identified trends and priorities.
“The brand’s new boutique in Hainan’s Mova Mall is a stunning example of retail innovation and theatre, bringing digital and physical elements together to elevate the consumer experience,” said Zhang. (For more information about the boutique, see our previous report.)
“Digitalised merchandising units, product personalisation, VIP tasting opportunities and M.i, Martell’s hero in-store shopper engagement feature, the Martell Untouchable Taste, all combine to streamline the shopper experiences and allow consumers to feel even more connected to the brand.”
Another hot topic is sustainable and responsible transformation in the channel.
“Sustainability is steadily rising as a concern amongst consumers,” said Zhang.
“An average of 56% of people globally say that this is a key consideration for them and impacts the number of trips they make and destinations they travel to.
“Globally, there is a 60% uplift from 2019 on people saying that sustainability has an impact on their purchasing decisions in duty free.”
By 2030, PR GTR is committed to achieving net zero across travel retail operations and “reducing the intensity” of overall carbon footprint by 50%, supporting the Group’s wider ambition to become net zero by 2050.
As reported, to support this goal, the company has launched two tools – the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Tool for Merchandising and Ecogift tool for Gifting with Purchase (GWP).
The custom-built data-driven tools cover all manufactured products initiated in GTR and predict the cumulative impact of projects over their life cycle.
In turn, this means that PR GTR can assess the potential environmental impact of retail activations and GWPs and use this information to inform sustainable strategies.
The LCA Tool for Merchandising informed the entire build of the Martell Mova Mall boutique, which was the brainchild of Pernod Ricard in-house designers.
“We’ve seen incredible results with this tool elsewhere too,” said Zhang.
“Its trial at the Martell boutique at CDFG Haitang Bay in Hainan delivered an almost 20% reduction in carbon footprint over the retail unit lifecycle.”
From July through December 2021, lifecycle assessments were completed on 114 projects across the world, achieving an overall carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduction of 48% (from 227,850kg to 118,852kg).
The Ecogift tool is also making its mark.
“Trolley bags are one of the most popular GWPs, though this must be balanced with growing expectation for reduction in single-use plastic, waste, and packaging volumes,” said Zhang.
“Our tool tackles this challenge and has allowed us to achieve a 34% decrease in carbon footprint by moving from a rigid plastic trolley bag to a foldable RPET trolley bag.”