Rituals considers Hair Temple for TR & continues to grow standalone stores

By Charlotte Turner |

Rituals-TFWA-Cannes-2019-booth-leadLast month, beauty, apparel and lifestyle brand, Rituals returned to the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes with a brand-new booth featuring its first ever travel retail exclusive gift sets, the Amsterdam Collection (launched in June), the Private Collection, while displaying bespoke new shop furniture created especially for the channel.


Rituals also showcased its new personalised, luxury haircare concept – The Hair Temple – in Cannes. Introduced to the domestic market earlier this year, The Hair Temple offers a total of 495 custom solutions.


“Customers can choose their preferred Rituals fragrance as the shampoo or conditioner base then add an elixir based on their haircare need,” explains Rituals.


During the exhibition TRBusiness was given a tour of the booth and an introduction to the brand’s Q4 launches, including the travel retail exclusive gift sets, travel retail exclusive pouches, Winter Limited Edition 2019 collection and the relaunched Private Collection and Eau de Parfum.



Rituals’ first-ever travel retail exclusive gift sets – available in The Ritual of Sakura, The Ritual of Ayurveda and The Ritual of Happy Buddha – contain a full-size foaming shower gel (200ml), a full-size hair & body mist (50ml), mini body cream (70ml) and mini body scrub (70ml). The inlay of the giftsets is 100% compostable. The new TR exclusives pouches contain ‘travel-friendly products’ that are all under 100ml.


TRBusiness asked Neil Ebbutt, Director – Travel Retail, why it was only now that the brand had decided to launch travel exclusive gift sets.


“As with all brands operating in travel retail, there were a number of factors that we had to consider before launching the TR exclusive gift sets, including margin pressure and space.



Neil Ebbutt, Rituals Director – Travel Retail.

“However, following the popularity of our regular gift sets and given the current traveller – and retailer – demand for exclusive products, we decided now was the right time to launch.



“As we approach the busy gifting period, we’re confident this new addition to our product offer will satisfy travellers’ gifting needs.”


No one doubts Rituals commitment to DF&TR, especially considering its significant investment in standalone stores in recent years; a move which some in the industry considered to be bold and potentially risky.


When asked by TRBusiness if this strategy had served the company well thus far and if it would continue to open more TR stores in the next few years, Ebbutt was adamant that there was no intention to slow down.


“Opening additional standalone stores at airports is an important part of Rituals’ travel retail strategy; we are looking to open 25-30 airport standalone stores over the next five years, so adding five stores each year.


“If the right opportunity arises with the right passenger mix, location and traffic, then of course we are keen to pursue more standalone stores. Standalone stores are exceptional business drivers and really give us the opportunity to deliver the ultimate Rituals brand experience with the full assortment and hallmark personalised service.



“We are currently operating 13 standalone airport stores with two more confirmed openings planned by the beginning of 2020.


“The strong results we’ve been experiencing at our standalone stores – and positive feedback from both our partners and customers – indicate that the strategy is serving us very well.”


Rituals has developed a new personalised, luxury haircare concept – The Hair Temple – which it showcased in Cannes.


Outside of airports, Rituals is keen to develop its business in the cruise & ferry channel, but also on airlines and in hotel amenities.


“Our TR business is divided into five sales channels: standalone stores, shop-in-shops, cruise and ferry, airlines and the hotel amenities business,” confirmed Ebbutt.


“All channels are equally important as they allow us to potentially target travellers at every step of their journey and we are taking each one seriously.”



Ebbutt said the cruise channel will also be ‘key to the brand’s growth going forward’ and made reference to the amount of investment being made in new cruise ships, particularly those aimed at the burgeoning Chinese cruise market, “and the sheer amount of new retail space in play”.



Rituals currently operates13 standalone airport stores with two more confirmed openings planned by the beginning of 2020.

“We’re focusing on this channel with dedicated internal resources and dedicated retail concepts.


“Our ‘slow down’ philosophy and focus on consumer experience is a nice fit with the retail offer on board some of these new ships which have been designed to capitalise on the longer dwell times cruise passengers typically enjoy compared to airport travellers.


“Sales staff and brand promoters can take customers through the Rituals range and recommend products based on their preferences as well as demonstrate products’ luxury qualities via hand massages.”

Linked with optimising customer experience instore, Rituals has developed a new personalised, luxury haircare concept – The Hair Temple – which it showcased in Cannes.


Although the concept was initially created for the domestic market, Ebbutt reveals that this does not mean that it couldn’t be a viable travel retail construct some time in the future.



“Visitors to our booth at TFWA World Exhibition showed a lot of interest in The Hair Temple concept; we created over 250 personalised shampoos and conditioners in total, so the concept was definitely a hit.


“People were intrigued by the different elixirs available and the novel way that their personalised shampoo and conditioner were mixed right in front of them.”


However, while haircare category has been growing in travel retail over the last few years, Ebbutt emphasised that the company has no immediate plans to introduce The Hair Temple to travel retail.


“This is due to a number of reasons, including space and the technical aspects of the machinery,” he explained.


“Of course, our innovation team are constantly looking for ways to improve the concept, make it run even more smoothly and use as little space as possible so that we are prepared if the right opportunity comes available in travel retail.” Watch this space…


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