Hamburg-based SKYlink has re-emerged in 2023 ‘stronger than ever’, with a new, young team, growing distribution and a portfolio that reflects the needs and desires of the post-Covid traveller, including the rapidly growing Gen Z consumer segment.
This year sees the company firmly back on the scene, with an ambitious plan to double its business over the next five years.
It’s goal is to become a ‘go-to’ industry distributor for fashion, accessories, watches and jewellery – not just in its established inflight sector, but across all TR distribution channels globally.
“During the last three years we have taken the time to take stock, refine our range, invest in securing our supply chain, discover new brands and research the market as it began to recover,” explained SKYlink Joint Owner Barry Fitzpatrick (along with MD Thomas Wesch).
“We’ve now got a fabulous team of young people who really understand the importance of issues such as sustainable credentials, digital/social engagement, inclusivity and responsibility.
“We’ve created a whole new set of KPI’s to work towards and the result is a much more focused portfolio that’s far more reflective of the SKYlink ethos.”
While inflight continues to be an important focus for SKYlink (the company works with all major airlines and concessionaires globally and is the exclusive inflight distributor for, amongst others, Fossil Group, Coccinelle and Kering Eyewear), the company has grown its ground and at-sea business significantly.
This has been achieved by working with retailers globally including Dufry, Heinemann, ARI, Harding Retail, Mumbai Duty Free and directly with key airports such as Munich Eurotrade.
SKYlink continues to work closely with global brands such as Mulberry, Linda Farrow eyewear, Karl Lagerfeld (in all categories) and Luminox timepieces, while its in-house demi-fine jewellery line Haus of Dietrich has gone from strength to strength.
“But we’re in a rapidly evolving marketplace and we’ve got to move with it,” continued Fitzpatrick.
“To this end we have added a ‘sister brand: Marlay by Haus of Dietrich to target a younger audience with fun, playful designs at a more appealing price point.”
Introducing Amor jewellery into travel retail
The company has also introduced German domestic jewellery brand, Amor, into travel retail this year.
Offering a wide range of sterling silver and gold jewellery at impulse-purchase prices, designs are classic, yet contemporary and fashionable with collections for all tastes and all age groups including women, men and children.
”In Germany, Amor is just everywhere in the domestic market – and when we started to see it all over Europe and in the Americas we thought this would be perfect for travel retail as an impulse purchase brand, if we can make it easy for the consumer to purchase,” said Fitzpatrick.
“So we’ve worked closely with the company to create a self-service concept and exclusive TR collection and are pleased to say that we are launching Amor with ARI from September.”
Fitpatrick also emphasizes SKYlink’s focus on ‘niche’.
“Design has become a strategic asset in brand equity, differentiation, and product quality for many companies and the travelling public yearns to uncover new things; so many niche brands out there are waiting to be discovered and introduced and we’ve got the right team in place to bring them to market,” he said.
“If we’ve learned anything it’s that challenging times also bring opportunities.
“You can let the bad times define or destroy you, or you can let them strengthen you. That’s what we’ve done at SKYlink and we’re facing the future with optimism and positivity.”
SKYlink team image (taken in the showroom of the SKYlink offices in Hamburg. TOP – left to right: Ralf Zimmermann, Coordinator Operations; Andreas Schmidt, Manager IT & Infrastructure; Thomas Wesch, Managing Director; Barry Fitzpatrick, Managing Director; Edgar Romero, Head of Marketing; and Tom Pawlytta, Senior Operations & Supply Chain. BOTTOM – left to right: Alessandra Carlotto, Senior Business Development Manager; Hannah Lindig, Brand & Communications Manager; Iacov Mazurcov, Manager Operations; Nina Fomo, Coordinator Supply Chain; and Jana Schwez, Key Account Manager.