As excitement builds for this year’s TR Consumer Forum, leading industry stakeholders share their views on why the conference is set to make its mark with its powerful global conference agenda themed on curating a consumer centric culture.
Co-organised by TRBusiness and m1nd-set, the TR Consumer Forum, taking place from 4-6 September in Limassol, Cyprus, is the only travel retail industry event that places the consumer at the heart.
Now in its second year, it has attracted an impressive line-up of speakers, attendees and sponsors, including Qatar Duty Free, which has recently come on board as a Platinum Sponsor.
From the calibre of the speakers, to the m1nd-set consumer insights that are being exclusively revealed to delegates at the event in a package worth six figures in value (if commissioned independently), and the ample networking opportunities – there are lots of compelling reasons to join us in Cyprus, as a selection of our sponsors reveal.
“Given the success of last year’s event, the TR Consumer Forum is definitely a must attend event now and in the future,” said Rob Robertaccio, Senior Vice President, Global & Travel Retail Sales, E. Gluck Corp, which is a Platinum Sponsor, along with Anne Klein, Armitron, Torgoen and WITHit Wearable Tech Accessories.
“The insights provided by m1nd-set are always stellar and the opportunities for networking across the industry are invaluable.
“I think what I look forward to most is the ability to share thoughts and ideas with everyone. After a nearly two-year shutdown, much has changed and it’s important to be able to discuss those things and to find new ways to look at the business so that we can get back to 2019 levels as quickly as possible. The mix of business and social networking has always been a winning formula in the duty free and travel retail industry.”
Robertaccio stressed the timeliness of the event, as stakeholders are working hard to facilitate the return to travel following the initial impact of the pandemic.
“We see airports being overwhelmed in many parts of the world and while that may sound like a negative, it is also quite a positive for what we can expect for duty free and travel retail in the future,’ he said.
Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail, also a Platinum Sponsor, is eager to drill down on the insights under discussion at the Forum.
“Consumer insights sit at the heart of our strategy to find new ways to connect with customers,” said Liya Zhang, Vice-President of Marketing, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail.
“Although Covid-19 hit international travel in Asia Pacific particularly hard, we were able to tap into the momentum behind offshore duty-free islands like Hainan.
“More broadly, the pandemic has reshaped the landscape, and challenged us all to look afresh at how we can rewrite retail in response to new demands for store theatre and sustainability, for example. Any crisis brings challenges, but also an opportunity to reset and build back better.”
In the knowledge sharing spirit of the Forum, Zhang shared her best piece of advice on driving the wines and spirits category forward in the channel as follows: “It has been said before, but I truly believe that collaboration and knowledge sharing will be key to the transformation of the channel – not just to thrive, but to set the pace for the wider retail industry.
“Innovation and a sustainable mindset must go hand in hand, and technology has a key role to play in ensuring that sustainability is truly embedded within the business and innovation process.” she added.
“As with last year, the TR Consumer Forum will be a welcome opportunity to network and meet colleagues and partners in person, spending time talking about a topic which we all find fascinating – and underpins our work.”
Go Travel, which is a Gold Sponsor of the conference, says that supporting the TR Consumer Forum demonstrates the company’s “commitment to the travel retail industry“.
Stephen Worden, General Manager Go Travel elaborates: “We’re attending and sponsoring Forum because the event is all about the needs and behaviours of shoppers in travel retail and we know we will see several major retailers in attendance.”
Among the retailers confirmed as attending to date are Qatar Duty Free, Africa Travel Retail, Altavia Travel Retail, Aer Rianta International, Cyprus Duty Free (Host Sponsor of the event), Dubai Duty Free, Gategroup, Kaner Duty Free, King Power Group and Lagardère Travel Retail.
This is in addition to a host of airports and operators attending including AENA, Athens International Airport, Dusseldorf Airport, Munich Airport, Fraport, Heathrow, Hermes Airports, Riyadh Airports, Vantage Airport Group, Vienna International Airport and Vinci Airports.
“Go Travel’s brand DNA is consumer-centric, which is very much aligned with the Forum’s insights-focused conference agenda, so we are delighted to have our name associated with the research-led theme,” said Worden.
“Customer insight is key to the continued success of the category, especially with all of the economic pressures we are seeing around the world.”
Go Travel is looking forward to sharing the details of its new, broader range planning, which is based on four pillars of product development, as the company pursues opportunities to strengthen its existing ranges in its travel accessories offer.
“We’re being critical of our current offer and want to develop in line with the changing needs of consumers and our retail partners,” explained Worden, who plans to bolster the position of Go Travel electricals globally, develop its comfort accessories (such as the Dreamer pillow range) and refresh the luggage accessories category over the next two years, among other goals.
“One impactful consumer trend we’re looking forward to exploring in more detail with customers is the need for travel retail brands to provide tiered product ranges with more focus on different needs for different consumers, whether that’s premium or more price-conscious offers,” he adds.
“This is something we have spent the pandemic looking at, developing products with key customer groups in mind and responding with a broader product range for all our customers.”
Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR), also a Gold Sponsor, highlights the value of the m1nd-set research as the key reason why the company is supporting and attending the event.
“We are delighted to be contributing to that knowledge with our own insights based on a big piece of research that we undertook,” said Tamara Spada, Marketing Manager, NITR, who revealed that the company is currently seeing an “extremely encouraging” increase in average transactions but is “mindful that the cost of living crisis may well have an adverse effect on this in the second half of this year”.
“Post-covid, understanding how shoppers behave and their purchase motivators when they are travelling are more critical than ever so we can continue to drive the travel retail business forward in the face of ever-increasing online competition,” said Spada, who highlighted the conference’s appealing location.
“The more knowledge that we can share between industry stakeholders, the better – and what a super venue from which to do that.”
Spada is looking forward to “reconnecting with business partners and colleagues from across the industry”.
Fittingly, NITR is sponsoring one of the networking coffee breaks, during which delegates will be able to enjoy products from the best-selling KitKat Senses range while catching up over hot drinks.
You can register today for £695. To find out more, visit the dedicated website at travelretailconsumerforum.com.