May 2020 Travel Retail Market Update

Amid the current COVID-19 crisis we are all the more committed to standing with our peers and advocating for our workplaces by sharing another collection of Market insights. With the industry at a virtual standstill, we are anticipating a two-pronged path to recovery. The macro-level mechanics of the industry will be churning in one sector of the industry and the micro-level details will begin to turn or spin in a parallel sector of the industry. These two different streams will likely not be synchronized at first, nor will the order of priority necessarily follow a smooth flow chart. On the contrary, the recovery may very well be messy, uncertain and bumpy. Keeping a clear focus on our shared goals will be essential to ease the process and speed of the recovery. The collection of macro-level industry insights is referenced to help set the stage for the micro-level specifics that include HR and Sales functions. Toward that end, we hope to create value that contributes to a solid rebound and renewed strength and success.

Undeniably the rebound will depend on courage and skill and collaboration. We are inspired by the hope that candidates will once again be receiving an offer of employment and staff will continue to build their sales story and customers will again benefit from unforgettable brand moments. We are invested in the future because the crisis confirms that good people and good sales are essential elements of a healthy economy.

Good News
As recently as three months ago travel retail was still proving to be a darling of the retail world for many reasons that are expected to rekindle when flight restrictions lift and confidence returns. With a historic growth trend that far outperforms the local market, travel retail has survived world events such as 9/11, pandemics, geopolitical events and MAX 8 disasters. The industry seems innately wired to recover. While we do not know the timeline, we can be confident that the consumer still has many reasons to cherish airport shopping. In addition, airport authorities have a vested interest in supporting retail as an essential source of revenue for capital projects and for lowering travel costs. The industry has solid fundamentals in place including great retailers, the partnering of global brands and the best of talent. There is not a place I would rather be than with a group that rallies to defend this, our wonderful workplace.

The Silver Lining Amid Insurmountable Challenges
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has grown to impact the global economy and the travel retail sector as a crisis of historic proportions. There is no way around this, only through this. With passenger volumes almost diminished, the prospect of planning the recovery is taking on a daunting scale with no clear roadmap through the turmoil. In the words of the IMF “We have a global crisis like no other and we need a response like no other”. This quote is an invitation to participate, to create, to collaborate and to design what will be a new industry around a new vision. It is possible.

Perhaps the silver lining is in this forced creative exercise at the nexus of humanity and strategy that allows us to care and to lead a better way forward. The time and space for necessary improvements is here and now and urgent. We stand to benefit from speed and depth in decision making towards a system that is shaped by the players today and aligned for the market needs of tomorrow.

Bain and Company propose a three-stage recovery:

  1. the initial crisis period current and until a vaccine or solution is found and where health and safety measures remain front and center
  2. the interim period where with a focus on operations and logistics, and
  3. the new normal.

Our macro-level priorities during the rebound period are highlighted in more detail in our SPARK COVID-19 SPOTLIGHT SERIESThe Rebound, The Trinity Initiative and AIRPORT Update.  A sketch of the micro-level insights that we are prioritizing from an HR and Sales standpoint are addressed in Post COVID-19 Staff Fundamentals and Post COVID-19 Consumer Behavior.

In Summary
Considering these unprecedented events, it is appropriate to underscore the real reason we do what we do which is to support those less fortunate. It is my pleasure to raise awareness for a cause through the music and poignant message of singer-songwriter, Jess Orson:

More information on the cause and donation information here.

In all we do and in all we say, may it be known of SPARK that we just want to come alongside and contribute where we have permission to give. We want to care for our neighbour by honouring our gifts and applying them where possible through voice and through deed and through generosity. We stand with you and we are thankful for each connection and collaboration that will see us through and create a brighter tomorrow.

With warm greetings and always with best wishes,

Heidi Van Roon and the SPARK team

The Road to Recovery – Virtual Travel Retail Expo

June 9th, 2020|Moodie Davitt Report|

Throughout the live 5-day Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020, the Symposium Hall and Workshop Rooms will host industry dialogue around the theme ‘Road to Recovery’, exploring how the travel retail channel will (or should) look in the future. The powerful line-up of speakers includes our very own Heidi Van Roon.

  • Airport update

Airport Update – June 2020

June 1st, 2020|Airport Update|

Airport Update - June 2020 For an interactive Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Map – bookmark this amazing IATA link to see the country by country travel restrictions:   In our March Market Update, we included a snapshot of current capital projects

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