Together for Taiwan

Together for Taiwan

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An early morning call in the middle of the summer vacation period from one of APTRA’s members, a global liquor company and active supporter of APTRA’s advocacy work, prompted a flurry of calls and email exchanges between the APTRA executive team and advocacy committee members on the APTRA board. The objective of that call, which was followed by a number of mails from other concerned members including supplier companies and retailers alike, was to seek APTRA’s support and engagement with the Taiwanese government to question the proposed legislation imposing strict customer data controls on travellers purchasing at Taiwan’s duty free shops.

As the details of the proposed tighter customer data controls were not known, APTRA proceeded to lobby the Taiwanese government to seek more information and commence a dialogue to understand the reasons and discuss how this might best be implemented, without harming the suppliers’ and retailers’ business. The challenge was all the more testing given the short consultation period of only seven days. As it has been reported in the trade media, the government decided to drop the initial plans but is still planning on introducing tight measures on data exchange practices with the customs department. Since then APTRA has been actively benchmarking data exchange practices between retailers and customs authorities around the region to ascertain the common practices and assist with dialogue between industry stakeholders and governments on such issues in the future.

In the spotlight: Gerry Munday

Global Travel Retail Director, FURLA & Board member of APTRA

Meet Gerry

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Gerry has been in the duty free industry since 1986. Her career started in the travel agency business. She then spent some time as air crew before entering into travel retail in 1986. Since then she has always been in the fashion sector. Gerry was invited to join Furla in 2011 as Head of Travel Retail with the remit of re-launching the brand into Travel retail globally and in November 2012 she was promoted to Global Travel Retail Director.

Born in the UK, Gerry has been married for 30 years and has lived in Spain for the last 10 years. When she is not travelling the world to build Furla’s travel retail business, her favorite past times are reading and cooking. Gerry spends approximately 30 weeks of the year travelling, quite a hectic schedule she admits. She is at the company headquarters in Bologna at least once a month and for longer around the key selling seasons in February and July.

The company, in brief

An Italian label that spans a heritage of more than 80 years, Furla is recognized globally for its value-for-quality leather goods and wide range of accessories. Commenting on the brand’s USP, Gerry says “The beauty of Furla designs captivates the imagination of the contemporary woman with its witty mix of classic elegance, stylish functionality and chic details.”

Furla has designed, manufactured and distributed handbags, wallets/purses, small leather goods, shoes and accessories of outstanding artisan quality since 1927.

Global presence:

Today Furla is present in 91 countries with five subsidiaries in France, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and the United States. 80% of distribution is retail, with 328 mono-brand stores (153 Furla boutiques and 175 authorised retailers), and 20% via wholesale through around 1300 select multi-brand and department stores. Last year Furla reported a global turnover of €212 million, an 18% increase on 2011.

The company has been present in travel retail for many years but it is only in the past two years that the brand has given the category significant focus. The growth has been quite phenomenal, increasing by 93% from 2011 to 2012 with the number of doors up from 57 to 120.

Q&A: Which are the key markets in duty free & travel retail for Furla? What specific marketing and product developments have you undertaken that are specific to the industry and have they been successful?

The Furla brand is very successful globally; however Asia is a vitally important market for the brand representing 40% of our total (travel retail 15%) business in 2012. Sales on the domestic market continue to grow quite astonishingly and this certainly is reflecting on our ‘desirability’ in airports. China is also a rapidly growing market for us and we’re planning on opening 100 new stores in the next four years with our J.V. partner Fung Group. That will, and indeed already is, reflecting on our travel retail business.

In terms of marketing and development within the channel, Furla invests significantly in the trade media both through advertising and editorial to support the brand; this investment is carried through into the airport where we invest heavily in store merchandising and brand fixtures. We also spend a great deal of time and effort on staff training as we believe product knowledge and understanding is absolutely vital. In terms of special development, last year we introduced an exclusive inflight collection which has been well received.

What are your ambitions for Furla in duty free & travel retail?

We have very ambitious plans for Furla within travel retail, with major expansion over the next three years. The company has always undertaken new challenges, advancing towards the future with confidence and great commitment. The new direction in the travel retail segment marks a crucial step for the brand’s expansion in the geographical areas with greatest potential of growth. In terms of future growth we are now very selective when considering new partnerships worldwide and, above all, when choosing locations that best represent Furla as a Premium Lifestyle Brand, in terms of positioning, personalized furniture and brand adjacencies.

What do you perceive to be the key challenges to the industry today ? Are there any specific challenges to the fashion/accessory category?

Obviously there are real challenges in specific categories such as tobacco where the repercussions could have a serious affect on the business as a whole – we all know that tobacco is one of the key drivers of penetration into duty free shops. Otherwise, I think the challenges are more general and are faced by all sectors and brands – eg. those influences which affect travel patterns – such as global recession, natural disasters, health issues, politics etc. For fashion/accessories the main challenge is space in what can be limited retail areas. There are many different categories now in travel retail and we are all vying for space. For Furla the main challenge is securing the right space in the right location and where we can be sure that the brand is merchandised in a way that befits its image.

How can brand owners help address these challenges?

Well some are out of our control, of course. I think where the challenges are political, eg the tobacco issue or any other general ‘anti duty free’ campaign, we brand representatives must support and be part of the associations which fight and campaign on our behalf – such as APTRA.
When it comes to fashion issues – I think we all need to work to make sure that retailers give our category the best possible space and merchandise our brands in the right and appropriate way.

What other services to the industry do you think APTRA and the industry trade associations can provide to further develop and protect the interests of the industry, beyond advocacy, training, research and conferences?

It is not so much other services. All the associations work and protect the trade in the best way possible, but we all have to pull or push together in one direction and this is applies to all topics. This way all the associations that represent the trade will win and overcome difficulties that the trade is sometimes facing.

As a member of WIT, how do you get involved? How important is CSR for you and for the company?

I have been involved with WIT for the last few years and do believe the power of women in this business is quite awesome. Collectively we have raised a huge amount for charities across the globe but, apart from this, the organisation provides fantastic networking opportunities for women at all levels of the business. For newcomers to the industry it’s a great way to make contacts and friends.

Finally, how do you see your role as a board member of APTRA? What are your ambitions for the association?

I am very honoured to be a board member of APTRA and feel it gives me a unique opportunity to represent the interests of the fashion and accessories category within the Asia Pacific and to support this very vibrant and important region in helping make things happen.

Welcome to GMR Delhi International Airport

Welcome to GMR Delhi International Airport

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APTRA is delighted to welcome GMR Delhi International Airport as members of the association.
DIAL is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB). DIAL began operating, managing and developing Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi in January 2006 following the awarding of a 30 year contract. Over the past few years DIAL has upgraded the existing terminals and completed the construction of an international passenger terminal (Terminal 3). The first phase of the development is capable of handling 60 million passengers and the ultimate design capacity reaches 100 million passengers. The major stakeholder, GMR Group, is headquartered in Bangalore where it runs a major infrastructure business with interests in airports, energy, highways and urban infrastructure. Read more here:

www.newdelhiairport.in

www.gmrgroup.in

Generation Index: Asia Pacific. April 2013 report online now

Generation Index: Asia Pacific. April 2013 report online now

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The second monthly report from the Generation Index Asia Pacific is now available in the members’ area of the APTRA website.
This report, which Generation provides exclusively to APTRA members, focusses on some of the leading categories and tracks the industry’s year on year growth up until April 2013. For further detailed information and insights on developments in the sales and market shares of categories, channels, countries, locations, companies and brands in Asia Pacific – please contact info@generation.se or Malin Eriksson on +46 660 103 20.

Exclusive Asia Pacific consumer insights reports from m1nd-set

Exclusive Asia Pacific consumer insights reports from m1nd-set

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APTRA is delighted to announce the launch of a second monthly research insights service for the association members. m1nd-setResearch company, m1nd-set, APTRA’s research partner on previous research projects will provide monthly consumer insights updates exclusively to APTRA members. The reports, which will be available in the members’ area of the APTRA website will cover a variety of themes covering the shopping behaviour of Asia Pacific consumers in duty free and travel retail from the performance of promotions to passenger preferences on gifting and Chinese shopper segments. The first month report will be released in August and will focus on the influence of travel retail promotions in Asia Pacific. Some of the questions addressed in this first month’s report will include the importance of promotions in driving penetration into the shops and motivating travellers to spend as well as the perceptions of non-shoppers also. Watch this space in next month’s newsletter…

What Chinese consumers want

What Chinese consumers want

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Bloomberg TV features an interview with Vogue China Editor, Angelica Cheung, who gives her insider perspective on the changing face of the Chinese consumer. Given the fast pace of change in China, which she describes as the land of opportunities where things happen all the time, brands need to adopt a multi-layered strategy as it is not realistic to set a strategy and keep it unchanged over several years. The multiple tiered nature of the Chinese market also means that it is important to take into account these different social tiers even for in-store merchandising. Watch the video here.

A bullish outlook for Chinese outbound travel

A bullish outlook for Chinese outbound travel

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Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo are reportedly among the preferred destinations of Chinese travellers – but as this article on International Business Times website reports, a number of US and European destinations also feature in the top 20. Intra-regional traffic within Asia Pacific remains the highest as the article graphics also demonstrate. With more than 100 million outbound passenger trips expected in 2020, up from around 80 million in 2012, around 60% of international hotels will be offering customised services to Chinese travellers to capitalize on this increasingly dominant passenger segment. In an associated article, the retail behaviour of the Chinese traveller is dissected. It is reported that 62% of luxury purchases in Europe in 2011 were made by Chinese travellers and that 75% of Chinese travellers purchase more than three luxury items when travelling. Read more here. (Scroll down below the “Charging Bull” article for the information on Chinese traveller behaviour.)

Myanmar Unveils $500 Million Tourism Plan

Myanmar Unveils $500 Million Tourism Plan

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The Government of Myanmar, alongside the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Norway, has unveiled a Tourism Master Plan which outlines 38 development projects valued at nearly a half billion dollars that will help increase Myanmar’s tourism competitiveness. Other goals of the plan include the protection of environmentally important areas and safeguarding ethnic communities. According to the report on the website of the Asian Development Bank, if Myanmar continues implementing economic, political, and social reforms, international visitor arrivals are forecast to rise as high as 7.5 million in 2020 – a seven-fold increase from current numbers.
Read more here.

Chinese luxury travellers defined: by Hurun Report

Chinese luxury travellers defined: by Hurun Report

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The Hurun Report has published the third edition of its Chinese Luxury Traveller in partnership with the with the International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia).

As reported in the China Luxury Network newsletter and website, the survey reveals the lifestyle and brand preferences of China’s wealthy consumers. The report attempts to calculate the number of Chinese luxury travelers, evaluates their consumption patterns, travel habits as well as key market trends over the last year. In addition, this report examines the impact of Chinese wealth overseas. The report intended to provide a holistic understanding of the spending habits and lifestyle changes of this burgeoning, influential and ever-changing consumer class. This year the survey included questions for the first time on the ‘happiness index’ of these wealthy consumers. France as a destination is still number 1 among the wealthy Chinese travellers according to the report and French luxury goods also remain among their favourite luxury goods.

To download the full report, click here.

In the spotlight: Tony Detter

Managing Director, Inflight Sales Group, Board member & Treasurer of APTRA

Meet Tony

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Tony entered the duty free and travel retail industry when he began to work for ISG in 2000. He was the first outside hire as all other staff company were from within the industry.

Prior to joining ISG he was working in consulting, and he spent most of his early career at Toys R Us. When asked how he compares working in DFTR, he readily agrees that he finds travel retail far more stimulating. “Domestic retail can be a bit dull outside of peak times, but TR has never been”, Tony adds.

Tony is single and has been living in Hong Kong for the past seven years. He still keeps his primary home in Atlanta, near his family. His favorite past times include tennis and baseball.

The company, in brief

As Managing Director of Inflight Sales Group, Tony is responsible for a team servicing 17 airlines currently, with a wide variety of partnership models. According to Tony, “It is a company philosophy to work with great partners and airline programs with high potential; the model is secondary for us.” When asked about plans for development outside Asia, Tony confides that the company is always looking for suitable opportunities, “…but definitely we believe Asia will remain our primary focus.”

Views and vision

We asked Tony about his views on the current and future business model and whether he sees any major changes to the business model possible in the near to mid-term future both in inflight and airport retail.
In the near term he says “Not really. Perhaps we will see some value adds for some airlines and airports, but I don’t see a revolutionary cooperation happening between airports and airlines at the moment, although it is worthy of discussion.”

In the medium term on the other hand Tony is more confident that change will occur… “Yes I believe connectivity in flight, the continued emergence of social media and buying based on friend’s recommendations or ratings, instant price comparisons, and greater advance planning will present new opportunities to connect with travellers at more points in the journey and hopefully trigger more purchases and higher spends.”

Challenges ahead

On his views on the key challenges to the industry today Tony expresses concern over the slow growth or in some cases recession in Europe, the question of housing bubbles in China, and the short term mentality of many governments. “Any major economic issue could be quite devastating for our industry.” he adds.

On the question of how companies like ISG can help address these challenges Tony advocates for more involvement from companies like ISG, encouraging their airline partners to become more involved in the collective industry association work. He expresses concern that airlines are not having their voices heard, and are not engaged enough when threats and solutions are being discussed. “And it is my job, as I believe it should be the same for other inflight concession companies, to be in the forefront on behalf of customers as well. Their core business isn’t travel retail, so that burden should fall more on us.”

Industry associations

On the topic of the industry association work, and how APTRA and the other DFTR associations can work to further develop and protect the interests of the industry, beyond advocacy, training, research and conferences? Tony believes that while threat assessment response is always going to be important, it would be a great goal for APTRA and similar groups to help market the industry, talk about its benefits, etc. “Most people simply don’t understand what we have to offer or what we deliver.” he adds.

Finally, as APTRA’s most recently elected board member, we asked Tony how he hopes to contribute to APTRA now that he is more personally involved.

“I think focusing on bringing voice to suggestions from my sector, thinking about how our specific sector be affected differently than brands or airports will be a good place to start. I’m a pretty good numbers guy as well, so hopefully I can support with that skill also.

APTRA welcomes Tony to the board of the association, where as well as his election to serve on the board of APTRA, he was also appointed Treasurer, a position he will hold for the next 2 year term.