Did you know that there are 55.000 scheduled flights every day carrying more than 1,5 billion passengers around the globe every year? Have you ever thought of duty free shopping other than buying your favorite whisky or cigarettes at tax discounts at the airport?
Indeed, the Travel Retail industry started in the late 1950s at Shannon Airport in Ireland selling the first liquors “duty free” to passengers on foldable tables right before boarding the plane. But since then the picture has changed completely. In 2010 this industry was worth around USD 39 billion with very wide and diverse distribution channels. Airports still account for the major share of travel retail sales and in many cases they are high class, state of the art retail outlets or even entire shopping malls. However, also border and downtown shops, airplanes, ferries and cruise lines as well as military and diplomat shops have a significant share of today's global travel retail sales.
The Travel Retail channel can play various roles – either act as brand ambassador for global expansion or be an important additional distribution point in places where the consumer makes his or her purchase decision.