The Trinity Forum 2018

'The changing airport and
travel retail commercial ecosystem'

In advance of our comprehensive report in the next edition, we present pictorial highlights of The Trinity Forum 2018 held in Shanghai on 31 October-1 November.

This year's event was one of the most well-attended and dynamic editions of the world's most influential airport commercial revenues conference.

A heavyweight line-up of speakers debated the major issues and opportunities at play in the industry. These ranged from digitalisation and omni-channel, to the perennial challenge of increasing penetration; and from changing customer profiles, to the critical importance (but inherent complexity) of serving the Chinese travelling shopper.

The following pages capture not just the dynamism of the conference itself but also the vibrancy of the social events and the warmth with which delegates were received by Shanghai and its Airport Authority.

Day 1: Shanghai tour; Forum begins; Opening Cocktail

All aboard: This year's event began with a delegate tour of this fascinating city.

A great panoramic shot of Trinity delegates from all over the world gathering to discover the splendours of Shanghai.

Open-top buses allowed for fantastic views of the city and many of its key attractions.


Registration begins: This year’s Trinity Forum adopted a highly successful new scheduling format beginning with a day one city tour followed by lunch, conference and Opening Cocktail. Day two saw a full day’s conference proceedings, topped off with a spectacular Gala Dinner.

This year’s Trinity Forum received great support from brand partners, several choosing to take up mini-exhibition opportunities directly outside the conference hall.


Shanghai Airport Authority was ultra-keen to bring The Trinity Forum to the city and proved to be a warm and wonderful host.

Here MAG doesn't stand for Minimum Annual Guarantee but for Manchester Airports Group.

Brand partners such as Mars International Travel Retail and Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail took full advantage of the exposure opportunity to an elite international airport and retailer audience.

Furla has long been a strong supporter of the Trinity concept of enhanced partnership between industry stakeholders and underlined that support with sponsorship of day one lunch.

Scenes of the audience on day one (above) and day two (below) illustrate how the new scheduling format ensured a packed room throughout both days of this year's Forum.

Interest in The Trinity Forum within China was intense. Martin Moodie was interviewed on state television about prospects for airport retail.

“Physical retail is not dead. Bad retail is,” said The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie in his opening address. “Trinity has always championed the excellent and damned the mediocre. We must continue to do that.”

Before his speech proper though, Martin Moodie paid a moving tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Chairman of Leicester City Football Club and Chairman of King Power International Group, who had been tragically killed in a helicopter crash on the eve of The Trinity Forum (an event he hosted so memorably in 2011 and 2017).

“Khun Vichai was an immense influence on our business. King Power’s airport and downtown stores in Thailand are among the world’s best,” said Moodie. “But he was also a kind and generous man who made immense contributions to many causes and to making the world a better place.

“He was also, of course, a football club owner; of Leicester City, known as the Foxes. The incredible flying Foxes, who defied near insurmountable odds to win the English Premier League in 2016. As with so many things in life, that success was a triumph of Khun Vichai’s vision, commitment and investment. His death… has left a huge gap in many people’s lives.”

In a deeply poignant scene played out to the mournful lament of Bill Fay’s ‘The Healing Day’, each of the near 550 delegates stood as one in a minute’s tribute to the memory of Khun Vichai and to express their condolences and sorrow to his family and colleagues.

On behalf of co-host ACI World, Director General Angela Gittens joined in Martin Moodie’s warm welcome to the 500+ delegates.

Shanghai Airport Authority Chairman of the Board of Directors Qin Yun explained that the authority’s plans revolve around achieving ever higher levels of customer service.

Shanghai Business Development Research Centre Director Dr. Hua Zhu expressed his happiness in welcoming delegates to the vibrant and forward-thinking city of Shanghai.

China Civil Airports Association Chairwoman Ruiping Wang underlined the importance of commercial revenues to China’s burgeoning aviation sector.

Well, if you’re going to ‘take a (coffee) break’, who better to do it with than KitKat, right?

In a riveting and insightful speech, China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen discussed the evolving nature of the Chinese travel shopping market. Look out for our full report of this seminal address in the next edition.

Martin Moodie then joined Charles Chen on stage for a compelling Q&A session. The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman asked about Chen’s call for airports to abandon their “lowest price in the region” retail proposition. “Lowest-price competition among airports is detrimental to the business,” said Chen to applause. “We should not do it.”

Tito’s Handmade Vodka Managing Director International John McDonnell considered a modern phenomenon: our intense attachment to our mobile devices. How can retailers today contend with the allure (and distraction) of the screen? Disrupt yourself or be disrupted, he warned.

Groupe ADP Customer Division Director Mathieu Daubert took to the stage to discuss the ways ADP is adapting to the changing world that we live in. Who is the customer today and how can we engage them? Part of the answer is a major investment programme in retail and F&B for the group's airports, he said. Daubert promised a departure from traditional travel retail layouts and approaches in favour of a Parisian department store-inspired concept.

Sydney Airport General Manager Retail Glyn Williams always tells it like it is, and his challenging address this year maintained that reputation. Positive disruption was a pervading theme of his address. “We need disruption in terms of brands. Wellness, tech, niche and local brands… all of these should have more of a presence,” he said. The industry should focus on its many positives, not the negatives, Williams concluded.

Williams and Daubert were joined by moderator Dermot Davitt for another strong Q&A session.

“A legend of the industry”: Colm McLoughlin looked back at Dubai Duty Free’s extraordinary 35-year success story.

Colm McLoughlin chatted with Martin Moodie during a session in which for once his trademark bright (Dubai Duty Free-branded) tie was outshone (literally) by his (and Martin Moodie's) socks, courtesy of Trinity Forum sponsor Happy Socks.

In an illuminating and well-received address, Harrods International Director Raj Assanand shared the company’s ‘Master Plan’ with delegates.

The Moodie Davitt Report Events and CSR Director Michael Barrett and Martin Moodie highlighted the company’s latest CSR beneficiary: Friends International. The Charity will be the beneficiary of a major fundraising dinner organised by The Moodie Davitt Report on the Saturday preceding next May’s TFWA Asia Pacific show in Singapore.

Shanghai Airport Authority hosted a splendid Opening Cocktail at the Jing An Shangri-La, supported by generous sponsorship from Lagardère Travel Retail and Diageo Global Travel.

Shanghai Airport Authority Vice President Ruijun Jia wished Trinity delegates a wonderful experience in Shanghai.

ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Director Patti Chau stressed the importance of collaboration in allowing airports and their business partners to adapt to a rapidly developing digital landscape.

“We’ve been in many exciting cities during The Trinity Forum’s 15 years and Shanghai is surely among the most exciting of all,” said The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie.

“The Trinity Forum serves as an annual test for us all,” said Lagardère Travel Retail Asia-Pacific COO Emmanuel de Place as he welcomed guests.

Let the music play: Delegates were entertained in style at the hotel's Calypso Restaurant & Lounge.

When Irish eyes are smiling: Breeda McLoughlin of Dubai Duty Free and Barry Geoghegan, Founder of Duty Free Global, shared a glass.

Diageo Global Travel provided a range of great spirits at the Opening Cocktail.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Issue 251 | 12 November 2018